NSLHD News September 9 2022

NSLHD’s Safety and Quality Newsletter provides information on new and upcoming activities, programs and initiatives within the district that aim to improve the safety of our patients and the quality of our care.


Main story NSLHD creates culturally adapted Australian Charter of Health Care Rights The adapted Charter is being used as an exemplary example Australia-wide. Short blurb

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Celebrating exceptional people at NSLHD Page 5

Kolling institute researchers present on the global stage Page 6


As my time here as Chief Executive draws to an end in just over a week, I want to thank you all for your incredible support, commitment to high quality care and ensuring our patients are at the heart of everything we do. I leave with such pride that I have been able to work with the most talented and passionate people who make up North Sydney Local Health District. My five years here have been so rewarding, notwithstanding the challenges we all faced with COVID-19. I have seen the very best of healthcare during my time here and you should all feel very proud of what you achieve each day. It is time to hand the baton over to Lee Gregory who is no stranger to many of you as he has been with our local district for 18 years. Lee has been appointed as interim Chief Executive and brings vast experience in health and importantly, a deep connection with NSLHD. Lee has been an incredible support to me as Executive Director of Operations and also as the former general manager of Hornsby Hospital. You will be in very capable hands with Lee and the NSLHD Executive as you forge ahead with the district’s new strategic priorities and build on the wonderful successes that you have. Always remember how extraordinary you all are, because that will be my memory.

With gratitude,




Aboriginal Health Worker Jannelle Brown and Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Peter Shine with the adapted Charter

NSLHD creates a culturally appropriate adaptation of the Australian Charter of Health Care Rights

The NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service, in partnership with the NSLHD Consumer and Patient Experience team, has created a culturally appropriate adaptation of the Australian Charter of Health Care Rights, the first of its kind in New South Wales. The Charter describes the rights that all people, or someone they care for, can expect when receiving health care. The adapted Charter provides a visual commitment in artwork and language relevant to the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and of those who may be attending our services from outside country. Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Peter Shine said the culturally adapted Charter provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the understanding that they have the right to respectful care and information regarding

their own health care circumstances, and that of immediate family members. “Health services not only provide healthcare but are also charged with providing dignity and respect to all those seeking that health care,” Peter said. “Along with that come inherent rights. The Charter is a template for decency, respect and the provision of those rights.” The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has endorsed and supported the adapted version of the Charter. The Charter will be promoted by the ACSQHC as an exemplar for other states, territories and local health districts to design a local culturally appropriate Charter which reflects connection to family, community and culture. The culturally adapted Charter will be displayed across NSLHD and made available wherever the standard Charter is located.

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Digital transformation delivers new RNSH referral system A new eReferral system has been launched by Northern Sydney Local Health District

Work is continuing to rollout HealthLink to all outpatient services across RNSH and other hospitals in the district over the coming years, with the next release scheduled to include Women’s Health Services including Maternity and Gynaecology. “It makes the administrative side of things so much easier from both GP and patient perspective and reduces the risk of errors,” Dr Luke Morphett, GP Liaison Officer with the RNSH ACC and a GP in the district, said. “We need to use technology where and how we can if it has real benefits for patients and this is another step in the right direction.” The system, which is free for GPs to access and send referrals, is a precursor to a statewide e-referral management system that is planned for launch next year. GPs not yet signed up should check that their practice is HealthLink enabled and SmartForms activated. They should contact HealthLink on 1300 145 456 (option 4) or email register@healthlink.net to register.

aiming to simplify patient referrals to key services to enhance the triage and management of patients to ensure they receive the most appropriate care. NSLHD has united with secure messaging provider HealthLink to establish an eReferral system allowing district GPs to submit electronic referrals for patients to access medical and surgical outpatient clinics at Royal North Shore Hospital, as well as the Emergency Department and Hospital in the Home services. About 97% of district GPs have compatible software to integrate HealthLink referrals. The Healthlink system saves time for GPs as its referrals are auto-populated with patient information and allows GPs to easily attach important pathology and imaging reports, if needed. It will also allow them to receive communications back from the service on the progress of the referral through the triage process. “Paper and manual documentation of records pose several clinical and privacy risks for patients, not to mention adding to the administrative burden,” Project Lead Anna Giuffrida said. “Faxed referrals can also sometimes be misplaced, sent to the wrong service or omit key clinical information. “This program will help GPs more easily provide clinically relevant information and is part of the digital transformation taking place more generally here at NSLHD, while ensuring patients receive the support they need.” “This system will streamline how we share responsibilities for the care of patients with GPs,” Claire Bridgman, Operations Manager with the RNSH Ambulatory Care Centre (ACC), said. “We can receive about 100 referrals a day and with our growing population, there is a need to do things faster and more efficiently.”

Dr Luke Morphett

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.



Celebrating exceptional people at NSLHD Barbara Triantafilis is determined to help break down barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to access healthcare. As a registered nurse with NSLHD’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

“It encourages people to be the best they can be in the workplace – a little recognition goes a long way to making people feel valued and appreciated, so have a think – I am sure there is someone in your workplace who stands out.” Nominations are open for the 2022 Exceptional People Awards. Visit the EPA webpage - https://bit.ly/3BPTxBc - to nominate an individual, team and volunteer. The staff nomination form and guide can be found here: https://bit.ly/3qAldDD Nominations can also be made by patients and consumers using the following link: https://bit.ly/3wZ8MVu

Service, Barbara’s work involves raising awareness and advocating for the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create better health outcomes. “If I can make one small difference for the better in one patient’s life in a day, I am happy,” she said. Her passion and hard work earned her an Exceptional People Award for Healthy Communities. “When I received the award last year, I was completely overwhelmed,” she said. “I am surrounded by a great team, and I would not have been able to achieve anything without them, so really it should have been a team award!” Barbara encourages others to nominate a colleague or team who go above and beyond in for patients. “I think it is really important that people are recognised for their contributions,” she said. VALE, DR LOUISE BROWN The Northern Sydney Local Health District and Royal North Shore Hospital offers its condolences to the loved ones and colleagues of Dr Louise Brown, who sadly passed away recently. Louise was a long time member and former chair of the RNSH Hospital CPC (Consumer Participation Committee) and made a profound impact across the district. A respected and valued member of RNSH and the broader community, Louise made many contributions to the district. Louise was passionate about bringing the voice of consumers, including carers to work being undertaken in the LHD, and contributed many personal hours of work on a range of committees and consumer consultations over more than 15 years. Louise had a renowned career across many different health services and positions, and spent a lot her time helping others and making a difference as a volunteer. Louise was a member of a range of different committees, many of which she chaired,

2021 Exceptional People Award winner Barbara Triantafilis with NSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Claire Harris

and only stepped down from her position as Chair of the CPC earlier this year. Louise always conducted her work with consideration, respect and always seeking a beneficial outcome for patients, their carers and staff.



RNSH NICU takes first place in Kangaroo-A-Thon Earlier this year, the Royal North Shore Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) participated in the annual Miracle Babies Kangaroo-A-Thon and were recently

The RNSH NICU participates in the Kangaroo- A-Thon every year, and this year RNSH was awarded first place out of 26 participating hospitals around the world for logging an incredible 626 hours and 35 minutes of parent’s kangaroo caring with their babies. The aim of the event is to raise awareness of brain development, neuro-protection, attachment building and immunity boosting that skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies provides. As winners, the RNSH NICU was awarded a new recliner chair for parents to use for cuddling and feeding their baby as well as resting beside their baby during long days in the NICU. NICU Clinical Nurse Consultant Emily Macnaught said the Kangaroo-A-Thon is an excellent way to raise awareness and have parents and staff actively involved in learning about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. “It’s a way parents can be part of their baby’s care and do something pleasant to minimise stress for their baby and themselves,” she said. “It’s fantastic that events like this exist to raise awareness on the importance of skin-to-skin contact for parents and their babies.” devices can assist with patient monitoring and advancements in robotics and smart instruments. Presentations by the team included their work investigating ceramic hip resurfacing and examining the bio-mechanics of hip and knee replacements and spinopelvic issues. The Sydney Musculoskeletal Health Team, whose Kolling researchers are based at RNSH, works with leaders in health on research, clinical services and training. About 1.7 billion people worldwide have musculoskeletal conditions. Lower back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are some of the major musculoskeletal disorders and are one of the leading contributors to disability worldwide. The annual ISTA, which was established in 1988, is attended by hundreds of surgeons, scientists, engineers and industry representatives from across the world to advance the technology in arthroplasty. “It’s great to be part of this event because it’s a place where you find and meet like-minded people from across the world who ultimately are trying to improve the quality of life for patients in this area,” Professor Walter, a former ISTA President, said. “It’s a privilege to be involved.”

announced as winners of the event. The goal of the Kangaroo-A-Thon is to encourage all NICUs to actively promote kangaroo care. Kangaroo care involves parents holding their babies against their bare chests and as part of the event, the NICU staff logged how many hours this was done for across the unit over a two-week period.

RNSH NICU staff with the new recliner chair that was awarded to the unit

Kolling researchers present at international congress Kolling Institute researchers have helped

map out exciting future developments for the rehabilitation of hip and knee replacement patients at a vital conference. A team of researchers from the Sydney Musculoskeletal Health – a partnership between the University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District and Northern Sydney Local Health District - recently attended the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty’s (ISTA) annual congress in Hawaii. As well as meeting up and sharing ideas with professionals from across the globe, team members gave several presentations detailing their research in the area of technologies in arthroplasty. Bill Walter, Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatic Surgery at the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, led the team at the congress and said it had been an amazing experience. “You have the world’s greatest concentration of expert knowledge in this area,” he said. “It’s a bit of a mind-explosion being involved in it. “It’s very exciting meeting people trying to resolve some of the problems facing hip and knee replacement patients.” Presentations at the event included the exploration of developing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, how wearable



Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant, Suliana Manuofetoa

New treatment helping Parkinson’s patients at Hornsby Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s Neurology Parkinson’s Clinic is going from strength to strength. The clinic, which recently marked its first “Duodopa can be particularly effective for patients whose medication is wearing off or who are experiencing other fluctuations from levodopa,” Suliana said. “It’s also

helpful for patients with gastroparesis who are not digesting much of their Parkinson’s medications and can reduce motor fluctuations such as dyskinesias. “There is unfortunately no cure for Parkinson’s but this treatment can allow those patients who receive it to live better with their condition, reduce their symptoms, and hopefully maintain some degree of independence too.” The clinic, which is located in the Outpatients Department of the hospital, is staffed by Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse Suliana and a rota of four neurologists, led by Head of Neurology Dr Omar Ahmad. In its first year of operation, the once-a- fortnight clinic saw 50 new patients, including 68 neurologist follow-ups. Nurse Suliana also undertook about 100 nurse in-patient consultations over those 12 months and three patients commenced on apomorphine therapy. Previously, patients awaiting a diagnosis or needing follow-up treatment for Parkinson’s would need to wait to attend the clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital or attend a private clinic. The clinic can diagnose Parkinson’s disease in new patients, conduct physical examinations, check medications and update treatment plans. It complements the existing Parkinson’s rehabilitation clinic, which is available at the Hornsby hospital.

year in operation, has initiated its first course of the Duodopa treatment to a patient with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Aimed at assisting patients with advanced cases of the condition, which severely impairs the nervous system, Duodopa can help Parkinson’s patients absorb essential medication which in turn can help alleviate their symptoms. Suliana Manuofetoa, Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant at the clinic, said the treatment was a welcome addition to existing patient services. “The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai region has the largest population of people living with Parkinson’s in NSW,” she said. “Offering this therapy treatment is an exciting development for us. “It can be an effective treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease and allows both they and their carers to have a better quality of life, which is hugely important.” The two-stage treatment process is a complex therapy only currently performed in select centres. It helps deliver levodopa- carbidopa – medication for Parkinson’s - in the form of intestinal gel into the patient’s small bowel via a jejunal tube which is then rapidly absorbed into the brain. Patients are provided their own Duodopa pump connected to their jejunal tube which they can carry around with them, delivering a continuous infusion of Duodopa.



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