GP clinic set to take over some care from hospital
SOME big changes in story for Charleville hospital, as patients are set to be referred elsewhere by August.
From next month, patients not experiencing an emergency will be redirected to the general practitioner service at the bulk-billing Charleville Health Clinic.
The clinic was once run in an experiment by the Royal Flying Doctors Service but control has been transferred to the Hospital and Health Service starting in April.
Charleville Hospital Director of Nursing and Facility Manager Sally Gorman said emergency patients would continue to be seen at the hospital's emergency department.
All patients presenting to the emergency department, will be prioritised through a triage process.
Any patient deemed by hospital staff to have a non-emergency issue, will be advised of this and given the option to wait or make an appointment at Charleville Health Clinic. If you take the first option, it could be a fairly long wait.
On the upside, Ms Gorman said this change would allow the hospital to focus on providing emergency and acute patient care services, while the Charleville Health Clinic provided all GP services for the community.
Specialist outpatient clinics will continue to be run at the hospital and there will be no change to operating theatre and birthing activities.
"All other outpatient consultations previously undertaken at the hospital also will be attended to at the Charleville Health Clinic from August 1," Ms Gorman said.
GP Dr Zowie Bailey leads the team of medical officers at the old RFDS clinic, now the Charleville Health Clinic.
The health clinic doctors also deliver services to Charleville Hospital to ensure continuity of care between the two facilities and provision of care using their advanced skills of obstetrics and anaesthetics.
"The Charleville Health Clinic will deliver a range of services, including family health, paediatrics and women's health, just to name a few. Chronic disease management and preventative healthcare are key," Ms Gorman said.
Health Clinic Practice Nurse Helen Rogers and Chronic Disease Nurse Consultant Kerry O'Brien will also work there, as well as General Practice Project Coordinator Terri Morrow.
The latter will be replaced with a permament practice manager as soon as possible.