Camperdown and district residents will now have extra health services on their doorstep, thanks to a new South West Healthcare initiative.
Under the initiative, both the Camperdown hospital and Manifold Place will offer extra allied health services.
Allied health manager David Meade said the two organisations would now offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietetics, podiatry and social work services.
Mr Meade said the increase in service delivery was in response to a growing demand, particularly for clients aged over 65 years.
“Manifold Place already provides some of the services, but historically, people tended to travel to Warrnambool to access them,” he said.
“Now we are able to provide them locally, it’s a great coup for the town.
“South West Healthcare was hopeful of gaining government funding for the program, but failing that, has decided to use its own internal funding to get the project off the ground.
“It’s hoped that once the service is up and running, the usage levels and demonstrated need will attract funding in future years.”
Camperdown hospital manager Rod Jubb said the increase in allied health services was “a huge win” for the community.
“Not only will it mean extra services for locals, it provides a way for Manifold Place and the Camperdown hospital to work more closely together,” he said.
“It should improve referral pathways.
“It should also mean people can stay in their own homes longer, because there is extra support available locally.”
Manifold Place manager Rebecca Van Wollingen welcomed the increase in services.
“While we do provide some of the services already, we still can’t meet the level of need,” she said.
Ms Van Wollingen said the service provision would not overlap.
“People in hospital, for example, would probably require a higher level of care than those coming to Manifold Place.”
Mr Meade said the increased level of allied services had been three years in the making.
“We’re very excited to be rolling it out and hope to have all the services up and running by Christmas,” he said.