15 December 2020
South West HHS reflects on a successful past year
The South West Hospital and Health Service has marked a year of achievements in delivering high quality
health services to local communities.
“We will continue to work with our communities in the coming 12 months to enhance our services,’’
South West Hospital and Health Board Chair Karen Tully said.
The South West HHS 2019–20 annual report was tabled in State Parliament on 11 December.
“Following the implementation of the South West HHS Strategic Plan 2018-2022, the past 2019-20 year
marked the second year of our journey to become a national leader in the delivery of health services to
rural and remote communities,’’ Ms Tully said.
“It has been a productive and successful year, built on the strong foundations of the previous year, as we
have continued our work to arrest the poor health determinants that impact on health and wellbeing
across the South West.
“With the second half of the year focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, South West
Health still was able to continue progress in relation to several of our key priorities.’’
Key focus areas during 2019–20 included:
 Continuing to develop strong, innovative and meaningful partnerships with other leading
stakeholders to enable better integration and delivery of joined up programs, workforce expertise
and funding;
 Strengthening relationships and partnerships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples to implement strategies and initiatives to improve their health outcomes;
 Progressing the primary and community care agenda; embedding and delivering person-centred
care; working with local communities to build healthy community capability and developing our
 Completing the new Roma Hospital.
“At the same time, we were quickly able to adapt to introducing new models of care during the COVID-19
pandemic to ensure the safety and protection of our consumers and communities,’’ Ms Tully said.
“We look forward to building on the success of 2019-20 in the coming year as we work towards
achieving the best health outcomes for our communities.’’
Ms Tully said focus areas for 2020–21 included:
 Consolidating our person-centred models of care,
 Optimising telehealth and healthcare home, cardiac service enhancements,
 Continuing with existing healthy older persons and healthy communities’ initiatives,
 Further promoting culturally safe care, and
 Increasing staff engagement and development.
Ms Tully said another highlight of the year was the elevation of the health service’s Indigenous Health
Coordinator to the Executive Leadership team.
“Including this position at the highest level of leadership at the South West HHS has helped our health
service to strengthen relationships and partnerships with local First Nations communities,’’ she said.
Ms Tully said South West HHS had performed well during 2019–20 with 95 per cent of all patients
presenting to emergency departments in the region being seen and either admitted to hospital or leaving
the ED within four hours of presentation.
“This was well above the overall target of 80 per cent of all presentations to be able to depart the ED
within four hours,’’ she said.
“We also treated between 98 and 99.7 per cent of all three categories of elective surgery patients within
the recommended waiting times for their categories.
“Our median waiting time for treatment in our emergency departments during 2019–20 was 2 minutes
with our median waiting time for elective surgery being 59 days.’’
As at 30 June 2020, the South West HHS had a total of 801 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees across
all clinical and non-clinical classification streams and comprising full, part-time and casual staff.
“All our staff – clinical and non-clinical – are our greatest asset and I’d like to pay tribute to their
dedication and commitment to helping us deliver quality health services, as well as responding to the
unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic,’’ Ms Tully said.
“I’d also like to thank my board and my executive management team for their commitment and effort.
Without everyone working together, we would achieve nothing.
“In May, we farewelled Mr Jim McGowan from the position of Board Chair, along with Board members Dr
John Scott and Mr Stewart Gordon.
“We sincerely thank them for their tireless advocacy, diligence and guidance for the people in the South
“We also congratulated Mr Ray Chandler on his reappointment and welcomed new members Dr Mark
Waters and Ms Kerry Crumblin.
“We were delighted to have First Nations peoples’ representation on the board with the appointment of
Ms Crumblin.
“We also farewelled former Chief Executive Linda Patat, who left our service on 31 July.
“We have appointed South West HHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Mr Matt
Boyd to the Chief Executive position while we continue to recruit for permanent replacement.’’
Ms Tully said as at 30 June 2020, the health service had recorded a small surplus of $997,000 on a final
budget of about $158.88 million.
“This will be reinvested in health services to local communities,’’ she said.
“This is a good result for a small health service such as ours responding to a major pandemic while
facing the challenges of remoteness and isolation that we do.
“The provision of health services is not without its challenges in a vast area covering 21 per cent of
Queensland, with an unwilling climate and harsh elements.
“But I believe we have met these challenges, recorded a very successful year and are looking forward to
continuing to deliver high-quality services to our communities during the coming year.’’
 The South West Hospital and Health Service 2019–20 annual report can be found at: