New Melton Hospital: Community survey report
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Health 24 November 2020

New Melton Hospital: Community survey report

Please note: As of 1 February 2021, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) became the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).

On 3 June 2020, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) launched an Engage Victoria survey titled ‘Future healthcare in Melton’. This is a summary of the community engagement survey report findings which you can also view in PDF format.

The survey sought input about the healthcare services the Melton community use, what’s important to them and what they value in the future. The findings are helping to shape the business case for the proposed new Melton Hospital.

The survey ran for eight weeks, closing on 3 August 2020. VHHSBA received 1793 responses to the survey and 321 people signed up to receive updates about the project.

Summary of feedback received

Services

Most respondents (95 per cent) said that ‘emergency treatment’ was the most important service, followed by ‘access to specialist doctors’ (82 per cent) then ‘access to elective surgery’ (76 per cent).

Getting to and from the hospital

Most respondents (94 per cent) travelled by car to get to hospital, and it took more than a third (36 per cent) of respondents about 45 minutes to get there.

Features

When asked to consider the most important features of a hospital, most people ranked ‘quality of service’ as the most important, followed by ‘range of services’ then ‘prompt attention’.

Other community benefits

Most respondents (83 per cent) wanted to see ‘cafes and restaurants’ around the new hospital, followed by ‘gardens’ (76 per cent) then ‘community health services’ (73 per cent).

Project background

The Victorian Government is planning for a new hospital in Melton.

A business case to investigate the capacity and range of services offered at the new Melton Hospital is being developed and expected to be completed at the end of 2020. It will also identify how the facility will link into other hospitals in the region, including Western Health’s Footscray, Sunshine and Williamstown hospitals and Djerriwarrh Health Service’s Bacchus Marsh Regional Hospital.

Western Health, one of Victoria’s largest public health service providers, will operate the new cutting-edge 24-hour medical facility. Western Health delivers hospital and community-based services to more than 900,000 people across sites in Melbourne’s west.

Purpose of report

VHHSBA is committed to working closely with stakeholders and the community to ensure key issues are identified and views and aspirations are captured. This input is informing the business case, which is being developed to help shape plans for the proposed Melton Hospital.

By understanding the ideas and priorities of Melton and its surrounding communities, we can develop a business case for a new Melton Hospital that reflects the community it serves.

The scope of this report includes a summary of the feedback we received. The full report was presented to the Melton Hospital Project Team to inform the business case.

Community engagement

The Victorian Government values community input and is committed to keeping the local community involved and up to date as this project progresses.

Engagement objectives

The key consultation objectives were to:

  • Raise awareness of the proposed new Melton Hospital planning process
  • Seek to understand the key areas of concern for the community and stakeholders in relation to current healthcare services
  • Provide the community with the opportunity to share their ideas and vision for a new Melton Hospital.

How we reached the community

To support the release and ongoing promotion of the ‘Future healthcare in Melton’ survey, VHHSBA:

  • Developed a short, animated video to outline the project, planning process and community survey
  • Utilised social media channels, with regular targeted posts to the Melton and surrounding community
  • Worked closely with stakeholders including Melton City Council, Member for Melton Steve McGhie and Western Health to maximise reach through social media
  • Advertised the survey in local newspapers
  • Provided hard copies of the survey and promotional posters to Melton City Council and Member for Melton. Posters were translated into 10 different languages.

Planned face-to-face engagement was unable to proceed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

To stay informed about the new Melton Hospital, survey participants had the option to provide their email address and join the project’s mailing list to receive updates about the project.

Influencing the development of the new Melton Hospital

The feedback will ensure the business case for a new hospital in Melton reflects the experiences and ideas of the community it will serve.

The business case is a key tool to inform evidence-based investment decisions by the Victorian Government, and identifies the issues, potential solutions, costs and timeframes for the project.

The results of the community survey will help shape and inform the business case, which is currently in development and is expected to be completed later this year.

What we heard

Services

Most respondents (95 per cent) said that ‘emergency treatment’ was the most important service, followed by ‘access to specialist doctors’ (82 per cent) then ‘access to elective surgery’ (76 per cent). *Respondents could select more than one answer.

  • 95% emergency treatment (Emergency Department)
  • 82% access to specialist doctors
  • 76% access to elective surgery

When asked to consider an additional hospital service that would make life better, the following ideas were provided:

  • allied health services
  • children’s health services
  • mental health services
  • maternity
  • dental

Features

When asked to consider the most important features of a hospital, most people ranked ‘quality of service’ as the most important, followed by ‘range of services’ then ‘prompt attention’.

Respondents ranked the following features in order of importance:

  1. Quality of service
  2. Range of service
  3. Prompt attention
  4. Time to get an appointment

When asked to consider how they might access a new hospital, most people ranked that ‘providing all the services I need/my family needs in one place’ was the most important factor.

Respondents ranked the following in order of importance:

  1. It provides all of the services I need/my family needs in one place
  2. It’s open after normal business hours
  3. It’s easy to get to by car
  4. There is enough parking available

Other community benefits

Most respondents (83 per cent) wanted to see ‘cafes and restaurants’ around the new hospital, followed by ‘gardens’ (76 per cent) then ‘community health services’ (73 per cent).*Respondents could select more than one answer.

  • 83% cafes and restaurants
  • 76% gardens
  • 73% community health services.

Additional comments

Most respondents (83 per cent) wanted to see ‘cafes and restaurants’ around the new hospital, followed by ‘gardens’ (76 per cent) then ‘community health services’ (73 per cent).*Respondents could select more than one answer. We also asked respondents if they had any additional comments to make about a new hospital for their community.

Some of the broad themes included:

  • a new hospital for a growing community
  • a safe and caring new hospital
  • a hospital as a precinct.

A new hospital for a growing community

Some participants indicated they wanted a hospital that could expand as the population grows.

'Just BUILD IT! Melton is the second fastest growing community in AUSTRALIA... Start with an Emergency Unit and add to it as fast as possible. “Over-engineer” the first 2 storeys (with basement), so that extra levels & wings can be simply “built-on”'.

'When you build this hospital make sure it will service the Melton members there’s no point of build (sic) a semi hospital.'


A safe and caring new hospital

Many respondents commented that they hoped the hospital would provide care for their whole family. There were references to good family-friendly design that was welcoming for all ages.

Safety was often mentioned, including references to families feeling safe, access to safe parking, pandemic safety, availability of security and access to police.

'The hospital should be an inviting space, offering gardens, playgrounds, real air purifying plants inside each room.'

'…to create a pleasant hub where there is access to uplifting facilities for patients and families/carers to escape from often distressing treatment and diagnostic areas and relax.'

A hospital as a precinct

Several respondents referred to the hospital being embedded within a precinct, providing health, wellbeing and lifestyle services. Respondents suggested that this precinct should provide significant local employment opportunities.

'This project presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a Tertiary Health and teaching precinct so critically needed to service Melbourne’s Outer West. If a University hospital teaching department and ancillary health TAFE are included in the Hospital project, the local and surrounding areas’ youth will benefit tremendously.'

'A health Junction that includes hospital, health services, aquatic centre, garden, big play area with water areas for kids, sports facilities.'

What we’re doing next

Planning for a new Melton Hospital is continuing, and a business case to investigate the capacity and range of services is being developed.

The objective of developing a robust business case is to ensure resource allocation decisions are well timed, offer value for money and consider and mitigate risks.

The business case is expected to be delivered at the end of 2020.

To receive updates about the new Melton Hospital’s progress, sign up to the project’s mailing list by providing your email address to meltonhospital@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

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Last updated: 24 November 2020