Embedding wrap-around health and wellbeing services on site at Morwell

Our Place Morwell has partnered with Latrobe City Council to provide families with easier access to a Maternal Child Health (MCH) nurse by offering the service at the local school.  

Providing such services at the school site makes it easier for families to access the support they need. The non-stigmatising environment can also help parents, carers, and other community members feel more willing to engage with these services when they are available at the same location as the school. 

Acting as the role of the glue, Our Place Morwell has supported the Maternal Child Health (MCH) service to become embedded on site, through several strategic alignments and activities. 

After extensive consultations and data gathering during the Our Place Implementation approach, having children in the Morwell community grow up healthy and happy, became a sitewide priority. One of the ways identified to address and implement this priority involved partnering with Latrobe City Council to provide easier access to a MCH nurse by offering the service at the local school. 

Our Place met with Latrobe City Council to discuss arrangements and logistics that would enable the MCH service to operate on site. From here it was deemed mutually beneficial to both Latrobe City Council and the community to have the service operating onsite at Morwell Central Primary School, one day per fortnight.  

To assist with embedding of this service, Our Place coordinated meetings to introduce the MCH nurse to other on site services. There has been a particular focus around discussions and collaboration opportunities between MCH and the Early Learning Centre, which aims to identify and support vulnerable families to engage with the MCH service.  

The Site Practitioners Group is another initiative, designed to support on site services. This group provides the opportunity for all on site services to work towards a joined-up service delivery system and learn about each other’s working and operating needs. The MCH nurse has also been included in this group.  

Our Place have also strategically arranged for a Pediatrician to be on site, the same day. Having these two early years services co-located on site, on the same day has been very beneficial for families. It also provides an opportunity for both the Pediatrician and the MCH nurse to collaborate and cross-refer families.  

Participation within the Site Practitioners Group and having a Pediatrician and MCH nurse on site together also helps to develop and embed warm referral practises. Warm referrals are key part of engaging and retaining families in services.   

Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services is one of the five evidenced-based elements that are central to the Our Place approach. The key features of this element are: 

  • Core health services delivered through the school platform, including maternal child health and allied health and family wellbeing 
  • Additional services provided reflecting priorities and needs of the community – delivered on the school site or through established partnerships to address service gaps. 
  • Families only telling their story once and being supported to access and receive services in a coordinated, efficient and effective way 
  • Warm referral protocols in place across the site