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Northern Health and Kilmore District Health merger approved

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

The State Government has approved the merger of Kilmore District Health, KDH, and Northern Health to become an amalgamated service officially beginning tomorrow, Wednesday.

Under the new structure, KDH will become a campus of Northern Health, joining its existing network of services at Craigieburn, Bundoora, Broadmeadows, Epping, Mill Park, Preston and Mernda.

While under the Northern Health brand, the service itself will be known as KDH.

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The voluntary amalgamation builds upon the existing partnership between the two services, which as been jointly serving the community of Mitchell Shire for many years.

Boards believe the amalgamation between the services will ensure greater coordination of care across the outer north and focus on meeting the community’s future healthcare needs.

It will aim to deliver more care closer to home, attract and retain an experienced workforce, and provide greater career development opportunities and employment flexibility for staff.

KDH interim chief executive Jennifer Gilham welcomed the State Government’s approval of the amalgamation.

“It is clear that working together is the best way to care for our rapidly growing community,” she said.

“By collaborating, we can expand our services to meet the needs of our patients. This means patients can receive care in a familiar setting, from familiar faces, and closer to home.”

Northern Health chief executive Siva Sivarajah also welcomed the decision and said staff and the community could expect a greater breadth of care locally.

“This is a natural next step in our partnership. I look forward to welcoming the staff and community to Northern Health. We already care for the same community, and the community and staff know our services well,” she said.

“So we are confident we can deliver better care together and not apart.”

KDH board chair Gillian Leach praised the community and staff for their contribution to the service and welcomed the decision.

“The community has been involved every step of the way – this is a win for our community, and we can be proud of the outstanding care KDH has and will continue to provide in the future,” she said.

Northern Health board chair Jennifer Williams also welcomed the decision and she said was looking forward to leading the expanded health service.

“This enhanced partnership presents a real opportunity to strengthen the way care is delivered for our catchment. We must find new ways to innovate and improve healthcare outcomes for all,” she said.

“Our immediate focus is developing an integrated strategic plan and clinical service plan.

“We want to develop a shared vision for the future. We can only do this together with KDH, bringing together the voices of our staff and the community.”

In a statement, Northern Health reaffirmed its commitment to:

The maintenance of local name and identity for Kilmore District Hospital.

No reduction in staffing levels as a direct result of the amalgamation. Staff will continue to work when and where they currently work, unless they wish to change.

Delivering care closer to home by increasing the ways local residents can access care in their local community and introducing more specialist services, which many Kilmore residents are already accessing at Northern Health.

The introduction of a paediatric outpatient service at Kilmore to provide better care for children, closer to home.

Strengthen local maternity services, to allow more women to able to give birth in Kilmore.

Streamlined access to tertiary care through collaboration and improved communication.

Engaging with staff and community to develop an integrated Strategic Plan and Clinical Service Plan within the first 12 months of an amalgamation.

A positive and sustainable workplace for all. Health workers are the backbone of care. Northern Health is committed to providing enhanced training and development opportunities for staff to develop their careers.

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