Bendigo Health Strategic Plan 2013-2018

Bendigo Health

Strategic Plan 2013-2018

Healthy Communities and 
World Class Healthcare


We are delighted to present the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan for Bendigo Health.


We are proud of what we have achieved at Bendigo Health in recent years.

We are proud of what our staff and organisation have achieved at Bendigo Health in recent years. Our team has worked hard to build a good, solid performing organisation. Now is the time to look forward and complete our transformation to a sophisticated, patient centred, world-class regional health service.

This five-year strategic plan is the roadmap for our journey, going from good to great, and is the culmination of months of consultation, research and planning by the team at Bendigo Health. We have a clear vision - Healthy Communities and World Class Healthcare. We know that we will achieve that by empowering people and working together and along the way we will be guided by our values - Caring, Passionate and Trustworthy. Our staff own this plan and will use it to deliver our goals and objectives in a way that is meaningful to them, their working environment and their patients. The next five years will be an exciting time with the new Bendigo Hospital coming to life, and transforming the way healthcare is delivered to our patients and community.

We understand our community and our needs. We have clear goals, objectives and measurable outcomes that tell us how we are going to achieve our vision and stay on track. One of the great achievements of this strategic plan is the clarity with which we can now measure our success. We know that having clear, outcome based targets linked to our goals and objectives is critical to our ability to achieve our vision. It was a challenge, but we are proud to have developed a set of concise, meaningful targets to measure our performance. With all of this to support us, Bendigo Health will continue its evolution into one of Australia's best regional health services.

We hope that you find the strategic plan interesting and informative. Bendigo Health believes the strategic plan is a living document and we invite all our partners, community members and stakeholders to get involved and work together across our region to create Healthy Communities and World Class Healthcare.

profile Langdon

Dr Michael Langdon
Chair, Board of Directors

profile Mulder

John Mulder
Chief Executive Officer

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Planning at Bendigo Health

Bendigo Health is on an important journey - from good to great.

This five year strategic plan is the culmination of months of consultation, research and planning by the team at Bendigo Health. It began when we set a new vision and role for Bendigo Health that moves us from providing good, reliable healthcare to becoming a great organisation that plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of the entire community.

We know that Bendigo Health is strengthened by a team that works together towards its vision. So by planning together we worked to understand:

  • the internal and external strategic challenges and opportunities,
  • the needs of our community,
  • the current service profile (and any gaps),
  • the policy context, in particular the Australian Health Reform Agenda and the Victorian State Government priorities for the improvement of the health system, and
  • the values that guide us on this journey.

The team used this information to identify our strategic priorities and ultimately to develop a clear set of goals, objectives and targets that will guide activity towards our vision over the next five years.

The plan will be used throughout the organisation. It will cascade into annual Divisional and Department Business Plans which in turn inform individual work plans and performance indicators. It will also be the yardstick for measuring the success and achievements of our organisation. Bendigo Health will make sure that
everyone in the organisation and our community knows where we are going, what it will take to get us there and the critical role that each of us will play in reaching our goals.

Strategic Plan (Level 1)
5-year Vision, Role, Goals, Objectives and Outcomes
Divisional Plans (Level 2)
Business plans and targets.
Departmental Plans (Level 3)
Business plans and targets.
Position Descriptions (Level 4)
General roles and responsibilities for individuals.
Performance review and development (Level 5)
Annual work-plans and accountabilities for assessing individual performance.


About us

Our connection to the community.

With more than 3,400 staff and 280 volunteers working across a vast geographic region, we provide a full range of services including emergency, maternity, women's health, medical imaging, pathology, rehabilitation, community services, residential aged care, psychiatric care, community dental, hospice/palliative care, cardiology, cancer services and renal dialysis to people in the Loddon Mallee region and beyond.

In an average year Bendigo Health:

  • treats over 41,000 inpatients,
  • delivers over 200,000 services to outpatients,
  • performs over 10,000 surgical procedures,
  • triages more than 45,300 emergency attendances, and
  • welcomes over 1,100 new born babies.

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Who we are

Who we are

The Working As One

Strategic Plan: 2008-2013

In the past five years Bendigo Health has worked hard to be counted among the top healthcare performers in the state.

In 2008 Bendigo Health launched and began to implement the Working as One five-year Strategic Plan. This plan recognised the critical aspect of team work as the key to delivering high quality services. It also sought to develop integrated systems throughout the organisation and with other healthcare providers. The plan worked across seven themes: Enhancing Services, Enabling People, Achieving Sustainability, Building Leadership, Strengthening Partnerships, Improving Quality and Supporting Education and Research. While Bendigo Health achieved a lot in those five years we are particularly proud of the following outcomes. We:

  • Are now counted amongst the top 25% of major Victorian health services with regards to government performance indicators,
  • Secured state government investment in building the New Bendigo Hospital.
  • Established the new 10 bed Bendigo Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) facility commenced operation in early 2013.
  • Opened the Short Stay Observation Unit (SSOU) in the Emergency Department.
  • Developed new services including; a new 23 hour Surgical Unit, and a Residential In-Reach Program.
  • Implemented a new organisation development framework to support staff and build a stronger culture. This included launching a management and leadership development program - Great Manager, Great Results.
  • Launched Quality Awards to highlight the great work in quality improvement happening across Bendigo Health.
  • Improved patient services and amenities with major refurbishments at some of our facilities.
  • Signed a new collaborative agreement with the Bendigo District Aboriginal Co-operative to improve the recognition and identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and clients.
  • Increased our connection, communication and profile with the general community. We established great links with our local media, had great success with the Bendigo Fun Run and continued to grow our volunteer base.
  • Established the Bendigo Health Foundation to fund clinical research, specialist medical equipment, nursing scholarships and projects that improve patient care.

Our community

We know our community.

At Bendigo Health, our community is our patients, their families and carers, staff, volunteers, partners and the general public who interact with Bendigo Health. Our community enjoys living in a beautiful rural setting with access to a range of experiences and public services.

Bendigo Health provides services to the entire Loddon Mallee region - a geographic community a quarter of the size of Victoria. While the main campuses are based in Bendigo, many of our services are delivered in areas such as Mildura, Echuca, Swan Hill, Kyneton and Castlemaine. As the community's needs change, Bendigo Health continues to evolve to meet them.

Our Loddon Mallee community:

  • population is growing quickly, ageing and our people are moving out of rural towns into regional centres,
  • is made up of people from all walks of life, with different social and economic backgrounds. (The rural areas in our region generally have lower rates of education, income and healthy living compared with other Victorian's),
  • has higher than average rates of chronic disease, alcohol consumption, asthma, mental illness, poor oral health and obesity,
  • has the highest proportion of Indigenous Australians in Victoria,
  • experiences above average birth rates in regional centres (Echuca, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Swan Hill), and
  • is spread out geographically and in some cases is extremely isolated.
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Our challenges

and opportunities

At Bendigo Health we respond to challenges together with new ways of thinking and acting.

We know that it is going to be tough to achieve everything we are aiming for in the next five years. We understand the challenges we face and have a plan to turn them into opportunities. In the next five years we face some of the following opportunities.

Increasing expectations: Bendigo Health will innovate to ensure that the community continues to receive the treatment it needs and expects. We will improve the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of our healthcare services through greater and smarter use of technology, working with our partners to deliver integrated services and empowering our community to take a more active role in their health and wellbeing. The construction of the new Bendigo Hospital will provide a world class facility allowing us to continue to meet and exceed community expectations in our health care delivery.

Workforce challenges: A shortage of GPs, specialists, allied health, mental health staff and dentists in the Loddon Mallee region, will place Bendigo Health under increasing pressure. We will improve our staff engagement and workforce planning to help meet this challenge and invest heavily in lifelong learning, education and research; making Bendigo Health a destination workplace that boosts the skills and capacity of the healthcare workforce across the entire region.

A changing community with changing needs: We are working with a growing, ageing and significantly 'at risk' community that has increasingly high expectations of their healthcare providers. While we will work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services, we have the opportunity to redefine our relationship with the community and their expectations of their healthcare providers. We will ensure service continues to be provided with a minimal disruption during the new Bendigo Hospital construction.

These challenges provide us with the following opportunities within our strategic and business plans.

  1. Increasing our research capacity.
  2. Smarter use of technology.
  3. Improved staff engagement and workforce planning.
  4. Better health promotion.
  5. Investing in life long learning and education.
Our vision

Our vision

Our vision / Where we are going

Healthy communities and

world class healthcare

Healthy communities take care of themselves and each other.

The people who are living in a healthy community are informed and actively involved in their own care. They value the idea of being healthy, they know the options that are available to them and they access the services they need to stay as healthy as they can be.

Their approach to their health means they are less likely to need a hospital stay, often recover more quickly and spend
more time contributing to a healthy community.

The staff and volunteers at Bendigo Health are active members of this healthy community.

A world class healthcare system connects service planning and delivery of primary, acute and tertiary care with the needs of the community. We will do this by ensuring people receive the highest quality and safest medical care, health advice and support available when they need it.

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Our role / What we will do to get there

Empowering people

and working together

The people we empower form the community around Bendigo Health. They include the staff and volunteers within  the organisation, patients with their families and carers, our partners and the general public who interact with Bendigo Health.

We acknowledge the valuable and different role each of them has in contributing to the health of our community and in creating world class healthcare.

We encourage, support and enable them to work together in pursuit of our vision.


Our values / How we behave on the journey 

Caring, Passionate

and Trustworthy

We care for our community.

We care for each other. We are respectful of each other and value our differences. We are considerate and show each other that we care.

We are proud of each other, the role that we play in the community and the caring tradition that we are part of.

We make sure that we have the skills to do our work and we help each other to be our best. We know that we do our best when we work collaboratively with our community. We are patient with each other because we know that change takes dedication and time.

We are passionate about doing our best.

We love what we do. That drives us to look for the best ways to support, inform and improve the things we do. We are focused and resourceful. We find innovative and efficient solutions to challenges and opportunities.

We inspire others with our enthusiasm. We are dedicated to helping others and giving the best help in any situation. We connect the different parts of our community to the information and services that they need.

We are open, honest and respectful.

We follow through on our promises with care and accuracy. We can be relied upon and trusted. We do the right thing.

We work as a team. We listen to our community. We explain clearly why we have made our decisions. We make sure that it is safe for everyone at work to speak openly and try things differently. If mistakes are made, we know that we will be supported to take responsibility and look for a solution.

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Our goals, objectives and outcomes

Our goals, objectives and outcomes

Goal 1

Support our patients, residents, families and communities to take care of themselves and each other

Our staff ensure that our patients, residents, families and community are provided with the knowledge, skills and connections they need to become active participants in their own care and contributors to building a healthy community.

Objective 1.1

Educate, inform and empower our community to take control of their health and their health care.

Many of the health challenges faced by the Bendigo Health community are preventable, or can be effectively selfmanaged (with support, information and advice) to minimise the impact on healthy living. Effective prevention and management of illnesses in the community will not only reduce demand on healthcare services but will also improve the wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and families in the community. Bendigo Health will work with our partners to provide the community with the information, education and advice that people need to make informed health and lifestyle decisions.

Our priorities include:

  • prevention of obesity,
  • prevention of diabetes,
  • promotion of healthy ageing,
  • improved oral health, and
  • prevention of drug and alcohol abuse.
  1. Ensure a collaborative planning and governance process to guide the development of a ‘plan of action’ by January 2014.
  2. Ensure a high level of consumer engagement in all health promotion planning and governance.
  3. By January 2015 all people presenting to Bendigo Health with lifestyle related chronic disease receive relevant advice and education.

Objective 1.2

Deliver best practice person-centred care.

Person-centered practice is treatment and care provided by a health service that places the person at the centre of their own care and considers the needs of the person's carers. It has a positive impact on patients and staff by improving the patient experience, health outcomes, and healthcare workers' sense of professional worth. Bendigo Health will benchmark and continually improve its person-centred care as a critical step in becoming a world class healthcare provider.

Our priorities include:

  • greater consumer participation,
  • greater ability to meet the needs of our culturally, socially and economically diverse community,
  • improved e-health and telehealth practices (including remote patient monitoring),
  • greater use of advance care planning, and
  • more effective Aboriginal health services.
  1. Bendigo Health’s person centered care is benchmarked annually.
  2. Consumer representation on all relevant health service committees.
  3. 75% clinicians trained in person centered care by June 2018.


check noThe establishment of a whole of community health promotion entity for the Bendigo LGA by 2018.

check noA total increase of 5% points for the key Person Centre Care indicators, from the 2014 baseline to 2018

check no50% of eligible patients have an advance care plan by 2018.

check noPositive Patient Experience (as measured by VHES) consistenly exceeds 95% each quarter by 2018.

Goal 2

Empower our staff and volunteers to care for our community

Our staff and volunteers are supported and inspired to learn and develop together. They have the autonomy to design and deliver high quality services and programs that best meet the needs of the community.

Objective 2.1

Build a high performing workforce.

A high performing workforce has clear roles and responsibilities, complementary talents and skills, demonstrates high levels of collaboration and innovation, is committed to the vision and values of the organisation and ultimately produces exceptional results. At Bendigo Health leadership and decision making will be shared throughout the organisation and not just vested in specific individuals. We will invest time and resources in our staff and volunteers to build a high performing workforce.

Our priorities include:

  • greater staff and volunteer engagement and support,
  • increased investment in and development of the future workforce,
  • better use of business intelligence, and
  • increased investment in eLearning.
  1. Development of a workforce engagement strategy by June 2014.
  2. 95% of eligible employees undergo a performance review annually.
  3. Development of a workforce planning strategy by June 2014.

Objective 2.2

Deliver a world class healthcare experience.

A world class healthcare experience considers the totality of a patient’s experience. It includes; the physical environment, the processes and practices of providing care, the diagnostic, treatment and other technologies used, the adequacy, expertise and morale of the staff, and the culture of the organisation. Bendigo Health will work across all of these areas in order to provide patients with the best possible care and experience.

Our priorities include:

  • developing improved models of care,
  • building and opening the new Bendigo Hospital, and
  • implementing the use of Electronic Medical Records.
  1. New Bendigo Hospital redevelopment project (Stages 1& 2) completed by June 2018.
  2. Level 5 electronic medical record implemented by 2017
  3. Unified communications implemented by 2017.
  4. ICT infrastructure plan developed by 2015.
  5. Models of care incorporate long term planning to ensure services can be effectively delivered throughout the Loddon Mallee region in the context of evolving community needs.


check no20% improvement in staff engagement by 2018.

check no25% increase in attendance in the Great Manager, Great Results program over the remaining 4 years of the strategic plan (700 attendances at GMGR in 2017/18).

check no25% increase in attendances in the staff development program over the remaining 4 years of the strategic plan (666 attendances at staff development program in 2017/18).

check no40% increase in access and completion of BH e-learning modules (18,200 completions in 2017/18).

Goal 3

Work with our partners to connect our services

We plan together, care for patients together and learn together. We openly share our knowledge and resources to ensure we all work to our strengths and provide consistent advice and care. As one of the largest healthcare providers in the region we often enjoy the challenges of taking a leadership role and embrace the opportunity this provides to further develop the health of our community.

Objective 3.1

Support the development of a highly integrated health system across the Loddon Mallee region.

A highly integrated health system is coordinated, sustainable, efficient and effective. It ensures that more patients receive the care they need when they need it. Bendigo Health will support the development of this integrated system by working with our partners to develop shared service models and implement regional workforce planning to help the region meet the rapidly growing demand.

Our priorities include:

  • connected sub-acute and community services,
  • responsive psychiatric services,
  • supportive maternity services,
  • effective procedural services,
  • supportive consulting services,
  • complementary corporate services,
  • effective regional workforce planning, and
  • integrated regional information and communication technologies (ICT) governance
  1. Bendigo Health understands its partners needs in relation to shared services and builds models to meet those needs.
  2. Bendigo Health launches one new shared service model annually.
  3. An integrated regional health service plan is developed by 2018.
  4. Bendigo Health provides leadership to the Regional Sustainable Hospitals project by 2014.


check no 1% decrease in cost per occasion of service across the Loddon Mallee by 2018.

Goal 4

Operate safely and sustainably

We operate efficiently, effectively and safely. We understand that we are working with a growing community and proactively plan to ensure we can deliver high quality services within our means. We use technology and innovation to maximise our finite resources and to guarantee patient safety. We embed environmental considerations into our decision-making and seek to minimise the impact we have on the planet. We invest wisely and plan in consultation with our partners and community.

Objective 4.1

Continuously improve the quality and safety of our services.

Quality and safety of health care are paramount at Bendigo Health. We define quality as the extent to which our service achieves the desired outcome - we look at the effectiveness, appropriateness, accessibility, efficiency and responsiveness of our services. We define safety as the degree to which potential risk and unintended results are avoided or minimised. Bendigo Health will establish a set of safety and quality measures for each division and
department that must be met or exceeded annually.

Our priorities include:

  • Improving safety (medication management, patient identification, clinical handover and
  • deteriorating patients)
  • Appropriate investment in, and development of, health informatics
  • Improved access to, and use of, data
  1. All Divisional and Departmental teams have  safety and quality measures that are met or exceeded annually.
  2. 100% of Tier 1-3 managers are enrolled in the Great Manager, Great Results program within 12 months of commencing employment.

Objective 4.2

Operate sustainably and with financial efficiency.

Bendigo Health is committed to providing world class health care in the most efficient and effective manner possible. We define sustainability as operating within our means, ensuring that we are looking after our environmental, social and financial interests in equal measure.

Our strategic priorities include:

  • Improved resource efficiency (reduced energy and water consumption)
  • Better management of physical assets
  • Efficient decision making models to incorporate financial, sustainability, patient experience and workforce considerations
  • Innovative workforce models to most efficiently meet the community needs
  • Responding to the health reform agenda
  1. Develop and implement an effective decision making model to incorporate financial, sustainability, patient experience and workforce considerations.
  2. Benchmark the carbon, energy and water footprint of Bendigo Health operations annually.
  3. Develop and begin implementation of a sustainability plan to maximise resource efficiency by TBC.


check noAchieve 1% operating surplus.

check noBendigo Health is ranked in the Top 20% of performing Health Services against their Statement of Priorities (excluding access indicators).

check noHospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) < 100 for ACC & TBH campuses as measured by Dr Foster.

check no50% increase in the conduct of Staff Safety Audits by 2018.