NSLHD News September 3 2021

Get the latest news from across Northern Sydney Local Health District.


Main story Short blurb v ccinating vulnerable families Vaccination rates for COVID-19 in northern Sydney continue to surge, with the outreach vaccination team visiting Macquarie Hospital to offer consu ers their jab. Read more on Page 3 Read more on Page x

meet our Intellectual Disability Health Service team Page 6

nslhd’s first Social Work Allied Health Assistant Page 7


Message from the Chief Executive Deb Willcox

As a district, we have one of the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination in the state with more than 90 per cent of staff having received at least their first dose of vaccine. While this is a great result so far, the NSW Ministry of Health has announced that mandatory COVID-19 vaccination will now be required for all NSW Health staff. All healthcare workers from the LGAs of concern must have received their first vaccination by Monday 6 September. All other healthcare workers must have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 30 September and second dose by 30 November or have an approved medical exemption to be allowed to come to work. I encourage those staff who are yet to receive a vaccination to please do so as soon as possible. If you are having trouble securing a time for your vaccine, you will be prioritised. Please contact NSLHD- COVIDVaccinationEnquiries@health.nsw. gov.au to ensure you receive your first vaccine by the deadline. With the rising rates of COVID-19 transmission in the community, I would like to thank our staff right across the district including our Virtual Care Hospital who have all been busy providing care, support and treatment for an increasing number of COVID-19 positive patients. There is no corner within our health system that isn’t doing something to contribute to the pandemic response. As a district we are caring for an increasing number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals and treating patients in the community who are very sick with the virus and this can be incredibly challenging for staff. I would like to thank everyone for all you are doing to support these patients and their families. We are truly working as one health system at this time and I thank you all for the camaraderie you are demonstrating.

You have all done a large amount of work to prepare and I am confident you are ready to respond as needed and will you will provide outstanding, safe care to our community. I would like to give a special mention to our staff who are heading to Wilcannia in far-west NSW to assist colleagues and the community. Thank you to our Director of our Aboriginal Health Service Peter Shine and Barbara Triantafilis from our Aboriginal Health Service, and Mikaela Hedge and Emma Cardwell from Royal North Shore Hospital’s ICU team. This is a very difficult time for this community and being able to contribute is a very important and probably life- changing experience. I know you are all extremely busy right now and there is a lot of stress in your personal lives. But now it is more important than ever to know how you are and what we can do to improve the workplace and support you. I encourage you to fill out the Public Service Commission People Matter Employee Survey (PMES) by 17 September. The PMES is rolled out across the state every year and is an important tool to help us understand what works well for you here at Northern Sydney Local Health District and also to find out where we can make things better.

You can access the survey here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/ peoplemattersurvey

Thank you all for everything you are doing to care for our community. Your wellbeing is so very important at this time so please look out for yourselves, and your colleagues, and please seek help from your manager when it is needed. Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Reaching out to vaccinate vulnerable patients Vaccination rates for COVID-19 in northern

Sydney continue to surge, with the northern Sydney outreach vaccination team visiting Macquarie Hospital to offer consumers their jab. Vaccination Hub Nurse Unit Manager Hayley Marr was full of praise for those involved. “It has been a pleasure being involved in this outreach project and facilitating COVID-19 vaccinations within our NSLHD community,” she said. “The outreach team have felt very welcomed and supported whilst attending the Macquarie Hospital campus.” Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Director of Nursing Mark Joyce said it was an important step in Annual Report for 2020 has just been published, showcasing the ground- breaking research that is conducted across the district. Focussing on the clinical streams, the report highlights the impressive outputs from our research programs, including publications, grants, and most importantly, the translation of research into clinical practice and care. Research Strategy and Partnerships Manager Rebeka Freckleton said the annual report was the first of its kind published by the

Staff from the Northern Sydney Outreach Vaccination team

ensuring those in our care are protected from the virus. “The response from the consumers and family to this initiative was overwhelming, with most of them excited to be offered vaccinations,” he said. The outreach team has also begun visiting other mental health services and locations across the district, while patients district. “This is the first time in more than a decade that NSLHD has published a report that demonstrates the breadth of research underway within our district. Again in 2020, our staff have delivered across a diverse range of areas, spanning medical, nursing and allied health research,” she said. “The annual report demonstrates the main aim of our research activity – to improve diagnosis, treatment, prevention and policy, to improve outcomes within the healthcare system and the

who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are able to receive their vaccinations at Bungee Bidgel every Thursday. Bookings can be made by calling 1800 992 122. The outreach team has also vaccinated a number of inpatients across the district, such as those in the spinal unit at Royal North Shore, dialysis patients and vulnerable pregnant women.

NSLHD research in the spotlight The NSLHD Research

broader community.” The annual report can be found here: https://bit. ly/3kIlUr7.



NSLHD People and Culture staff encouraging Hornsby Hospital staff members to fill out the PMES

people matter employee survey The People Matter Employee Survey (PMES)

engagement levels. This year it is more important than ever to get your feedback,” she said. “Everyone at NSLHD has maintained laser-focus on patient care while supporting each other through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ‘long haul’. You are amazing, and we want to know how you are experiencing working at NSLHD. “There is a high correlation between engaged and happy staff and positive patient and consumer experience and ultimately we are here for person centred healthcare. “It all starts with looking after our staff, and that starts with you telling us what you need.” Our hospitals and services have been working hard to implement new and build on existing initiatives implemented as a result of feedback in previous surveys. Some of the initiatives and actions include: • Expansion of the Speaking Up for Safety strategy • Establishment of People Manager Learning Path • Launch of Leadership Advisory Board and

the NSLHD Leadership Charter • Commencement of the Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Strategy • The introduction of Leader Listening Tours at Ryde Hospital • The continuation of Executive Rounding at Hornsby and Mona Vale Hospital, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services of ‘employee of the month’ programs at Hornsby and Mona Vale • The continuation hospitals and Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services • The introduction of short regular staff surveys seeking ideas for improvement in Mental Health Drug and Alcohol • The Information Communications and Technology Culture Improvement Plan The survey is open until 17 September 2021. It is completely confidential. Staff can complete the survey here: https:// www.health.nsw.gov.au/ peoplemattersurvey. For more information please visit https://bit. ly/3gUeD6o

2021 is underway. This is the annual employee opinion survey run independently of the district by the NSW Public Sector Commission. The PMES asks staff about a range of themes relating to culture, engagement and morale. Some key topics include patient focus and service delivery, leadership and management, communications, training and development and working environment. Northern Sydney Local Health District Director of People and Culture Paula Williscroft said the survey provides a point in time snapshot of how engaged our staff are. contributed to this level of engagement and what we need to be doing more or less of.” Paula said the survey is a great way to gain some understanding of what staff think, what they want and what we can be doing better as an organisation. “Each year this survey has run there has been an increase in participation and an increase in our “The results indicate the areas that have



labour monitoring device paving the way for women A world-first labour monitoring device that

has been trialled at Royal North Shore Hospital has just been acknowledged by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with Breakthrough Device Designation – paving the way for women to benefit from its capabilities. The maternal diagnostic tool, Oli, was created by Baymatob, a company founded by Sydney mother, Dr Sarah McDonald, after her own traumatic birth experience. Oli seeks to identify an individual, during labour, who is at higher risk of developing abnormal postpartum uterine bleeding or postpartum haemorrhage, in advance of delivery/birth. RNSH took part in a landmark study over the last year using Oli, a wireless monitoring device that offers new measures, which it is hoped, if successful, could eventually replace and improve on current invasive monitoring that can restrict the mother’s movements during labour. Oli monitors key physiological signals impacting mother and

(Left to right) CE Deb Willcox with Midwifery Manager, Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Network Michelle de Vroome, Dr Sarah McDonald and her daughter, Clinical Professor Michael Nicholl and Clinical Midwife Consultant Kate Pigott.

baby during pregnancy and labour. It provides details surrounding the quality of uterine activity, maternal and fetal wellbeing, movements and exertion. Oli is being developed to be used before birth, providing information on how a labour is presenting and progressing, initially via its postpartum haemorrhage advance diagnostic. Clinical Professor Michael Nicholl, clinical director for the Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Network said: “Oli’s ability to predict postpartum haemorrhage in advance is a game changer that will save lives and reduce lifelong health impacts for mothers, such as emergency

a medical device Breakthrough Device Designation, the FDA recognises its potential to provide more effective treatment or diagnosis for a life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating disease or condition. This allows Baymatob to benefit from a streamlined and supported regulatory process on its path to commercialisation of Oli. In the RNSH study, Oli detected postpartum haemorrhage more than an hour before any postpartum blood loss occurred. Michelle de Vroome, Midwifery Manager, Maternal, Neonatal & Women’s Health Network, NSLHD said: “Oli has been embraced by both women and clinicians during the study. We cannot wait until this is available for clinical use.”

hysterectomies.” In order to award


Share your news and achievements. Contact our team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.



The Northern Sydney Intellectual Disability Health Service team

meet our Intellectual Disability Health Service The Northern Sydney Intellectual Disability Health Service (NSIDHS) is part of a state- wide initiative that aims to reduce health disparities experienced by people with intellectual disability (ID). In addition to providing ID services to NSLHD, NSIDHS provide outreach services to Mid-North Coast and Northern NSW LHDs. We recently spoke with the team to find out a bit more about the service and an upcoming research project they’re working on. Tell us about the Intellectual Disability

detailed report and recommendations), joint consultations and case discussions. Clinical advice (via telehealth and face-to- face) including strategies to manage behaviours of concern, and reasonable adjustments that health professionals and health services can make to improve the experiences and health outcomes of people with ID accessing services. What does the service increase NSW health staff and GP practice teams’ understanding of complexities in ID health and, improve the knowledge, experience, skills and confidence of health professionals working with people with ID. We aim to improve health outcomes and healthcare experience for people with ID. We also want to challenge stereotypes and reduce stigma experienced by people with ID. How can the service be accessed? want to achieve? We would like to

Outpatient or community referrals need to be made by the client’s usual treating doctor. Inpatient referrals can be made by completing the short inpatient request form. Both forms can be found on our intranet page: https://bit.ly/3zAYKZO

Health Service at NSLHD. It is widely recognised that people with ID experience more complex and chronic health issues, poorer health outcomes and lower life expectancy than the general population. The ID health team are passionate about reducing these health disparities for this population. The team at NSIDHS care deeply about the health and experiences of people with ID, and constantly strive to find new and innovative ways to work with consumers, carers and clinicians to improve the health care experience. What does the service provide? As a consultative service we work in collaboration with the treating doctor and team to provide support in the treatment and management of children and adults with an ID diagnosis and current complex and chronic health issues, in both community and inpatient settings. We can provide comprehensive health assessments (with

Tell us about your upcoming research project.

We have recently been granted ethics approval to conduct the district wide survey: Intellectual Disability: Identifying Knowledge, Experience and Training Needs of Health Staff. The results of this survey will help us identify key areas of need across the district, and will enable us to focus our resources on these priority areas and work with services and staff to improve health outcomes and experiences of people with ID. The survey is open to all staff in the LHD and we would greatly appreciate people taking the time to complete it. The survey can be accessed via https://redcap.link/ intellectualdisability.



fellowship to strengthen commercial research opportunities Doctor Cindy Shu will

Hospital, and soon after got a job as an AHA with the physiotherapy department on aged care and other acute wards at the hospital. But at this stage, Arunodaya realised she also wanted to gain further insights into social work. “Being able to complete this course was a huge achievement for me,” she said. “This course has allowed me to expand my knowledge and attain extra skills which has qualified me to perform better in this aspect of work as an “I’m very excited to be collaborating with Regeneus and welcome the chance to be part of their mentoring program which will guide me through the pathway between bench and bedside.” The Kolling’s Professor Chris Little said the REDI program is an exciting initiative aligned with “Our program expects researchers to return to their home institution so this ensures we embed high-level, industry- ready experience in the research sector,” he said. Cindy has welcomed the chance to be involved in the program. “This opportunity will help me pursue my research interest in osteoarthritis, and will ensure research translation, rather than having valuable data remain solely in the research-publication loop,” she said.

in Social Work – making her the first allied health assistant (AHA) with this qualification at Northern Sydney Local Health District. This is the second allied health assistant certificate Arunodaya has received, having completed her Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance – Physiotherapy back in 2019. At that time she joined the in-reach rehabilitation team at Royal North Shore have a key role in building commercial capabilities at the Kolling after receiving a fellowship from the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) program. The program provides financial support to medical technology and pharmaceutical companies to bring the best talent in- house to work on priority medical research projects. Cindy is one of just two researchers in NSW to receive the fellowship, and will now work within Regeneus, a regenerative medicine company to progress clinical trials for osteoarthritis treatments. MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant said supporting researchers to move seamlessly between research and industry is critical for the growth of Australia’s medical technology and pharmaceutical sector.

Doctor Cindy Shu

allied health assistant in the rehabilitation team.” Rehabilitation Coordinator Nicola Kertanegara said Arunodaya has proven herself to be a very dedicated and hard- working member of the in-each team. “This qualification means that Aruna can assist the rehabilitation team at RNSH to organise community services,” she said. “Having this extra help means our social worker has a lot more support and time to spend with patients and their families.” our key goal of bridging medical research and health. “Improving collaboration between academic medical research and industry partners is critical to translating fundamental science discovery into successful treatments for patients,” he said. “I’m thrilled that Cindy has been selected for an MTP connect REDI fellowship. What she learns at Regeneus about the pathways in commercial research and development will not only advance her career, but will help the wider Kolling research community as well.”

nslhd’s first Social Work Allied Health Assistant Arunodaya Aruva (pictured on the front cover) recently completed the Allied Health Assistant certificate



Healthy and Active for Life Online

What’s included?

A 10-week online program

Are you 60* or over and want to be active and healthy? Join our free online healthy lifestyle program in Term 4! Course start fr 27th September 2021 Registration closes 1st October 2021 Find out more and register at: www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au *Aboriginal people aged 45+ can register.

Exercise videos to do at home each week Online healthy eating and lifestyle sessions Support from a trained Phone Coach

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