St John of God health Care to take over Hawkesbury District Health Service

Hawkesbury Hospital general manager Peter Blanchard says the transition is a win for all.
Hawkesbury Hospital general manager Peter Blanchard says the transition is a win for all.

When St John of God Health Care (SJGHC) takes over Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS), the transition will mean extra services such as rehabilitation, palliative care, orthopaedic, mental health care and oncology can be offered.

The formal transfer from Catholic Healthcare to SJGHC is set to happen within the next three months.

Catholic Healthcare has indicated the change is due to it wanting to focus on aged care services, and position HDHS within a hospital group with wider interests and expertise.

Catholic Healthcare managing director David Maher said the transition will benefit the Hawkesbury community and the staff.

‘‘Placing the hospital in a wider group means the community will have access to extra services and more staff,’’ Mr Maher said.

‘‘The decision was based on a clinical service plan developed by the HDHS board to assess the needs and the future of the service. 

‘‘It revealed the Hawkesbury needs a larger healthcare provider because of the growing community and development.

‘‘Nothing will change; it’ll all be business as usual with no massive alterations to the management or employment structure.

‘‘Catholic Healthcare has enjoyed 19 years of operation and it’s with great sadness we are transitioning but it’s all for the better of the community,’’ he said.

Staff at HDHS have been briefed on the transition by the hospital’s general manager Peter Blanchard who said communication was key at this stage.

‘‘It’s important to let the staff and community know exactly what is going on during this process,’’ Mr Blanchard said.

‘‘We have been receiving positive feedback from staff and are quite happy with the change. 

‘‘They understand that SJOG will bring their expertise, experience and extensive knowledge to the healthcare provider.

‘‘We both have the same values and missions so it’s very familiar.’’

Chairman of the HDHS community board of advice Barry Adams agreed the transfer will mark an exciting new chapter in the provision of health services for the Hawkesbury.

SJGHC executive director eastern hospitals Tracey Burton said it was exciting to have the Hawkesbury as part of the organisation.

‘‘We have been part of the community through our St John of God Richmond Hospital for more than eight years and are looking forward to sharing our considerable expertise in general healthcare,” she said.

All the changes to the health service will be carried out in conjunction with the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.


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