Our Heritage
WDHS was established in 1998, with the amalgamation of Hamilton Base Hospital and Penshurst & District War Memorial Hospital, now PDHS.  In 2005 Coleraine & District Health Service, CDHS amalgamated with WDHS. 

Hamilton Base Hospital and Benevolent Asylum was established in 1862.  In 1996 a major acute hospital refurbishment was completed as well as allied health, extended care and education facilities in 1999/2000.  Merino received a new facility in 2011 which complements the new $28. 5 million integrated Coleraine & District Health Service campus which opened in 2011.

Our Mission
To support our community’s physical, mental and social wellbeing by:

  • Providing high quality and innovative services;
  • Building enduring partnerships; and
  • Delivering customer service excellence.

Our Vision
Creating Australia’s healthiest rural community

Our values

IntegrityWe will be open and honest and will do the right thing for the right reason.
InnovationWe will be an industry leader by breaking new ground and improving the way things are done.
CollaborationWe will actively work together in teams and partnerships.
AccountabilityWe will take personal responsibility for our decisions and actions.
RespectWe will value all peoples’ opinions and contributions.
EmpathyWe will endeavour to understand other peoples’ feelings and perspectives.

We value:

Our Commitment to Quality
Western District Health Service has a commitment to the provision of high quality care and services and has a comprehensive quality and risk management program.  There is an expectation that all staff will participate in activities aimed at improving the care and services provided and in minimising risks to our patients, residents and staff.  All Western District Health Service services are accredited/certified by appropriate agencies and there is a robust credentialing process for medical staff.  WDHS Mission Standards also guide our practice. 

Our Services and Facilities
Western District Health Service (WDHS) is based in Hamilton, Coleraine and Penshurst, in the Western District of Victoria.  WDHS incorporates: 

Hamilton Base Hospital (HBH)
Frances Hewett Community Centre
The Birches
Grange Residential Care Services
National Centre for Farmer Health
Coleraine & District Health Service (CDHS)
Penshurst & District Health Service (PDHS)
Merino Community Health Centre 

The Birches
The Birches extended care facility is located on the HBH site off Tyers Street and provides 45 beds which includes, Dementia Specific Unit, Young Disabled, Psycho-Geriatric, Respite Services and Sub-Acute Palliative Care Services. 

Penshurst & District Health Service
The Penshurst Hospital was built in 1957 and provides acute care, residential aged accommodation and community services, and manages independent living units at Penshurst and Dunkeld. 

Coleraine & District Health Service
The Coleraine and District Hospital was opened on its present site in 1935. It provides acute care, residential aged accommodation and community services, manages independent living units in Coleraine and has a Bush Nursing Centre at Merino.  Redevelopment of Merino BNC was completed in 2011 and works at Coleraine to be completed in 2013. 

Frances Hewett Community Centre
Frances Hewett Community Centre (FHCC) was established in 1987. The centre is managed by WDHS and provides a broad range of community-based services. FHCC is located in Roberts Street, next to Hamilton Base Hospital. 

The Grange
The Grange was built as a private hospital in 1927 and became an aged care hostel in 1956. Its recent three-stage redevelopment was completed in 2002 and provides 45 beds of modern, high and low-level aged care accommodation and 20 Community Aged Care Packages.  Further redevelopment with the addition of 5 additional beds and 12 refurbished to be completed in 2012. 

National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) provides national leadership to improve the health, safety and well-being of farm men and women, farm workers, their families and communities across Australia. The Centre is a partnership between Western District Health Service and Deakin University and is based in Hamilton, Victoria. 

Southern Grampians & Glenelg Primary Care Partnership
Primary Care Partnerships (PCP) were established to facilitate primary care agencies to work together to improve health outcomes for consumers.  Ultimately PCP’s work to reduce hospital admissions by:

  • preventing ill-health
  • facilitating better access to and referral within the service system
  • supporting consumers to manage their chronic illnesses in community based settings

Primary & Preventative Health
The Primary and Preventative Health Division has been established following the integration of community services and allied health.   This aim is to reflect our evolution and function as an integrated primary health service with high patient satisfaction and reduced clinical risk the as a result of the new model of coordinated care.  The main focus of the division is to reduce duplication, enhance the coordination of care and improve linkages across care providers.   

Corporate Services
These are based at our Hamilton Campus. Corporate services include clinical risk management, communication, education and staff development, engineering, human resources, finance, information technology, logistics, mission integration, occupational health and safety and public relations.

Western District Health Service supports its employees to participate in education and training to allow staff to become the best they can be in their chosen profession.  Staff are provided with opportunities to participate in internal and external programs.

Staff Development
At WDHS we are committed to the ongoing development of all employees, recognising that they are our most valuable asset.  Through the Performance Development and Review System staff are assisted to devise a personal professional development plan.  Ongoing education and training programs, provided in-house free of charge, are available to assist all staff to maintain knowledge and skills.  Participation in relevant external professional development opportunities including conferences are also supported.  Additional education resources including self-directed learning packages, books, journals and videos are also available.  Online clinical databases can be accessed through the WDHS Intranet in each clinical area, as well as through the library.

WDHS has a comprehensive volunteer program and is fortunate to receive support from 220 registered, unpaid volunteers, who undertake tasks that greatly benefit our patients, residents and client’s right across the health service.  

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