EARLY analysis of the feedback being received for the Bathurst hospital's clinical services plan has highlighted key areas the health service has to improve on.
The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has been working on the plan and has reached out to the community, as well as staff, to identify future needs.
Planning and services development manager Maryanne Mitchell said several themes were emerging from consultation, the deadline for which has been extended.
"There's still more [consultation] to go and we've got a lot of analysis work to do to go through all this information, but early themes are around how do we better integrate care, so between the hospital, the community, general practice and other health service providers, that was quite strong," she said.
"Obviously access to some types of services has come up, whether that's an MRI, orthopedics or other services like that."
Ms Mitchell said there was also a call to improve access to mental health services, support for children with disabilities, and education, care and support for chronic diseases.
"There's also been a theme around trying to keep people well in the community, recognising that we can do a lot of work, and not just the hospital," she said.
"Lots of people have a role in trying to have a well, healthy community. We've had really good engagement with council, the university and some of the other players talking around how to keep people well."
The clinical services plan being devised was not triggered by anything in particular, with it common practice for hospitals to assess its delivery of services.
Bathurst Health Service last completed a clinical services plan around five years ago and the general manager of the hospital, Cathy Marshall, said the outcomes of that plan had been met.
"We looked at our previous clinical services plan and found that we had basically met all the actions that were recommended, and so it was really time to look at what the next 10 years was going to look like for Bathurst," she said.
"Also, we've got the growing population and the aging population, but we've also got a number of kids here as well, which is unusual for a regional and rural area.
"So we really do need to look at what services we provide in the next 10 years and, not just in the facility, but in the community as well."
Members of the community who would like to contribute feedback on health services are invited to take the online survey.
To submit your feedback, follow this link.
During the federal election campaign, there were claims that funding had been cut to hospitals in Calare in recent years.
Ms Marshall said this wasn't the case and that Bathurst's hospital had actually seen an increase in funding. She held no concerns for funding in the future.