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The long-awaited update

Shawn Lee is the CEO of BDH&C. Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Kate Taylor

Since news emerged last year of a budding financial crisis threatening to engulf Ballan District Health & Care, the Moorabool News has been seeking to keep the community informed of any updates.
Little information has been provided from the organisation – but that is all set to change now, with CEO Shawn Lee spearheading a campaign to keep the community informed on the challenges faced by BDH&C and more importantly, what is being done to meet those challenges head-on.

This week, Mr Lee agreed to answer five questions as put to him by the Moorabool News. His answers, in full and unedited, are below:

Q1 – What is the latest on the strategic plan?
“We’ve completed the five strategic pillars after consultation with the team here and community members. Five working groups have been tasked to work on measurable outcome statements for each Strategic Pillar. These Pillars and ICARE values are the framework to guide BDHC in delivering outcomes to the community.”

Q2 – How can the community get involved at BDHC?
“We are keeping our doors open to the community and calling out for consumers to participate in various committees and working groups at Ballan District Health & Care – including People & Culture, Clinical Governance and Clinical & Primary Care committees. The Consumer Representative position description and application form is available on our website – ballanhealth.com.au”

Q3 – How would you describe the current status of BDHC financially?
“There is significant work to be done over the next couple of months. Since late last year, we had enhanced our financial team structure and processes which has enabled us to provide quality information to independent financial advisers. In mid-April, BDH&C received the reports from the independent reviewers, brought in to assess our financial situation and provide improvement recommendations. These recommendations are now being considered by the Executive.
“We are planning a presentation for all staff about the business improvement strategies and what work needs doing for BDH&C to become financially sustainable. Once the team here feel informed and ready, we’ll provide a general update for the community.”

Q4 – How do you feel staff morale is at the moment?
“It is inspiring to see our ICARE values being demonstrated on a day-to-day basis. We hold regular face-to-face question and answer sessions which give anyone and everyone in the team an opportunity to ask questions directly to me and other members of leadership. It is an uncertain time so understandably there is a level of anxiety – what has impressed me though is the positive team work, collaboration across departments and openness in every conversation. I am constantly inspired by the team. I really do appreciate everyone’s understanding, patience, dedication and courage.”

Q5 – When will you provide the community with the next update?
“The next scheduled meeting at the Hall is our AGM but I hope to meet with the community prior to this date once the improvement strategy timeline has been developed and communicated with the whole team here. Once the team know, Association Members will be informed. Anyone can apply to become an Association Member – on our website or at Hospital reception. It is only $5 per year and gives you a voice at Association meetings and you’ll be first to know after the staff once an improvement strategy timeline has been developed.”