The end of year is a great time to reflect our achievements. What went well and what we could do better.
For Milton Ulladulla Hospital it has been a descent from greatness.
We have all but lost our maternity with only 3 midwives left for 2017, 2 GP obstetricians almost completely uninvolved and only a promise of a possible return to level 1 in 2017.These remaining GP obstetricians are being "retrained" at Shoalhaven Hospital and treated as if they have no experience by staff and colleagues despite holding nationally recognised qualifications.
Staff turnover continues to change the face of Milton Hospital with many older staff grateful to be able to retire. Meanwhile many of the remaining staff despair as almost no corporate memory survives.
Milton has been a giant in the training of young doctors with an integrated apprenticeship model for students and interns and placement for general practice registrars who are training for unsupervised general practice.
The model which has been a beacon and example of best practice is now under threat with a poorly constructed nurse practitioner model being brought in by stealth under the guise of helping the doctors over Christmas. It threatens to derail the training exposure and opportunities that registrars interns and students get in Milton.
There has been no consultation with anyone in the training sector and no consideration that these powerful training models are threatened.
Current management has almost irretrievably damaged its relationship with local general practice in the process. Many of my colleagues would see it as a joke if it were not so tragic.
The end of year sees the almost completion of the palliative care unit.
This has been another triumph for the depths of non consultation plumbed by local management who disregarded the input of the Cancer Outpatients Appeal to a carefully constructed design brief for colours and furniture with not so much as an email.
Appeals to the chief executive remained unanswered until too late. A great return for the COA committee who have raised over $650,000.00. Fortunately the brick and mortar are in place.
The committee remaining to gracious to make a fuss will present a cheque this week.
After hours palliative care has been outsourced from our health service to Silver Chain further diluting the role of the community nurses.
Ironically many of our health service nurses work after hours for the other provider… How this saves money escapes me.
Milton Hospital despite its historical legacy remains dangerously likely to be downgraded to a hospital with only occasional visiting doctors and not a comprehensive small rural hospital.
It has been a great year… I can't wait for the progress next year.
As the year comes to a close, I would like to take to wish the Shoalhaven community the best for the festive season.
This is a time to spend with family and friends, to be thankful and express gratitude for what we have and an opportunity if you are able, to give to others less fortunate.
The Mayor’s Giving Box is an opportunity to give a small gift to those who are vulnerable and most in need. This year we are hoping to get over 150 gifts and make some children in need smile. Gifts can be left at Stockland Nowra Giving Box near Santa, Council Admin buildings, Libraries, Swim and Fitness Centres, Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre and Shoalhaven Arts Centre.
Reach out this year and help others and remember someone who might be alone or struggling to purchase presents.
Regardless of religion, beliefs or tradition, family near or far, the giving season is here.
Wishing you all a very safe, happy and healthy festive break and 2017.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.