NSLHD News 13 October 2023


Main story STAFF AND CONSUMERS COME TOGETHER FOR SAFETY AND QUALITY FORUM More than 120 staff, consumers and volunteers who share a passion for achieving person-centred and safer healthcare attended the forum. Page 3 Short blurb Read more on Page x

Using virtual reality to improve ED stroke care Page 3

celebrating community nurses Page 6


Message from the chief executive

Adjunct Professor Anthony M. Schembri AM

It was a privilege to attend the annual Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Rewards and Recognition ceremony to celebrate the work of services, the excellence, quality and innovation in mental health care. Thank you to all of our mental health drug and alcohol staff for the continuous work you do for our patients, their families and carers. October is Mental Health Month – a chance to come together to focus on mental health, learn about stigma, and create safe, caring communities. This year’s theme is ‘We all have a role to play’, an important reminder it takes all of us to create inclusive environments for people who are going through tough times. I encourage you to think about ways you can connect with the people around you. October is also Cyber Security Awareness Month. This annual event is an incredibly important reminder for all of us to stay secure online and play our part in protecting systems and services across NSW Health. It’s up to all of us to help keep our systems safe and sensitive information secure, so I encourage everyone across the district to report anything that could be a potential threat through SARA or call the State Wide Service Desk. I was pleased to update staff at Royal North Shore Hospital on the progress of the 2023 Campus Master Plan for Royal North Shore Hospital recently. We were able to present the preferred vision for the future development on and around the RNSH campus and it was great to be able to open the floor for questions. I look forward to keeping staff, patients and the community updated on how the plan progresses going forward.

Last week we had our annual Safety and Quality Consumer forum. It was fantastic to meet and hear from consumers about the work we are doing as a district. I’m incredibly proud to work for a district that values its people and consumers so strongly and strives to maintain a workplace culture that empowers everyone to constantly improve the safety and quality of our services. We have also wrapped up our 2023 STEPtember efforts. This year was another successful year for the district and I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone across the district We had 342 steppers, 76 teams, and together we raised an impressive $22,913.41. This is a huge combined effort – well done everyone who stepped and donated. This Saturday 14 October is Allied Health Professions Day, a day we recognise and celebrate almost 1500 allied health colleagues across the district. As a former social worker, I understand first-hand the contribution the allied health workforce makes to patients and their families. This care cannot be understated. Across NSLHD we have staff working across 23 disciplines of allied health and its been a privilege to visit so many of you already. I would like to thank all our allied health staff members, and I hope you take some time to acknowledge the efforts you and your colleagues make to the district every day.

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



NSLHD Consumer and Patient Experience Manager Dr Thelma De Lisser-Howarth (right) with consumers

STAFF AND CONSUMERS COME TOGETHER FOR SAFETY AND QUALITY Person-centred care was at the heart of discussion at the NSLHD Safety and Quality Forum. NSLHD staff, consumer advisers and consumers were showcased and highlighted the innovative and collaborative work happening across the district.

NSLHD Chief Executive Anthony Schembri said the district strives to be recognised as a leader in partnering with consumers to deliver the best patient and carer experience. “NSLHD has a proud history of partnering with consumers who include patients and carers,” he said. “Our patients and their carers have a fundamental right to participate in the delivery of the healthcare they receive. “When we empower, engage and co-design with consumers, we recognise the value lived experience contributes to moving towards a shared vision of delivering person-centred care.” collaboration between the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the University of Newcastle Centre for Advanced Training Systems. NSW Health Deputy Secretary Clinical Innovation and Research and Chief Executive, Agency for Clinical Innovation, Dr Jean- Frédéric Levesque, said the VR training is another innovative way the public health system is using technology to improve patient care. “VR training gives patients and clinicians access to best-practice stroke care, especially in regional areas where a local hospital does not receive the same volume of stroke patients as its city counterparts,” Dr Levesque said. Nurses at RNSH have already started using the VR technology as part of their ongoing education.

representatives from the Clinical Excellence Commission, Ministry of Health, Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare came together for the forum. More than 120 people who share a passion for achieving person-centred and safer healthcare attended to hear from experts in safety and quality, ethics in healthcare, and co-design initiatives. A panel discussion was held about the impact and challenges staff and patients faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Posters and videos developed by staff and

Using virtual reality to improve ED stroke care Emergency department nurses across NSW will gain valuable real-time experience with stroke care thanks to a new virtual reality (VR) training program being rolled out across the state.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park officially launched the program at Royal North Shore Hospital with a demonstration of the immersive training by stroke clinical nurse consultant Sheila Jala. “Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. Fast response and treatment times are vital to save lives and improve recovery,” Mr Park said. “By simulating a real-time scenario, this training will give emergency nurses practise in how to handle those first critical minutes. The VR stroke training program is a



Reducing anaesthetic greenhouse gases Environmental Sustainability Award

A group of anaesthetists from Royal North Shore Hospital has been named as finalists for the ‘Environmental Sustainability Award’ at the upcoming 2023 NSW Health Awards. Anaesthetists Associate Professor Matthew Doane, Adam Rehak, Penny Hodges, Andy Lindberg, Arpit Srivastava and Max Benness have been actively working as part of a multifaceted program to reduce the perioperative carbon footprint at the hospital by

introducing a multifaceted program. Penny and Andy are also both sustainability leads for anaesthesia and are part of NSLHD’s Australian First Net Zero Leads program. This program involved educating staff, implementing practice changes, and undertaking audits. This program first launched at Royal North Shore Hospital and then was extended across the district. A highlight for the team has been implementing the significant shift away from anaesthetic gases which are high carbon emitters–such as desflurane, which has a global warming potential that is almost 2500 times greater than carbon dioxide. Desflurane usage at RNSH has gone from 30 per cent of total gas usage to less than 2 per cent, which is well below the NSW Health key performance indicator of 4 per cent.

NSW Health Awards 2023 Australia’s first multidisciplinary concussion service Patient Safety First Award

A Royal North Shore Hospital Concussion Clinic has been named as a finalist for the ‘Patient Safety First Award’ at the upcoming 2023 NSW Health Awards.

This comes a week after the clinic was named as a finalist for the upcoming 2023 Premier’s Awards. The clinic has played a vital role in helping patients across the district and has had resources they’ve created, used and implemented by the NSW Education Department and New Zealand schools. In its first year, the weekly clinic treated 51 patients, attracting positive feedback, and improving health outcomes. The clinic has been fully booked for the past three months. They have also launched a new telephone service to provide concussion advice to people across Australia. RNSH Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist Dr Vince Oxenham said the clinic is delighted to be making a difference to the community. “To be named as a finalist for two prestigious health awards is humbling and a recognition of the dedication to patient-centred care,” he said.



Transforming Fluid Resuscitation in Intensive Care Health Research Award

A research project driven by clinicians at Royal North Shore Hospital over more than 20 years has been nominated for a NSW Health award. Professor Simon Finfer with Associate Professors Anthony Delaney and Naomi Hammond led the initiative in collaboration with colleagues at RNSH, The George Institute for Global Health and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group.

The project involved a series of large-scale clinical trials to determine which intravenous fluids gave critically ill patients the best chance of surviving their illness. Through their work they were able to determine best practice, confirming the best fluid approach for individual patients. Professor Finfer, a senior intensive care physician, said the results of their ground-breaking research have been incorporated into national and international clinical practice guidelines, saving many thousands of lives and millions of health care dollars. “The research has delivered enormous health benefits to the people of New South Wales, and more broadly to communities across the world,” he said. “With so many people receiving fluids when they come to hospital, even small differences in how they affect the risk of death and other outcomes are important.”

25 years of recognising our remarkable people


No Suppression Group Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award

Paula Hanlon and the ‘No Suppression Group’ project has been named as a finalist in the ‘Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award’ in the NSW Health Awards.

This award recognises and showcases work in improving the quality and safety of mental health patient care within programs and services. “I am so excited,” said Paula, Manager of Ryde Consumer Services who co-founded the group 13 years ago. No Suppression brings together people with lived experience of mental health issues to share their creativity and build social connections. They currently meet monthly at Macquarie Hospital. “The group is about offering a safe space for people to share their creativity, whether it’s through poetry, music, art and comedy. We sometimes have joke offs — the longest joke-off we had went for 46 minute,” said Paula.



NSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Claire Harris with staff at Clinic 16 (right)

Celebrating our community nurses More than 600 nurses work across Northern Sydney Local Health District providing care

morning with Rosy gave me a window of understanding into the broad range of skills required for this role,” she said. “Rosy is a highly trusted and respected clinician by the patients and their family members. The pace and variety of clinical care was impressive and a real eye opener for me of the scope of the role.” Claire also visited Clinic 16 to meet the local sexual health nurses. “The team is truly remarkable and are all so engaged in their work and in ensuring the delivery of an exceptional service for our community,” she said. “I loved spending time with them to understand the model of care and the difference they make in people’s lives.” You can hear from NSLHD community nurses working in Northern Sydney Home Nursing Service about what potential new employees can expect when working in community nursing by viewing the video here: https://bit. ly/3Qg0ylT.

to patients in community health clinics, community centres and in patients homes. Nurses in the community were recently celebrated across the district for Nursing in the Community Week. Staff were recognised for their roles working across aged care assessment teams, child and family health, chronic disease community rehabilitation, community and home nursing service, health contact centre, intellectual disability and sexual health. NSLHD Director of Primary and Community Health Kim Field said nurses in the community not only improve individual health outcomes but also alleviate the burden on hospitals and the health system as a whole. “They do this with a holistic approach to care, community connections, and unwavering commitment to their patients,” she said. “Care may include but is not limited to assessment of health and development needs, collaborative care planning and care coordination, health promotion and education, medication management, family partnerships, chronic complex disease management, palliative care

and outreach nursing services. “Nurses in community play a vital role in building healthier, more resilient communities.” NSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Claire Harris recently spent some time out and about with registered nurse Rosy Harper, a local community nurse from Northern Sydney Home Nursing Service. “Community nursing is a challenging and rewarding career, and my

Claire Harris with local community nurse Rosy Harper



Hospital in the Home Transitional Nurse practitioner nurse Liana Scott and patient Penny Roberts

A first for home treatment Penny Roberts used to travel to the hospital every two days to get fluids to manage her low blood pressure — the chemotherapy treatment for her Stage 4 bowel cancer was leaving her nauseous and quite dehydrated. “I would sit there for a few hours in a chair in the infusion centre taking up space,” she said. These days, Penny, 49, is now a patient in her north shore home. Three times a week, sitting around the dining room table, Hospital in the Home (HITH) Transitional Nurse practitioner Liana Scott uses a small pump to administer two litres of saline solution. Penny is the first chemotherapy patient in the district to receive fluids at home. “Nobody with cancer wants to go to hospital,” said Penny. “If you must go to hospital just to get fluids and you can do it at your house? Oh my gosh, it’s a game changer.” Penny is one of around 100 patients an array of NSLHD staff treat through the district’s Virtual Care and HITH service, which aims to ease pressure on busy emergency departments and other parts of the system. It also benefits the sick, who are less likely to pick up a hospital-acquired infection and prefer care in their own environment. The HITH wing of the service has run since 2000 and now looks after 80 different ailments. Manager Jairo Herrera said patients can be

treated in their homes, in clinics and at work. In some instances, children are cared for at school. “Similar or improved clinical outcomes can be achieved in the community outside of the

hospital system,” he said. “It’s the way of the future.”

The pandemic saw the virtual aspect of the service ramped up, with a particular focus on remote monitoring and hospital substitution treatment, said Chenyao “Jerry” Yu, General Manager of Virtual Care and HITH. He envisions the district will have a virtual facility that has the capacity for 500 beds. “There is so much more we can do to move care out of the acute hospital setting,” he said. Back at Penny’s place, it takes four hours for the saline bag to empty. Some days, Liana returns to unplug the pump. On others, Penny can disconnect it herself as a HITH nurse talks her through the process via Telehealth. “They’ve taught me how to do it,” she said. Being at home means she can spend more time pottering, doing her “medical admin” and being with her husband and two children. “I’m blown away,” said Penny. “It’s such a great service.”



2023 Saturday 14 October

Celebrating the Allied Health community #AHPSDAY2023 #StrongerTogether

Celebrate the skills, achievements, and work of Allied Health Professionals this October

Northern Sydney Local Health District

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