NSLHD News 7 July 2023


Main story celebrating naidoc week Staff celebrated and recognised the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during NAIDOC Week. Page 3 Short blurb Read more on Page x

Ryde staff celebrate the chattery Page 6

Quality and improvement awards Page 4-5


Message from the Acting chief executive Mark Zacka

Working in the public health system means patient safety is our top priority. Staff sharing their experiences about safety issues can uncover what strategies are working well and what needs to improve. I encourage you to provide your input in the 2023 Patient Safety Culture Survey which has now been extended until 5pm Tuesday 11 July. The survey asks about staff perceptions and experiences at work on topics such as leadership, team interactions, communication and reporting of safety incidents. The results will be used as part of our district’s continual improvement of patient safety. If your team has 100 per cent, or very high, completion rates you will be entered into a draw for the chance to win cash prizes that can be used to purchase resources for your area or support staff wellbeing. It was wonderful to come together at the end of June to celebrate staff at the Quality and Improvement Awards. It is always inspiring to hear how our staff go above and beyond to provide the best care for our community. To the winners and finalists, thank you for your ongoing commitment and hard work in implementing projects and initiatives which enable our district to continue to provide the highest quality care. You can read more about our winners on pages four and five of this newsletter. We have started the process of developing a 2023 Campus Master Plan for Royal North Shore Hospital. The plan will build on and be informed by previous hospital master plans and the St Leonards Health Campus, Health, Research and Education Precinct Plan.

The 2023 Master Plan will set out the needs and aspirations of the campus to provide strategic direction for future development on and around the campus. It will be focused on patient and staff wellbeing while promoting a healing environment and a sense of place for the community that reflects its rich history. Architecture firm Fitzpatrick and Partners has been engaged to manage the master planning process with a local project team and will consult with staff and campus stakeholders to develop a masterplan that will guide us into the future. For more information please visit the intranet page and if you have any questions, please email nslhd-rnsh-masterplan@health. nsw.gov.au. Celebrations have been held this week for NAIDOC Week – a special time to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It was great to see a range of events and activities taking place across the district to strengthen and support the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This year’s theme – For Our Elders – inspires all of us to celebrate the important role Aboriginal Elders play and the significant place they hold in communities and families.

Thank you to all of those involved in the NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Mark Zacka Acting Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Hornsby Hospital General Manager Simon Hill taking part in Hornsby’s NAIDOC Week celebrations

NAIDOC Week celebrations at Royal North Shore Hospital

Celebrating NAIDOC Week across NSLHD Staff across the district have celebrated and recognised the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during NAIDOC Week. Events were held at Ryde, Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals with traditional performances to celebrate this year’s theme – ‘For Our Elders’. Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Peter Shine said: “This theme inspires all of us to celebrate the important role Aboriginal Elders have played and continue to play and the prominent place they hold in communities and families. “Elders are cultural knowledge holders and guide generations having paved the way for Aboriginal people to take the paths they can take today. “The tenacity and strength of our Elders has carried the survival of Aboriginal people.”

Ryker Satrick from Koomurri, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Education Manager Melinda Flower, Diabetes CNC Jen Kinsella, Ryde Hospital Acting General Manager Jennifer McConnell and Acting Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Paul Weir

RNSH were treated to a performance by Aunty Marlene Cummins

NAIDOC Week celebrations at Hornsby

A smoking ceremony commenced celebrations at Ryde



Transforming the Patient Experience Award

Patient Safety First Award



Delivering Value-Based Integrated Care Award The Holy Grail: Perioperative care for the frail Perioperative Medicine Service, Royal North Shore Hospital

Parkinson Inpatient Experience (PIE) Royal North Shore Hospital

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award



No Suppression Group Ryde Consumer Services, North Shore Ryde Mental Health

Smarties – a learning approach to loss (not just an M&M) Mental Health Drug and Alcohol



2023 quality and improvement awards Staff from across Northern Sydney Local Health District have been recognised at the 2023 Quality and Improvement Awards. NSLHD Acting Chief Executive Mark Zacka said the awards are a special event to celebrate staff who make a real and positive difference to the lives of our patients, consumers, and their families and carers. “It is always inspiring to hear how our staff go above and beyond to provide the best care for our community,” Mark said. “To the winners and finalists, thank you for your ongoing commitment and hard work in implementing projects and initiatives which enable our district to continue to provide the highest quality care.” For the full list of winners and finalists, visit: https://bit.ly/QI-2023

Health Research and Innovation Award

Supporting our People and Culture Award



Improving renal vascular access outcomes through data-driven Departments of Renal Medicine and Vascular Surgery

Kindness Kit Ryde Hospital

Planetary Health Award

Keeping People Healthy Award



Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) reducing plastic waste Royal North Shore and Brookvale Community Health Centres

Concussion Service Concussion Clinic, Royal North Shore Hospital



CLOTHING PACKS DONATED TO WOMEN IN CRISIS A not-for-profit foundation is donating clothing packs to Royal North Shore Hospital

to provide to vulnerable women in need. The Betty Cares Foundation partners with hospitals and refuge centres to donate clothing packs with basic essential items to bring dignity and comfort to women in crisis. Royal North Shore Hospital Social Worker Jo Gammo said the clothing packs are a very helpful resource to have. “When women present in crisis they have come with very few of their personal belongings including clothing and often women fleeing intimate partner violence have nothing except the clothes on their back,” Jo said. “Women who have received a Betty Cares bag express significant thanks and gratitude.” The foundation was founded in 2018 and since then has donated over 10,000 clothing packs through healthcare partners across Australia and New Zealand. Jo said the Betty Cares clothing packs are designed to make a difference to women in immediate crisis. “Providing comfort and dignity in a moment of crisis is imperative and something a social worker would advocate for,” Jo said. “The women receiving the clothing packs may be victims of trauma, including sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

RNSH social workers Jo Gammo and Kate Galbraith holding the Betty Cares clothing packs

“We see women who are in an acute mental health crisis, and women who are homeless. “We play a role in promoting the principles for integrated trauma-informed care and providing something as simple as clothing promotes their experience of feeling respected.” To find out more visit https://www. bettycaresfoundation.com/.

END OF AN ERA – RYDE STAFF CELEBRATE THE CHATTERY Ryde Hospital staff have farewelled The Chattery building with one last celebration before it is demolished to make way for the new hospital.

A staff barbeque was held to celebrate the occasion.

The building is nearly 90 years old and was first opened as the hospital’s nurses’ home in December 1937 by the Minister for Health the Hon. H. P. Mr FitzSimons. It provided accommodation for nurses working at the hospital. Over the years the building affectionally became known as The Chattery and Acting General Manager Jennifer McConnell said it has been enjoyed by staff for meal breaks and countless celebrations, including barbeques in the outdoor area. “It was great to be able to come together and celebrate the history of The Chattery,” Jennifer said. “It is also an exciting step forward in the redevelopment and the future of our hospital.”

Ryde Hospital Safety and Quality Unit Manager Janine Carragher saying farewell to The Chattery



Researchers call for greater focus on physical impact of whiplash injuries Researchers from the Kolling Institute have led

an international study investigating why some people spontaneously recover from whiplash following a motor vehicle collision, while others don’t. Their work has uncovered new evidence indicating it may relate to the health of muscles and stress. More than 140 people were recruited to the longitudinal study, which involved research teams from the United States,

Canada, and Australia. The study ran for more than five years, with participants undergoing a series of ultra-high resolution MRIs of the spine and neck. Researchers analysed pain, psychological distress, as well as physiological measurements of muscle fat in the neck. Following the extensive analysis, researchers found higher neck muscle fat infiltration and distress may be a risk factor for whiplash related injury, although it was unclear whether this was a pre-existing condition or the result of the trauma. Lead researcher Professor Jim Elliott, Academic Director of the Kolling Institute said it’s known that higher levels of stress can have a negative effect on overall health and wellbeing, but in particular, the health and functioning of our skeletal muscles. “This study provided more evidence that those reporting higher levels of post-traumatic distress had higher levels of muscle fat infiltration,” he said. “Future work needs to determine if these conditions were present before the injury, and whether pre-traumatic life stress is accompanied by poor muscle health and function.” Jim said the study represented an important body of work with 1.3 million Australians alone experiencing chronic whiplash associated disorder. “We know that half of those who experience whiplash during a collision recover rapidly, while the other half do not recover and 20 per

New research has uncovered new evidence about the impact of whiplash injuries

cent have severe ongoing pain and disability,” he said. “This causes a significant personal toll, as well as an economic burden of close to a billion dollars a year just in Australia. “Research to date has generally focused on secondary prevention rather than primary prevention of whiplash associated disorder. “Nearly all the high quality trials over the last 25 years have tested interventions to reduce adverse outcomes, yet these trials have done little to reduce the burden of the disorder. “In fact, neck pain, the most common symptom of chronic whiplash remains the fourth leading cause of Years Lived with Disability, a ranking which has not changed in over 30 years. “There is a clear need for innovation in diagnosis and prognosis, as well as effective strategies to mitigate the risks for the large number of people living with the chronic disorder. “Currently, the focus is on the consequences of a collision, such as post-traumatic psychological distress and disability. Following our research, we would like to see greater attention directed to the biological and biomechanical mechanisms involved in the disorder. “We believe this broader approach could improve the prediction of the clinical course and therefore the management of the condition.”




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