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Meaningful community involvement welcomed for HIV services at Alfred Health

Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Living Positive Victoria welcomes the announcement from Alfred Health that it will continue to maintain current HIV services, including Fairfield House, and that it is establishing a meaningful community consultation mechanism to be chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of Alfred Health.

In October 2013 Alfred Health announced, without any meaningful community consultation, that it planned to make major changes to HIV care which would affect long established inpatient services at Fairfield House and also outpatient services at the Alfred Hospital. Following substantial community outcry, and multiple meetings with community organisations, Alfred Health undertook a community consultation which included the publication of short pamphlet outlining their preferred options, three lively community meetings and a basic stakeholder survey.

The community consultation review committee has now published its review of the community experiences and concerns raised. This review was overseen with the involvement of committee members from Alfred Health and also Brent Allan, Executive Officer, Living Positive Victoria and Michelle Wesley, Positive Women Victoria.

Alfred Health Chief Executive Andrew Way has responded to the findings of the review by committing to maintain current HIV services, including Fairfield House, and the establishment of the HIV Services Advisory Group.

“Alfred Health is to be commended for listening to community concerns about how current health services are delivered, for withdrawing their previous proposals and for committing to meaningful community involvement in the planning of future HIV services. Our expectation is that the new advisory structure is established without delay and that, in partnership, we can work together so that Victorians living with HIV get the very best healthcare,” says Ian Muchamore, President, Living Positive Victoria.

“The experiences of the last six months have undoubtedly caused community anxiety. It may seem surprising that 30 years into the HIV epidemic we still have to fight for the voices of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to be heard in the development and delivery of health services. The PLHIV community made a strong and undeniable case for meaningful involvement and many individuals have contributed to this success. Community still matters!“

For further information please contact:
Daniel Brace, Senior Communications Officer, Living Positive Victoria – 0412 806 034