After hours primary care – a sustainable model for Leongatha, Foster and Korumburra

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Gippsland Medicare Local (GML) engaged Larter to work with stakeholders to develop a new after hours primary care Sunday service for the towns of Leongatha, Foster and Korumburra.

Background and aim.

General practices in Leongatha, Foster and Korumburra have provided a Sunday service to their communities for many years. While stakeholders are committed to ensuring that these communities continue to have access to a GP on Sundays, practices report an increasing workload and the potential for burnout. Stakeholders are looking to collaborate to find ways to sustain Sunday services in the future.

The project aimed to sustain community access to primary care medical services on Sundays by creating a model for the region that considers the needs and preferences of the community, general practices, hospitals and ambulance services.

Project phases.

After working with Gippsland Medicare Local to confirm the project scope and agree on a communication and engagement strategy, Larter contacted all stakeholders to arrange consultation meetings.

Consult with stakeholders and draft a collaborative model

Larter consulted with the three general practices, South Gippsland Hospital, Gippsland Southern Health Service and Ambulance Victoria’s regional manager to explore how a collaborative after hours model could work.

To develop the draft model, Larter:

  • Considered hospital presentation trends at each hospital in the region on Sundays and comparing these with trends in other regional hospitals
  • Investigated alternative models and provided recommendations that help inform the new model
  • Considered the impacts of a new model on the community, including during peak holiday seasons
  • Identified the potential benefits and challenges of a new model
  • Tested the proposed model with health service stakeholders and addressed any concerns

Larter prepared a report on the findings of the consultations and a recommended collaborative after hours model for the region that considers key governance, financial and operational elements and a plan to inform local communities.

Present model to stakeholders 

Larter presented the draft model to stakeholders at a workshop convened by the Gippsland Medicare Local in April 2015. The Medicare Local and Larter facilitated the discussion about the model and next steps.

Read more about Larter’s team and how we work towards a stronger primary health system.

Image credit: theilr via Flickr Creative Commons