NSLHD News 05 April 2024


Main story Short blurb ACACIA Launches for Northern Sydney Local Health District ACACIA has officially opened its doors Page 3 Read more on Page x

Hornsby Hospital’s water recycling initiative Page 5

AYAH is a finalist for Industry choice awards Page 6


Message from the chief executive Adjunct Professor Anthony M. Schembri AM

I hope you were able to have some time over the long weekend to catch up with family and friends and enjoy a well-earned break. To those of you who were working over the holiday period a big thank you for continuing to provide the very best care to our patients and community. I am pleased to be able to share some exciting updates and commendations that highlight the incredible work and dedication of staff across our district. The NSW Bureau of Health Information recently released results from the Emergency Department Patient Survey 2022–23. The district’s three emergency departments at Ryde, Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals all performed very well and received some wonderful feedback as part of the survey. The feedback received reflects the high level of emergency care we provide to our communities, and I would like to commend each ED on their efforts. In other wonderful achievements, I would like to congratulate Royal North Shore Hospital for ranking third in Australia and 150th globally in Newsweek’s ‘World’s Best Hospitals 2023’ rankings. This a true testament to the wonderful staff members, volunteers and community members that help make Royal North Shore Hospital and all our hospitals a great place to receive care. I was also delighted to see the AYAH (Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice) has been recognised as a finalist for the Industry Choice Award, presented by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. These national awards recognise excellence in major infrastructure projects and shines a light on this wonderful facility for our patients and their families and carers. The

winner be decided by popular vote which is open until 10 April see here: https://www. surveymonkey.com/r/LWT7RWX NSLHD has also won a Bronze Award at the 2024 Australian Pride in Health and Wellbeing Awards, measured through the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). This important event recognises the achievements in LGBTQ+ inclusion across the health, wellbeing, human services, and community care sector. It is wonderful to see our commitment to diversity and social inclusion at NSLHD recognised with this award. It has been a great privilege to host our own Awards recently at the 2023 Exceptional People Awards which was a further way we recognise and celebrate the dedication and efforts of every member of our team that truly makes NSLHD stand out. Finally, I recently attended the NSLHD Planetary Showcase, where we launched the NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2024- 2027. It was a great event which enabled us to highlight the fantastic work being done across our district as we strive towards our goal of Net Zero by 2035. I would like to thank everyone who took part in the showcase and to those who provided valuable input into the new framework. Warm regards,

Adjunct Professor Anthony M. Schembri AM Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



The team behind ACACIA celebrated the launch with a morning tea

ACACIA Launches for Northern Sydney Local Health District ACACIA, the Alcohol and Other Drug Consultation, Assessment, Care and Intervention for Adolescents Service, has officially opened its doors to deliver a new youth drug and alcohol community treatment service. ACACIA will provide support for adolescents dealing with substance-use-related challenges. Servicing the entire district, the ACACIA team will be based at Royal North Shore Hospital and Brookvale Community Health Centres. ACACIA is a multidisciplinary service that accepts referrals from clinicians for adolescents under 18 in Northern Sydney Local Health District with moderate to severe issues related to problematic substance use. ACACIA’s inception stems from the Specialist Addiction Service for Adolescents (SASA), which began as a part-time staff specialist consultation service and expanded to include a registrar. Recognising SASA’s success, the NSW Ministry of Health granted a significant $1 million in funding, leading to ACACIA’s evolution. Now, the service boasts a multidisciplinary team, case management capacity, and a subspecialist child and adolescent and/or addiction psychiatry advanced training registrar position. “Part of the success of the SASA and now ACACIA models has been our collaborative approach to care with the local Child Youth Mental Health Service teams and local NGO’s. Particularly successful has been our partnership with the Sydney Drug Education and Counselling Centre (SDECC), an NGO of youth drug and alcohol counsellors, to whom we have provided adolescent addiction psychiatry input for direct client consults and to their case review meetings.” Said Dr David Gordon, Medical Lead, ACACIA. In its early stages, ACACIA has already made a considerable impact, currently managing a case-load of 27 patients. This includes vulnerable young individuals with complex issues who might have otherwise fallen through service gaps. The team, led by job-sharing staff specialists, currently comprises a full-time registrar and two full-time senior social workers, collectively dedicating their expertise to address adolescent substance-use-related challenges.



Volunteers at the Advance Care Planning information stand

RNSH Celebrates National Advance Care Planning Week During National Advance Care Planning Week

“As a nurse, I have cared for people and their loved ones at some difficult times. In my experience, families who have had these types of conversations were able to make decisions for their loved one aligned with their wishes and values. Families have told me knowing they were making a decision based on what their loved one wanted helped relieve the burden of the decision. As health professionals it’s equally as important to engage patients and carers in advance care planning conversations so we can better plan their goals of care.” While the event has passed, the importance of advance care planning remains. RNSH’s initiative continues to resonate, reminding individuals of the value of proactive planning and communication in ensuring that healthcare aligns with their preferences and values.

(18-24 March), people were encouraged to consider and express their healthcare preferences for the future. This initiative aimed to empower people to make decisions about their medical treatment in case they become incapacitated. During this important week, Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) took proactive steps to facilitate discussions about advance care planning. On March 20, an information stand was set up in the hospital’s foyer, providing attendees with fact sheets tailored for both individuals and healthcare professionals. These resources were designed to prompt meaningful conversations and help individuals articulate their healthcare wishes. “Advance care planning conversations are important conversations to have and can lead to better outcomes ,” said Kellie Cooper, Advance Care Planning Facilitator.

Hornsby Hospital Mona Vale HOSPITAL nslhd mhda


stay up to date with Nslhd on social media






Hornsby Hospital’s Haemodialysis Unit implements water recycling initiative The haemodialysis unit at Hornsby Ku-ring-

sustainable and it’s great that the water can be reclaimed for other uses. “We have installed hose taps which we use for external washing of paths and buildings across the hospital,” he said. “The recycled water also helps water garden beds and plants.” “We will be continuing to see what other uses we can put any excess recycled water to across the campus in the future.”

gai Hospital (HKH) has began recycling water to help reduce water wastage. Dialysis treatments require ultra-pure water that is created by a process called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis contaminants are removed from water by pushing it through a semi permeable membrane. The decontaminated water is then used in

dialysis treatments, while the leftover water is often sent down the drain. The unit has now

introduced a way to reclaim this leftover water. A 10,000 litre tank

captures and stores the water so some of it can be used for irrigation across the site. Approximately 1200 litres of recycled water from dialysis treatments at HKH is deposited into the tank per day.

HKH Engineer Lucas Woodford said the hospital aims to be environmentally

HKH A/Engineering Manager Lucas Woodford and HKH Corporate Services Manager Rizwan Rahiman

World Oral Health Day Celebrations have been underway across NSLHD to celebrate World Oral Health Day. World Oral Health Day is observed and celebrated every year on March 20 and this year’s theme was ‘A Happy Mouth is a Happy Body’. The day was celebrated at RNSH and Hornsby Hospital across a variety of wards, with a focus on promoting the theme to paediatric patients by engaging with parents and caregivers. NSLHD Clinical Director of Oral Health Service Dr Megan Ghaffari said the day is an important reminder to raise awareness about oral health. “Your mouth is the gateway to your body,” she said. “Neglecting oral health not only affects your teeth and gums but can also lead to serious health issues. Bacteria from your mouth can enter the body, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and various infections.”

For information about the oral health service and eligibility for free dental care, please visit www.nslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Services/ Pages/Oral_Health.aspx.

Staff dressing up for World Oral Health Day



AYAH: Finalist for Industry Choice Award The Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) in Manly has been recognised as a finalist for the Industry Choice Award, presented by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. This award distinguishes excellence in major infrastructure projects that showcase outstanding customer outcomes and community benefits.

accommodation units. Voting for the 2024 Industry Choice Awards is currently open and will close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 10 April. We encourage everyone to participate in the voting process to recognise the dedication of the AYAH project team and the significance of tailored care for this demographic. To cast your vote, please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey. com/r/LWT7RWX

The judging panel carefully considered the AYAH project for its notable impact on patients who previously lacked suitable options for their specialised care and respite needs. The project stood out for its ability to provide dedicated and professional support for families, with a particular emphasis on privacy, respite, and recreation. Judges commended the project team for their innovative approach in delivering a social infrastructure solution, which includes specialised music and art therapy spaces, creating a comforting home-like environment for residents. Since its opening in February 2023, the Manly AYAH has been providing specialised care tailored to individuals aged 15 to 24. Services offered include respite, symptom management, end-of-life care, and coordination support. The facility boasts a range of amenities such as telehealth consultation areas, breakout spaces, a multisensory room, games room, media room, eight patient bedrooms, and two-family Kolling Institute researchers, Dr. Shejil Kumar and Prof. Rory Clifton-Bligh, have embarked on a pioneering study aimed at enhancing bone health in postmenopausal women within the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD). The study, titled “Combining Osteoanabolic Pharmacotherapy with Osteogenic Exercise in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia “The ROLEX-DUO Study,” is set to recruit 100 women aged 50 and above. The primary focus of the study is to assess the effectiveness of combining exercise plus medication in improving bone and muscle health. Dr. Kumar’s team has obtained ethics approval from the NSLHD ethics committee and governance at Royal North Shore Hospital, where the study will primarily be conducted. “We know that exercise has benefits on bone and muscle health, and there are effective treatments available to strengthen bones,” Dr. Kumar said. “However, what we don’t know is whether combining exercise plus medication at the same time can lead to even greater improvements in bone and muscle health than treating with either alone.”

AYAH residents and staff

Research to Improve Postmenopausal Women’s Bone and Muscle Health

The study will utilise romosozumab, a medication approved in Australia that has been shown to increase bone density and reduce fracture risk in previous international studies. Participants will be randomly assigned to different treatment groups, including a supervised group class focusing on weightbearing exercises and a home-based exercise program concentrating on mobility and balance. “We believe this combination will be even more effective and could dramatically change the way we treat and prevent osteoporosis going forward.” Postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 80 are encouraged to participate, as they are at high risk of poor bone health. The study aims to assess how different combinations of treatment improve bone density, muscle strength, body composition, physical function, and risk of falls. Dr. Kumar and his team are eager to make strides in advancing bone health research and are seeking assistance in recruiting participants for this groundbreaking study within NSLHD.



Australian researchers help astronauts tackle the health challenges of spaceflight As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) progresses its ambitious Artemis spaceflight program, Australian researchers including the Kolling Institute’s Academic Director Professor James Elliott will tap into their scientific expertise to offer support. Professor Elliott attended a recent event at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Texas, which brought together leading clinicians and scientists from around the world to discuss ways to reduce the spine injuries experienced by astronauts. This group is exposed to a range of musculoskeletal conditions including spinal pain and muscle challenges due to the lack of gravity when in space. Professor Elliott said we know that physical changes to the spine during spaceflight predispose astronauts to symptomatic spine pain and nearly 50 per cent of cases presenting to NASA’s musculoskeletal care team involve spine pain.

“The risk of spine pain during and after spaceflight raises operational issues and concerns for the long-term spine health of astronauts and others going into space,” he said. “We are looking forward to sharing our expertise to help reduce injury, and improve the health and performance of astronauts. “NASA has expressed an interest in our MuscleMap program, which is a revolutionary technique to assess whole- body skeletal muscle composition using high-resolution MRI. “The program is generating a reference dataset of muscle composition across the lifespan to help diagnose pathology, gauge the effectiveness of interventions, and develop new health outcome measures. “The normative data sets, developed by the MuscleMap program, could be used to compare data sets from the astronauts, so that when astronauts return from space, and they’ve experienced zero gravity exposure, you will be able to see what’s happened to their muscle system and what has changed to their skeletal muscle composition. “The MuscleMap program could be an assessment tool to help improve their pain and performance when they’re in space, when they get home, and in preparation for future missions. “We are very excited to be involved with this cutting-edge research which we hope will directly support astronauts and their long-term health.”

Professor James Elliott at NASA

SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS Share your news and achievements. Contact the Media and Communications team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.




Could it be sepsis?

People with sepsis get very sick, very quickly and need medical help fast.

Any infection can lead to life-threatening sepsis. To learn more about sepsis visit health.nsw.gov.au/ sepsis

March 2024 © NSW Ministry of Health. SHPN (HP NSW) 240065-5

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online