Emergency access by 70,000 residents hangs in the balance – Local Health Board meets Monday to discuss future of Bulli E.D.

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 5 October 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#17

Emergency access by 70,000 residents hangs in the balance – Local Health Board meets Monday to discuss future of Bulli E.D.

The Monday 8 October meeting of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) will discuss the future of Bulli Hospital Emergency Department.

The Save Bulli Emergency Department group (Save Bulli ED Group) has submitted a detailed report to the Board ahead of this critical meeting, arguing the case for the Bulli Emergency Department to stay open.

“There are many, many reasons why the community needs this E.D. There are over 70,000 residents in the Northern Illawarra alone who need this service. And of concern to EVERYONE in the Illawarra is the pressure on Wollongong Emergency Department. We think more services are needed in the Illawarra, not less, and a real difference could be made if ambulances were allowed to take suitable patients to Bulli,” Alison said.

“We met with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District several times in the last few weeks and we think we’ve made some ground on the provision of services overnight,” said Alison. “But the community is also committed to keeping Bulli open as a real, functioning Emergency Department. They want to change it to something else – but this community WANTS TO KEEP THEIR E.D.”

An Emergency Department is highly regulated part of the NSW Health hospital network, with an assured level of services, defined protocols including triage, which is needed in emergency situations, and statistical collection. The community is committed to ensuring that Bulli stays an Emergency Department. We have an E.D. at Bulli now. Why should residents of the Illawarra lose another E.D. service when Wollongong E.D. is at breaking point?

“The community is very strong on keeping the E.D. and very much against renaming the service. Because we know very well that it’s not just about the name. It’s about the lack of accountability in these alternative models. As soon as you rename it, it drops off the E.D. network and there’s no assurance about what has to happen there – it will make life easier for ISLHD but it won’t provide the regulated E.D. type services that the community requires and expects,” said Alison.

“We’ve given them data, population figures, travel times, lots of reasons to support the community on this issue. We just have to hope and trust now that the Board looks at the submission and talks this through,” she said. “We offered to do a presentation, we’re totally dedicated to doing everything we can.”

Attachments: Bulli E.D. Group submission to ISLHD.

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Media contacts:     

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor, ph 0412 011 052
Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor, ph 0419 609 173

Hon Tanya Plibersek praises Bulli Hospital Emergency Department

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 28 September 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#16

Hon Tanya Plibersek praises Bulli Hospital Emergency Department

Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) has recently received a letter from the Hon Tanya Plibersek regarding Bulli Hospital Emergency Department.

The Save Bulli ED group wrote to the Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for Health, and Sharon Bird, the local federal MP, seeking ongoing funding for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department. “We are trying our best to assist the local health district to secure appropriate funding to maintain and upgrade the Bulli Emergency Department,” said Alison Fettell, Convenor of the Save Bulli ED group.

Tanya Plibersek’s response includes a handwritten note saying:

“PS I had to visit Bulli Hospital myself with Anna as a toddler when we were on holidays down your way. They did a terrific job!”

Alison said Ms Plibersek’s response about the ‘terrific’ care provided at Bulli ED just adds further support to the community’s call not to downgrade the Emergency Department at Bulli.

“Bulli ED is an essential part of the Illawarra emergency services, taking the pressure off Wollongong and offering a shorter wait time when residents have less serious conditions. Proper utilisation of Bulli ED will take pressure off hospitals across the Illawarra,” said Alison. “The emergency doctors and nurses at Bulli are great with kids and they handle a range of unexpected but less complex health crises for Illawarra residents and their families, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Ms Plibersek’s response, sent back to the group via Ms Sharon Bird, includes the statement that ‘hospital service planning remains the responsibility of the NSW Government’. The NSW Government has devolved the planning powers to the Local Health Districts, and that is why the Bulli ED group has provided the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) with a detailed submission in response to their Draft Health Care Services Plan. “The ISLHD Board is meeting on 8 October and the Save Bulli ED group has offered to be part of formal discussions once the Board has had the opportunity to consider our submission,” said Alison.

Attachments: Letters from Sharon Bird and Tanya Plibersek; submission to ISLHD .

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Media contacts:     

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor
Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor

Update for Save Bulli ED supporters

Dear Save Bulli ED supporters

Just a quick update. As you may know we have met with Ms Michelle Noort, Director of Operations at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), 3 times over the last 7 months to attempt to get the ISLHD to listen to the community. Not a lot of success there – but we have kept at it.

Ms Noort made a few comments in the media recently that we had to respond to – which made it look as if we were prepared to discuss a lesser than 24/7 service at Bulli. We were not prepared to discuss that, and we made that clear. The ISLHD made the assumption then that we would not talk with them at all. This was not the case.

We wanted you to know that we have been – and continue to be – prepared to talk to the ISLHD as long as 24/7 is the basis of that discussion. Yesterday we spoke to a representative of the Board and Mr Arthur Rorris of the South Coast Labour Council, and Mr Rorris is happy to work with us on opening up dialogue between the Save Bulli ED Group – representing the community concerned about this issue – and the ISLHD. We also want you to know that we do NOT see ourselves as deal-makers, rather we will attempt to influence the ISLHD, and the politicians, to ensure they provide the best possible 24/7 emergency care at Bulli Hospital, in line with the model that was endorsed at the Rally on 29th July.

However we may be put in a position to either agree or disagree with an option that the ISLHD present – but if that happens we will consult the community to discuss any option put forward. That has not occurred to date.

The Save Bulli ED team worked tirelessly for weeks on our submission to the Board which was in response to the ISLHD Health Care Plan (which cost the ISLHD $400,000) and our submission was sent to the ISLHD Board on Friday 14th. We did not charge them for our skills!!!

We also attended Bulli Show last weekend for the both days (Sat & Sun) from 9-4 where we handed out fact sheets and a ‘Call to Action’. We disseminated 600 of these sheets over the two days so we really are hopeful that people will act on our suggestion of writing to our state politicians – Evans and Skinner – to influence them to provide the funds for Bulli ED to continue to run 24/7. The Show was a great success and the support for the Save Bulli ED Campaign continues to be overwhelming.

We hope that you consider contacting Evans and/or Skinner yourselves over the next two weeks as we believe that a decision on Bulli is imminent. The Board is meeting on October 8th and, in the team’s view, this will be the date of the decision.

We hope this update is useful and that you feel that you are being kept informed. If you have any questions please email us at the Bullied.12@gmail.com

Kindest Regards
Alison Fettell for
the Save Bulli ED Team

Meeting with health officials – shifting sands, and no answers to key questions

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 23 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#12

Meeting with health officials – shifting sands, and no answers to key questions

Members of Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) met today with health officials from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).

Save Bulli ED Group asked searching questions about the future of Bulli Hospital Emergency, but very few answers were forthcoming.

Recently, in the face of massive public opposition, the health district had dropped the “Urgent Care Centre” proposal for Bulli Emergency Department. The latest draft health service plan had no mention of this term.

The community had hoped this meant a shift in thinking. “We had all really hoped that the health district had changed its mind. Based on their letter to the Mercury on 15 August, we thought plans to downgrade Bulli Emergency Department had been replaced by a commitment to retain the service at its current standing of a Level 2 Emergency Department in the NSW Health network, albeit at reduced hours,” said Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED Group.

“But we found it was just a change of name. They still want to downgrade it. It’s so very disappointing,” said Caroline.

The only shift by the ISLHD was to rename their proposed model.  Michelle Noort from the ISLHD said at the meeting, “The community has made it clear they won’t accept the term ‘Urgent Care Centre’ …. so we are now calling it ‘Emergency Primary Health Care’.”

“The health district was still unable to explain how this plan would impact on the community,” said Caroline. “There was no detail. We asked if both doctors and nurses would be present. We asked what kind of treatment would be available. But they couldn’t tell us. So with a submission due on 31 August, we will just have to respond in a very broad way as there has been no detail given at all.”

“As a community group we had hoped to take the details of what is planned, for example what level of service will operate at Bulli, back to our community,” said Caroline. “But we don’t know any more than before.”

On the positive side, further statistical data on ED presentations was provided by the ISHLD to the Save Bulli ED Group who will now work on analysing that data and prepare submissions on behalf of the community.

“We are preparing a submission on the Illawarra Shoalhaven Healthcare Services Plan by 31 August. We have also been invited to submit directly to the ISHLD Board by mid September,” said Caroline. “We do appreciate these opportunities to put forward the community perspective and will argue to retain the E.D. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Denise Farrier of Austinmer agreed. “At the end of the day we need to maintain the Emergency Department we already have and plan for its upgrade to meet the needs of our kids and their kids,” she said. Denise is one of many to join the fight since the Save Bulli ED Rally on 29 July.

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Media contacts:     

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor
Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Healthcare Services Plan 2012-2022 can be found at http://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ISLHDHCSPDraftforconsultation15thAug2012.pdf

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Media Stories generated :

Illawarra News : Save Bulli ED Meets with Health Officials – still no answers to key questions

ABC Radio Illawarra : Bulli Hospital talks continue

The Bulli Times : A rose by another name ? The Battle for Bulli ED continues

Full transcript of August 16 2012 NSW Parliament Hansard including Bulli Hospital

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department at NSW Parliament House with Ryan Park MP for Keira

Full transcript of August 16 2012 NSW Parliamentary Hansard including Bulli Hospital upgrade debate in NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly : http://t.co/Cvbcim7R

Extract from Hansard covering Bulli Hospital Debate only : https://savebullied12.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/bulli-hospital-upgrade-parliament-august-16-2012.docx

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department – outside NSW Parliament House with Dr John Kay – MLC – The Greens

Read who said what :

  • Ryan Park
  • Lee Evans
  • Noreen Hay
  • Gareth Ward
  • Andrew McDonald

Acknowledgement to Bevan Shields for providing link to Hansard to Save Bulli ED

 

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department to be kept open 24 x 7 x 365 days / year

Bulli Hospital data shows E.D saves lives, casts doubt on ISLHD claims

Save Bulli ED Group logo

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

 Media release : 26 July 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#7

Bulli Hospital data shows E.D saves lives, casts doubt on ISLHD claims

 Data published by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows unequivocally that the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department is a life-saving facility and not a mere “urgent care centre” as claimed by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).

The Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) have cited 2011 BHI data to prove that Bulli Emergency Department does indeed treat serious and life-threatening cases, despite claims by health bureaucrats that it does not. This will be one of the issues discussed at the Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Public Meeting to be held 2 pm this Sunday, 29 July at the Bulli Masonic Hall, 286 Princes Highway.

“Basically, health bureaucrats use the argument that Bulli doesn’t treat serious or life-critical cases as a way to justify their cost-cutting plan to close the Emergency Department at Bulli and replace it with a so-called ‘urgent care centre’, said Alison Fettell, Save Bulli ED convenor…. MORE

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Media contacts:         Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor, ph 0412 011 052

Ms Kerrie Anne Christian, Co-convenor, ph 0408 115 099

“This community will fight for its Emergency Department” — Bulli Hospital supporters announce public rally 29 July

Save Bulli ED logo

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/

 Media release : 9 July 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#4

Community members who have been angered by a tick-the-box “consultation” by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) have organised their own rally to save the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department.

The Save Bulli ED Public Rally on July 29 will offer the opportunity for community members to have a say, raise THEIR concerns and join a movement to demand funding to upgrade Bulli Emergency Department. The rally will be held:

2 for 2:30 pm on Sunday 29th July
Bulli Masonic Hall – 286 Princes Highway Bulli (opp Shell)
A sausage sizzle will be held at 2 pm prior to the meeting
Live music provided by the Swingaleles

The Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) expect a large crowd to the rally, as the closure or downgrading suggested by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has caused an outcry in the Northern Illawarra. Over 10,000 people have signed a petition opposing the move. …  MORE

The rally in July will invite broad representation from the community, and is expected to reiterate resident demands that:

  • Bulli Hospital Emergency Department should remain open as a Level 2 Emergency Department, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • emergency services should remain in public hands and be free to the public
  • a community board to manage the hospital should be reinstated
  • the state government should stop closing and downgrading emergency services.

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Media contacts:

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor

More Questions than Answers – Residents Challenge Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health on Bulli


Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/

 Media release : For immediate release – 24 May 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#3

Residents went head-to-head with health administrators today over the future of Bulli Hospital.  At the public forum organised by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), residents again and again asked for clarification on the future of the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department.

Under pressure of questioning from the floor, the Director of Operations, Michelle Noort, finally admitted that the Bulli Emergency Department was already downgraded to an urgent care centre in the minds of local health bureaucrats. The only question in the minds of ISLHD was what model of urgent care centre would be implemented…. MORE

Michelle Noort promised that any urgent care centre would be free to the public.

“We acknowledge that assurance, but we still believe a fully functioning Bulli Hospital Emergency Department, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is essential to this area,” said Alison. “We have been offered a meeting with ISLHD next week, and we will take that opportunity to ask some more questions.”

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Media contacts:

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor,

Ms Kerrie Anne Christian, Co-convenor,

Save BulliED Reps to attend Public Forum on Illawarra Shoalhaven Health Care – May 24 2012

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In their fight to save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department, Save Bulli ED Group Representatives are taking up the opportunity to attend a Public Forum on Illawarra Shoalhaven Health Care on Wednesday May 24 2012. The forum is being arranged by NSW Health ISLHD and will be held at the Wollongong Pioneer Hall.To find out more info go to our  Save BulliED Facebook Page.

We’ll be posting more information over the next few days.

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