Wimmera Health Care Group welcomes report into strengthening regional and statewide oversight of maternity services

WIMMERA Health Care Group has welcomed a report into strengthening regional and statewide oversight of maternity services.

The ‘Targeting Zero’ report was released in response to 11 avoidable deaths of babies at Bacchus Marsh’s Djerriwarrh Health Services.

The report, commission by the state government, called for changes to how all hospital boards are structured and their members are appointed, with a greater emphasis on recruiting members from a medical or consumer service background.

The report called on the state government to establish a monitoring regime with multiple new agencies and the existing compliance system.

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The Mail-Times asked the Wimmera Health Care Group if it was satisfied with the board appointment process and whether it was in a position to comply with a regime that demanded more detailed and timely data reports.

Group chief executive Chris Scott provided a statement in response in which he said the report was a turning point in the evolution of health care in Victoria.

“When you’re dealing with human emotions and people’s welfare it is important to have a sense of clarity and purpose in what we’re doing and the realistic outcomes that can be achieved”, Mr Scott said.

Mr Scott said the report provided greater clarity as to the way the Department of Health and Human Services governs and oversees Victorian hospitals. 

“It was clear that further support was needed to hospitals and boards of directors to ensure the ‘governance’ role was adequately and professional executed for the benefits of patients and health outcomes,” he said.

Mr Scott said that even though the Wimmera Health Care Group had an excellent record in quality and safety, it would consider the report in its entirety and work with the government of the day to pursue its target of ‘zero avoidable patient harm’.

The report called for the state government to improve what the authors saw as a statewide culture of silence around medical competence. It noted staff in Victoria felt they could not report senior medical practitioners.

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