Category Archives: Community

Farewell Barbara Moore …

Sadly, Barbara Moore the founding president of the Bellinger Health Action Group died last week at the Bellinger River District Hospital.

Barb was a woman of many talents.  She was a prolific baker, a legendary propagator,
a champion of native flora and a supremely efficient organiser.

We will remember her for her energy and dedication, for her obsessive attention to detail and for her ability to scare the daylights out of politicians and senior government officials in order to obtain the best outcome for our community.

Barb, you will be missed …

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Let’s keep up the pressure!

Meeting at St Andrews HallThe community meeting at St. Andrew’s Hall on 03 June was a great success with around 40 people attending. 

Several weeks ago Dr Andrew Heslop released details of the VMO issue to the public and the media via Facebook and various other media platforms.  The good news is that the resulting social media storm appears to have pressured the MNCLHD into engaging more co-operatively with the VMOs.  

The MNCLHD has now agreed to flexible contracts, is meeting with local doctors who have expressed interest in working at the hospital, and is in discussion with the Agency for Clinical Innovation  who’s stated mission is to “bring patients, clinicians and managers together to support the design and implementation of innovation in health care”

There was another VMO meeting last Wednesday and the first of a series of planned get togethers with prospective VMOs that evening.  Dr. Heslop hopes to have positive news for us within a couple of weeks. 

13 meeting attendees volunteered to be on standby in case the MNCLHD does not resolve the VMO shortage situation satisfactorily and the community needs to take further action via the media, and by writing to our elected representatives.  

This is all progress in the right direction.  However, this does not mean that the proposal to close the ED after hours has been withdrawn, and we need to keep up the pressure.

In the meantime, you can still sign the Getup petition by following this link:
Getup Petition

Let’s keep up the pressure!

Community Meeting – Thursday 03 June 2021

BHAG Community Meeting 2021

For nearly 9 months the Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) and the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) have been in discussion in relation to staffing issues at the Bellinger River District Hospital.

We first flagged this issue in September 2020 in a previous post and media release …

Threat to Emergency Department hours ?

Several weeks ago Dr Andrew Heslop released details of the VMO issue to the public and the media via Facebook and various other media platforms.  A copy of his statement is attached below in case you missed it. The resulting social media storm has had the desired effect and appears to have pressured the MNCLHD into engaging more co-operatively with the VMOs.  

The MNCLHD has now agreed to flexible contracts, is meeting with local doctors who have expressed interest in working at the hospital, and is in discussion with the Agency for Clinical Innovation.  There is another VMO meeting scheduled for this Wednesday morning, and a get together with prospective VMOs on Wednesday evening, and this is all progress in the right direction.  However, this does not mean that the proposal to close the ED after hours has been withdrawn.

We encourage you to attend the community update and discussion on Thursday 03 June at 6:00pm at St. Andrew’s Church Hall in Hyde Street, Bellingen. The hall is the building fronting Hyde Street, entrance will be via the side door.

Note: we will be operating a COVID-Safe environment and will ask you to either sign-in manually, or use the QR code provided . Seating will be 2 metres apart.

If you cannot attend the meeting, and would like to be kept updated, you can either subscribe to our website, or email us at bellohospitalrescue@gmail.com

View Dr. Andrew Heslop’s statement here

Bellingen Hospital Again under Threat

Hospital Parking & Access Roads Upgrade project

Parking facilities at the hospital are currently undergoing a substantial, multi-million dollar upgrade which is scheduled to finish late in September 2020. The works will provide the hospital with 52 additional car park spaces, and 8 accessible parking spaces, improve the traffic and pedestrian flow and improve staff and patient safety.

The Hartley House Car Park has been re-designed and re-paved, resulting in additional parking spaces for visitors and staff.  The Main Car Park and “Tennis Court” car park are being brought to the same level and merged, resulting in a further increase in parking spaces (and a wonderful view of the mountains).  The roundabout, which prevented large vehicles from entering the hospital has been removed, and the access road will be re-paved.  Several new walkways have been constructed allowing easier inter-building access.

BHAG was pleased to have been invited to participate in the planning process by MNCLHD.
As a result we have been able to work co-operatively with the hospital and the earthworks company AJ Civil Projects throughout the project.

In addition to the earthworks, weed trees have been removed, wood much has been made available to the volunteer gardeners, several mature Elkhorn and Staghorn ferns have been relocated to the Hewitt Arboretum, the entrance to the arboretum has been cleared and mulched, and the time capsule which was located in the old roundabout has been preserved for later installation at the entrance to the main hospital building.

BHAG looks forward to continued co-operation with the Mid North Coast Local Health District on future upgrading and improvements to the Bellinger River District Hospital.

The Patient Wellness Garden

On Wednesday 15th June 2016, twelve months of hard work by the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners was recognised at the official opening ceremony of the Patient Wellness Garden.

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

The ceremony was attended by MNCLHD senior management, Bellingen Council, the Lions Club, members of the Gumbaynggirr community, BHAG Volunteer Gardeners, the Pink Ladies Auxiliary, the Foster Family, hospital staff and numerous other community organisations and individuals who had all played a part in bringing the PWG project to its successful conclusion.

You can read the full story and see more photos by following this link to the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners website:   Patient Wellness Garden Opening Ceremony