Information as at August 2014
Location of GPSC
164 Inglis Street, Ballan
Website: Ballan GP Super Clinic
Ballan and District Soldiers Memorial Bush Nursing Hospital and Hostel Inc trading as Ballan District Health & Care.
Total Commonwealth funding
$1 million GP Super Clinic funding + $400,000 National Rural & Remote Health Infrastructure Programme + $3.3 million Health & Hospital Fund.
Description of clinic
The Ballan Centre for Community Health is a new building and refurbished historic house adjacent to the existing Bush Nursing Hospital facing onto Inglis St (the main street in Ballan).
The clinic opened on 14 September 2009.Top of page
The Ballan GP Super Clinic provides multidisciplinary, integrated services using publicly and privately funded health practitioners to allow the communities of Ballan and surrounds to access a wide range of medical and allied health services.
Since becoming operational the clinic has exceeded the original anticipated range of services that were to be offered to the community.
The clinic currently includes 17 consulting rooms providing space for a range of full time and visiting health professionals including: GPs, practice nurses, a chronic disease nurse, a community health nurse, a diabetes educator, a dentist and dental nurse, an orthodontist, physiotherapists, a dietitian, a podiatrist, an occupational therapist, a psychologist, an audiologist, an optometrist, district nurses, a community health nurse, a social/welfare worker, optometrist, health promotion officer, speech pathologist, dental nurse trainee and a continence nurse.
Also offered are pathology, echo cardiograms, womens' health clinics, chronic disease management, drug and alcohol support services, welfare support services, health promotion programmes, diabetes education, speech pathology, massage therapy and the Transport Connections programme. After-hours emergency arrangements are also in place.
The clinic has been successful in obtaining $3.33 million in Health and Hospital Funds (HHF) to expand the clinic to include a hydrotherapy pool, rehabilitation gymnasium and additional rooms for more GP's, practice nurses, allied health practitioner and students. Top of page
Health promotion has become an increased focus of the Ballan GP Super Clinic over the past 12 months with preventive programmes being run (and continuing to be run) as outlined below:
- Healthy Eating Groups (HEGs) Dietician run, clients referred by GPs and other allied health workers or self referral.
- Well for Life which includes physiotherapists, a dietitian and occupational therapists working together to develop and deliver strength training programmes to specific populations (over 65's, over 75's, people with high BMI's)
- Grow Your Way to Health initiative integrated programme with clients identified by GPs and allied health professionals to participate in the development of a community garden and healthy eating programme;
- Make a Move is a 12 week lifestyle modification programme involving exercise participation and healthy eating education. The programme is run by a range of allied health professionals (dietitian, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist) and aims to educate participants on the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.
- Walking Groups have been established and commence from the Ballan GP Super Clinic (start point) with community members being trained as 'walk group coordinators'
- Spoonful of Sugar is a programme developed by dietitians and targeted at primary school aged children (6-12 years) and their parents. The programme is conducted in schools by GP Super Clinic staff and aims to educate children and their parents on reading food labels and identifying healthy alternatives to 'junk' food.
A $566,000 Healthy Communities grant provided by the Commonwealth Government (in partnership with Morrabool Shire and neighbouring health service) has allowed the delivery of outreach preventative care to outlying towns.
A number of preventive Mental Health programmes have also been developed and continue to run, such as stress management, meditation groups, and parenting and family wellbeing groups. Top of page
Health needs and priorities
The Ballan population is approx. 9,000 in a generally low socio-economic demographic, spread across one main township (Ballan) and a number of smaller isolated rural communities.
A significant proportion of the population commutes to the larger centres of Ballarat and Melbourne for work, study and recreational purposes. The expected growth rate in the area is 19% to 2021, reflecting its increasing role as a commuter township into the future.
In response to community identified need (incl. key priority areas of diabetes, mental health and cardiovascular disease), the clinic has developed and now delivers the following services:
- Consultations by male and female GPs
- after hours services
- mental health services, including general psychology and clinical psychology
- health promotion activities
- chronic disease specific services incl. diabetes initiatives
- healthy lifestyle clinics
- healthy eating promotion
- mens' health
- cardiovascular clinics
- dental services and
- exercise prescriptions, which refer patients to exercise programmes.
Ballan GP Super Clinic is fully accredited with the Australian Council of Health Care Standards Program (EQUIP) and the Aged Care Standards Agency; and the Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL). Top of page
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8:30pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm.
After hours care (outside of GP Super Clinic opening hours) is provided by GPs through participation in an on call system. The on call system works in conjunction with the co-located Bush Nursing Hospital.
The Ballan GP Super Clinic, known as "Ballan Centre for Community Health" provides the majority of its health services free or bulk billed. For those health professionals who charge a fee, discounts are available for healthcare concession card holders.
Home visits and visits to residential aged care facilities
A range of medical and allied health services are provided to aged care facilities and to patients in their homes within Ballan and District.
The clinic is integrated with existing services offered by Ballan District Health & Care, a not-for-profit organisation, which includes a 7 bed private acute hospital, 2 bed Emergency Stabilisation Unit, a 52 bed high and low care residential aged care facility and a 10 bed dementia unit. Top of page
Clinical training arrangements
The Ballan GP Super Clinic supports training of the next generation of GPs, nurses and allied health professionals. Since commencing operations, Ballan District Health & Care has committed to an increased number of students from a variety of disciplines including general practice, psychology, podiatry and physiotherapy. The training placements have been undertaken in consultation with Deakin and Ballarat Universities.
There are formal arrangements in place with Deakin University to provide teaching and clinical supervision for post graduate medical students on a 5 week rotation for 25 weeks of the year. In the second half of the year the clinic provides placements for final year Melbourne University students and the clinic hosts a John Flynn rural health school placement (first or second year students).
Nursing students have 4 weekly rotations through the GP Super Clinic where clinical placement includes time spent with practice nurses, community health nurses and chronic disease nurses. These students attend through arrangements with the University of Ballarat.
Allied health students attend from the University of Ballarat and the La Trobe Rural Health school or Monash University and a John Flynn rural health school placement. In the past 12 months the clinic has hosted students from the following disciplines: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, podiatry, public health and health promotion.