How Virginia’s Vision and Passion Revolutionised Home care
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, providing an opportunity to highlight the contribution of the heartbeat of healthcare – our nurses!
This year’s theme is “Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. Nurses around the world have been asked to share their stories this year.
Virginia Bullock, Founder and Managing Director, Home Support Services (HSS) sure has a story to tell. Her vision and passion have revolutionised nursing in home care in Australia leaving a legacy of families and individuals who have been supported by her accomplishments.
“Nurses are undoubtedly the key to the quality of the HSS service and are undeniably the heartbeat of health care,” Virginia said.
“I began nursing at the age of 17. Time and again I saw patients in hospital who could easily, and often more comfortably, be treated from home.
“With the stress on funding, staffing and resources in the hospital system I saw a real benefit to freeing up hospital beds and allowing patients the benefits of remaining in their home environment.
“My own experiences with my father in the final days of cancer cemented my resolution to make a difference. His dying wish was to stay in the comfort of his own home.
“Despite my best efforts, without the support of the health system, he was forced to spend the last two weeks of his life in hospital. We were all devastated.”
The culmination of her experience, and her view on the inefficiencies in the existing health system, resulted in Virginia forming the initial concept for Home Nurses (now Home Support Services).
“My vision was to fundamentally change the operating model of the health system and in turn alter the mindset that sick people must be treated in hospital,” Virginia explained.
“I firmly believed health needed to move away from the hospital system as the growth in health care was far out-stripping the services that hospitals could provide.”
More than 25 years on, Virginia is still passionate about providing health care in people’s homes. HSS cares for more than 20,000 patients every year.
“If there is one more person out there who would benefit from this service, I will work my hardest to ensure they receive the care they deserve in the comfort of their own home,” she said.
“Home Support Services (HSS) is an industry leader in home health care. HSS pioneered ‘Hospital Avoidance’ programs with the commencement of ‘Hospital in Your Home’ in South Australia in 1989 and we continue to lead in providing high quality, acute community based health care to patients. We are proudly fully accredited by the Australian Council on Health Care Standards.
“Our aim is to deliver the very best health care for our customers, based on their individual needs and working closely with their family and members of their health care team.
“Our National Case Coordination Centre, located at Fullarton in Adelaide, assists us to ensure every customer is well cared for with their progress closely monitored and advice available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Australia.”
“HSS is continually working with key stakeholders in the public and private health care sector to deliver innovative programs that provide an alternative to hospitalisation or to assist with ongoing independent living and achieve the very best health and quality of life outcomes for our customers.
“The key to the quality of our service is our fully qualified and dedicated team of Registered Nurses, Allied Health staff, Personal Carers and Domestics who have a genuine commitment to providing an outstanding level of health care.
“Our staff have the ability and training to recognise the individual needs of customers and, through our unique case management system, will facilitate communication between health care providers, ensuring we provide the very best personalised care.”
The photo at the beginning of this article was taken over 20 years ago when HSS (then Home Nurses) looked very different to how it looks today, but the same values of ‘Everything for the Patient’ lives on.
SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY
International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on 12th of May to celebrate the birth anniversary of the modern nursing founder, the Florence Nightingale. Nursing is the largest health care profession in the world. International Council of Nurses celebrates this event aiming to increase public awareness about nursing and the contribution of nurses towards health care innovation.