Category Archives: New Roofs

Holy COW what’s happening with Bellingen Hospital NOW?

Maida Bugg Kevin Aitken Roofuss donation

Maida Bugg Kevin Aitken Roofuss donation

It could only happen in Bellingen. The BELLINGER HEALTH ACTION GROUP (BHAG) have been donated a Black Angus cow by Maida Bugg (Martells Rd Beef Farmer) & butchering by Kevin Aitken (Bellingen Butchery)to raise further funds towards the cost of re-roofing the leaking Bellingen Hospital roofs. Maida contacted BHAG after reading about the disgraceful state of the leaking roofs at Bellingen Hospital and offered one of her prime Black Angus cows. She has also donated the slaughter & freight costs. Kevin jumped at the opportunity to donate his services to hang, butcher and prepare 4 equal packs of meat. Yes there are 4 identical first prizes. We will commence the fundraising this week and we will draw the winning tickets in early June (exact date to be advised in May). So prepare your empty freezers for a June delivery of a quarter of a prime Black Angus Beef (estimated value of $500 fully butchered per prize).

Leonie Cooper Squires drawing the winning ticket

Leonie Cooper Squires drawing the winning ticket with BHAG Fundraiser Pauline Murphy

Due to this new donation & the amazing support for the raffle of the hand painted Silk Scarf generously donated by Leonie Cooper-Squires of Paradise Silks we will be drawing the winning ticket for the Silk Scarf this week. Thank you Leonie & to everyone who purchased tickets. The winner will be contacted & we will advise everyone in our next press release. Many thanks also to those who sold tickets for us especially Pauline Murphy who lassoed many of you as you went about your daily business.

Have you signed the Petition which is at various locations in Bellingen Urunga & Dorrigo? We have well over 1,000 signatures to date & we intend to close it after the ‘Roofuss” winners are contacted in early June.

The roofs at Bellingen Hospital have been leaking for decades with the ‘bucket brigade’ on overtime every time we have one of our regular heavy rain events.

In our recent press release we advised you that BHAG has set aside $35,000 of previously donated funds to go towards this major project. The total cost to re-roof Hewitt Block & Hartley House is $337,000 & BHAG will not part with any money until either the Mid North Coast Local Health District (Chief Executive Mr Stewart Dowrick) or the NSW State Government (via The Hon. Andrew Stoner MP) contribute to the balance. All current donations & raffle monies will be added to our promise of the $35,000. We will be installing a Thermometer in the Bellingen IGA window so that you can monitor how your generous donations are progressing. We look forward to the day when we can move the arrow up to the target amount because Mr Dowrick & or Mr Stoner have contributed the balance.

Unfortunately Mr Dowrick has not advised us that he does in fact intend to replace the roofs irrespective of where the money will come from & therefore we are forced to maintain our campaign. Thank you for supporting the re-roofing of our local Bellingen Hospital.

 

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Dear BHAG members, Friends & supporters,

Your committee has commenced a public awareness & further fundraising campaign about the leaking roofs at Bellingen Hospital. We have written to Mr Stewart Dowrick (Chief Executive of the Mid North Coast Local Health District) & The Hon. Andrew Stoner MP and cc’d Andrew Fraser MP, The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP (State Minister for Health), Luke Hartsuyker MP, Ms Kath Boman (EO/DON at Bellingen Hospital) and our Mayor Cr. Mark Troy.

Andrew Stoner & Andrew Fraser are putting some pressure on Mr Dowrick (who has not replied to any of our correspondence) however at this point in time the bureaucrats & politicians are either silent or ‘passing the buck’.

We are keeping the squeaky wheel turning with further media exposure.

In the mean time we recently held a very successful raffle raising $547 for a hand painted silk scarf donated by Leonie of Paradise Silks. Alice Lloyd (local well known identity) is the lucky winner.

We have also been donated a Black Angus cow “ROOF-FUSS” by Maida Bugg (local beef breeder) with butchering donated by Kevin Aitken (Bellingen Butchery). This is a very generous donation with 4 equal first prizes each valued at $500. This raffle will be drawn in early June. Tickets are only $1 & are available at a number of different businesses in the Shire. Garry & Chantal Howe (Bellingen Newsagency) donated the raffle books & various stationery to assist us.

Have you signed the petition that is located at various businesses in the Shire? We have well over 1,000 signatures to date & will close it in June.

$36,418.22 (currently in a term deposit) is now set aside to assist the re-roofing project. We are installing a barometer in the Bellingen IGA window so that everyone can monitor the progress of the fundraising.

Thank you to everyone who supports our local hospital.
Barbara Moore (President BHAG Inc.)7th April 2013

Recent history of the Leaking Roofs at Bellingen Hospital

Hewitt Block was built & completed in February 1977
Hartley House was built & completed in September 1978

2001: During the 2001 major flood SES volunteers attended the hospital as it was experiencing major leaks. The then CE Terry Clout with the EO at Bellingen (Vince Carroll), were unsuccessful with an insurance claim – the insurance provider stated that due to the age & naturally deteriorated state of the roofs they did not qualify. It was known by management then that the only solution was to replace the roofs. Nothing was done other than ‘silicone’ band aids.

2008 August: During a public forum, the lack of maintenance was discussed & I quote “Ongoing Maintenance: Essential infrastructure & equipment maintenance not being done. Re the latter John Tickle spoke of the OHS risk to staff & patients with beds/trolleys. Dr Little quoted a situation where a leak had been reported – no repair affected – a nurse slipped & is off on compo. In any case maintenance & repairs are not attended to in a timely fashion. Margaret Bennett’s response was “This is a challenge”.

2009: During the 2009 major flood SES volunteers once again attended

the hospital. They entered the roof ceiling cavity & identified multiple rust areas. They also observed the poor slope & design of the roof. In fact whilst they were there a phone call was put through to the CE (Chris Crawford) by a nurse on duty & on speaker phone he was heard saying that the “the Roofs needed to be replaced”. Nothing was done other than ‘silicone’ band aids.

2009 November: BHAG wrote to Chris Crawford (Chief Executive of the Area Health Service) regarding the state of infrastructure including leaking roofs & offering our services to assist. His response was unsatisfactory with the following statement that ‘…..the NCAHS determine whether the hospital’s state of repair & equipment delivers safe patient care’ implying that the hospital buildings could be deemed unsafe & the hospital closed. BHAG was incensed given the community was offering assistance.

2009 – 2013: BHAG has regularly & continuously discussed the leaking roofs problem with senior management & the current C.E. Stewart Dowrick. In the middle of last year after more than 6 months of request by BHAG they finally arranged to have a quote to re-roof both Hewitt Block & Hartley House – the quote came in at $337,000 incl. GST.

2012 Feb: Our local MP Andrew Stoner was caught off-guard during an on-site tour of the hospital gardens & grounds with a specific request by BHAG to finance re-roofing. On the 12th Sept having heard nothing from the Mid North Coast Local Health District, BHAG wrote to Andrew Stoner however all he has done is once again refer the matter back to the Local Health District – who have done nothing other than organise the quote.

2012 July: BHAG met with the C.E. & Chairman of the Board. They stated they have no money to re-roof!

2013 Feb: BHAG wrote to Andrew Stoner & Stewart Dowrick re the leaking roof matter again & advised them of the Special General Meeting (SGM) & motion to allocate funds. We requested they respond to us prior to the SGM. We received a reply from Andrew Stoner & Andrew Fraser but no response from Stewart Dowrick. We have contacted both parties again however we are still waiting for a response from Mr Dowrick.

2013 March: BHAG commenced a Petition, further fundraising & a media & public awareness campaign.
We are prepared to do whatever it takes to resolve this situation.
Barbara Moore (President BHAG Inc.) 27th March 2013

Motion to allocate raised funds towards re-roofing

HEWITT BLOCK & HARTLEY HOUSE
BELLINGER RIVER DISTRICT HOSPITAL

“to allocate $35,000.00 of the current funds held by the Bellinger Health Action Group Inc. to financially assist the Bellinger River District Hospital project to replace the roof over Hewitt Block & Hartley House subject to the Mid North Coast Local Health District & or NSW State Government committing to meet the financial balance.”

Special General Meeting

Leaking Roofs at Bellingen Hospital

For as long as I have lived in Bellingen (since 1989) the roofs at the hospital have leaked. They were probably leaking well before then!

Hewitt Block was built & completed in February 1977
Hartley House was built & completed in September 1978

2001: During the 2001 major flood SES volunteers attended the hospital as it was experiencing major leaks. The then CE Terry Clout with the EO at Bellingen (Vince Carroll), were unsuccessful with an insurance claim – the insurance provider stated that due to the age & naturally deteriorated state of the roofs they did not qualify. It was known by management then that the only solution was to replace the roofs. Nothing was done other than silicone band aids.

2008 August: During a public forum the lack of maintenance was discussed & I quote
“Ongoing Maintenance: Essential infrastructure & equipment maintenance not being done. Re the latter John Tickle spoke of the OHS risk to staff & patients with beds/trolleys. Dr Little quoted a situation where a leak had been reported – no repair affected – a nurse slipped & is off on compo. In any case maintenance & repairs are not attended to in a timely fashion. Margaret Bennett’s response was “This is a challenge”.

2009: During the 2009 major flood SES volunteers once again attended the hospital. They entered the roof ceiling cavity & identified multiple rust areas. They also observed the poor slope & design of the roof. In fact whilst they were there a phone call was put through to the CE (Chris Crawford) by a nurse on duty & on speaker phone he was heard saying that the “Roofs needed to be replaced”. Nothing was done other than silicone band aids.

2009 November: BHAG wrote to Chris Crawford regarding the state of infrastructure including leaking roofs & offering our services to assist. His response was unsatisfactory with the following statement that ‘…..the NCAHS determine whether the hospital’s state of repair & equipment delivers safe patient care’ implying that the hospital buildings could be deemed unsafe & the hospital closed. BHAG was incensed given the community was offering assistance.

2009 – 2013: BHAG has regularly & continuously discussed the leaking roofs problem with senior management & the current C.E. Stewart Dowrick. In the middle of last year after more than 6 months of BHAG harassing them they finally arranged to have a quote to re-roof both Hewitt Block & Hartley House – $337,000 incl. GST.

2012 Feb: Andrew Stoner was put on the hop with a specific request during an on-site tour to finance re-roofing. On the 12th Sept having heard nothing from the Mid North Coast Local Health District, BHAG wrote to him but he passed the buck back to the Area Health Service – who did nothing other than organise the quote.

2012 July: BHAG met with C.E. & Chairman of the Board. They stated they have no money to re-roof!

2013 Feb: BHAG wrote to Stoner & Dowrick re the roof & advised them of the Special General Meeting (SGM) & motion. We requested they respond to us prior to the SGM. We have heard from Andrew Stoner & Andrew Fraser but no response from Stewart Dowrick.

We are prepared to do whatever it takes to resolve this situation.
We have commenced a petition, public awareness campaign & further fund raising.
27th February 2013
Barbara Moore (President of BHAG Inc.)