Families can now access a General Practitioner service at Morwell Central Primary School

Having a General Practitioner (GP) on site helps ensure that families in Morwell have access to a full suite of wrap-around health and wellbeing supports, all in the one convenient location.

The need

After consulting with the Morwell community and assessing the data, the Our Place Morwell Site Partnership Group (SPG) identified a priority area of attracting health and wellbeing services to be delivered on site and have worked collaboratively to achieve this.

As a starting point in addressing this priority, the SPG worked together to enable the Maternal Child and Health (MCH) Services and a Paediatrician to practise on site. After succeeding in this, the next focus of the SPG was expanding families access to health and wellbeing services, which involved exploring and navigating opportunities to enable an outreach GP service delivered on site.

The SPG worked together and supported Our Place to plan for, meet with and engage with a local GP clinic that aligned with the site’s philosophies and approach. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing were especially helpful, with an important introduction to the Gippsland Primary Health Network. From here, work began on the logistics of bringing the GP service on site.

With the help of a grant from the Kindred Spirits Foundation, Our Place was able to meet the establishment costs of the GP clinic. Currently, the GP service is delivered on site one day per month and has 12 appointment slots available for families, with 100% of appointments being filled in the first month.

Benefits to families

Having a GP on site compliments the current on site health services available and provides many benefits to families. 

Families attending Morwell Central Primary School and Goodstart Morwell Central can attend appointments with a GP that is bulk billed and allows for a longer appointment time than is typically provided (15mins instead of 6mins). If needed, families will also be referred to the on site paediatrician, ensuring that these additional appointments will remain in the one, easily accessible location.

Our Place has also collaborated with the GP clinic, Morwell Central Primary School and Goodstart Morwell Central to develop an integrated booking system that makes it easy for families to make appointments. Families can simply phone the school or Goodstart to make an appointment, and Our Place liaises with the GP clinic each week to inform them of appointments made. When families arrive for their first appointment, the Our Place team are there to support with wayfinding and, when needed, can help families to complete the required GP clinic patient intake form.

As the on site GP also has a clinic in Morwell, families can also attend appointments outside of Morwell Central with the same GP, should they need an appointment on a day that is not available on site.

How this aligns with the Our Place Approach

Our Place has strategically arranged for the GP to be on site, the same day as the paediatrician and the MCH service. This helps to ensure that families can be warmly referred to each service. An example of this may be the GP walking a family up to the paediatricians consulting room and introducing the family to the paediatrician they are about to refer to. This warm referral approach is core to the Our Place approach and helps to ensure that families feel supported and confident in the services they are being referred to.

Having universal core services co-located on site also allows for collaboration between practitioners. This collaboration enhances family centred approaches and reduces the amount of times families need to share their story with services. Collaboration also helps families access and receive services in a coordinated, efficient, and effective way. This initiative is an example of the Our Place Element of Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services in action. Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services is one of the five evidenced-based elements that are central to the Our Place approach, which you can read more about here.