About Great Ocean Road Health

Communities in Lorne, Apollo Bay and the Surf Coast
deserve access to high quality health care, close to home.

Over the past three years, increased collaboration and integration between Lorne Community Hospital and Otway Health have delivered better health outcomes for our communities. It has strengthened the general practices, fostered closer relationships between staff and enhanced clinical capability.

In July 2019, this natural alignment was strengthened even further. Otway Health and Lorne Community Hospital joined forces to operate under one entity, Great Ocean Road Health.

Operating as a single entity facilitates our health services to meet the growing health care needs of the community and remain financially sustainable for the future.

Great Ocean Road Health will not only retain all local hospital names, services and staffing levels, but strengthen current services and increase access to new ones. This will mean more robust, readily available health care for Lorne and Apollo Bay into the future.

Just like it was before, but better.

Lorne Community Hospital

Lorne Community Hospital was established over 50 years ago and is highly valued and respected by the local community.

The current Lorne Community Hospital was officially opened in 2006 and has been completely re-developed on its original site. It provides a modern work environment which is well equipped with current technology and equipment. A broad range of services include: Aged Residential, Acute Hospital, Emergency, Community Health, Home Nursing, Medical, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care.

Lorne Community Hospital (LCH) is located in the township of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, within one hour travel from the major centres of Geelong and Colac and 2 hours from Melbourne. Lorne is an idyllic location on the Surf Coast which boasts spectacular coastal scenery, renowned surfing spots and beautiful white sandy beaches. Lorne also boasts a spirited arts community, boutique shopping strip filled with cafes, gift stores and eateries.

The service catchment area is identified as Lorne and surrounding districts, including Aireys Inlet, Moggs Creek, Eastern View, Fairhaven, Deans Marsh and Wye River. All these communities are located within the Surf Coast Shire, except Wye River, which is part of the Colac Otway Shire.

Otway Health

The challenge of providing health care to a vast and isolated tourist location is as complex today as it was in 1952 when the Apollo Bay Hospital was established to provide acute and emergency care to Apollo Bay and surrounding townships.  The strategic aim of Otway Health remains the same almost 70 years on, “That no person should need to leave Apollo Bay for primary health care.”  This aim may seem simple to some, but with travel distances of up to 75kms on treacherous roads to reach the closest major town, services provided by Otway Health are a necessity.

In 1976 the Apollo Bay Hospital established Community Services including Community Nursing and Home & Community Care (HACC) under federal government initiatives.  Both of these services are still running today and provide a life line for many members of the community.  HACC programs (now Community Home Support Program or CHSP) help keep the elderly fit and mobile in their own homes, living amongst their friends and families.

With a vision to the future, Otway Health opened the Laura Pengilley Aged Care Wing of the hospital in 1991, the result of community and government consultation and support.  Residential aged care is provided in accordance with Montessori principles to maximise ongoing independence and optimise resident choices.  With 25 flexible beds used for residential aged care to provide much needed respite, as well as an extensive health and activities program, it’s a regularly accessed community asset.

Otway Health’s aim to secure health care for the region saw it adopt the Commonwealth-State Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) model in 1995.  The aim of the MPS is to improve provision of services in small rural and remote areas by simplifying funding and accountability mechanisms.

Otway Health is a multi-purpose health service, based in Apollo Bay, South West Victoria.  Apollo Bay is defined as “rural and remote”, with a population of 3,500 that live in a catchment area of 1,012 Km2.  Otway Health’s mission is to “enable people in our region to optimise their wellbeing through providing access to health and community services”.  To do this, Otway Health provides key program areas of Community Services, Clinical Services, Aged Care and Respite and Corporate Services.  Services offered by Otway Health include:  Acute Care, Residential Aged Care, Community Nursing, Home & Community Care, Childcare, Physiotherapy, Youth Services and Counselling Services.