AFTER 21 years of uniting health services across the Mitchell and Murrindindi shires, the Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, LHPCP, was absorbed into the new GV Health Local Public Health Unit, LPHU.
Victoria’s PCP network served as a voluntary alliance funded by the Victorian Department of Health, working with hospitals, schools, early learning centres and community groups, as well as local, state and federal government bodies to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.
Lower Hume PCP brought together service providers to support coordinated and integrated care, particularly in the areas of Aboriginal health, chronic care, prevention and family violence.
In 2019 the Department of Health engaged advisory group KPMG to review the PCP program identifying a case for change to align the program with current Victorian primary health and wider public health reform.
After considering the findings of the review, the Department of Health decided in October 2021 to transition the functions of PCPs into health services with LPHUs by or before June 2022.
The department described the transition as ‘a unique opportunity to improve population health outcomes for local communities by consolidating skills, knowledge and governance across a catchment area’.
GV Health, based in Shepparton, will operate the LPHU servicing the Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires.
Lower Hume PCP executive officer Lee Coller will transition to the GV Health LPHU, bringing with her seven years of experience and partnerships built with health services in Mitchell Shire.
Some Lower Hume PCP projects and functions, such as RESPOND, the Goulburn Healthy and Sustainable Food System Strategy and the Goulburn Mental Health and Wellbeing Stepped Care project, will continue to operate under the GV Health LPHU.
Ms Coller said she was excited to continue population health and prevention work with the Mitchell and Murrindindi communities.
She thanked Lower Hume PCP members Jaimie Poorter and Bec Leiper for nearly a decade of service each.
“The Lower Hume PCP would like to thank all those we have partnered with over the years, as together we made a difference to the health of the communities,” she said.
“We’d also like to acknowledge the ongoing leadership, support and guidance of the many members of the Leadership Team, and specifically the current team – Angela Armstrong [Familycare] for her 12 years of service, Amanda Mullins [Nexus Primary Health] chair and auspice, Ward Steet [Seymour Health] deputy chair, Buffy Leadbeater [Mitchell Shire Council], Stuart Coller [Murrindindi Shire Council], Jen Gilham [Kilmore District Health], Chris McDonnell [Alexandra District Health] and Frank Evans [Yea and District Memorial Hospital].”
People can visit lhpcp.org.au for more information about the PCP’s work, projects and achievements.