Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse
message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients and our community remains of paramount importance during these challenging times as we respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across NSW continues to increase, there is a need for our health services to work with the community to slow the spread of the virus. I understand this is an incredibly difficult and anxious time for many families, but I would like to reassure the community that Northern Sydney Local Heath District is working with NSW Health and all state and federal government agencies to ensure it is prepared to respond to the virus. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020, we have been meeting daily to ensure our hospitals and services are prepared and planning for the coming months. A team of clinical advisors are meeting with the District Executive daily and informing our decisions. Together we are working on our district-wide preparedness, with special focus on emergency care, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, and critical care. We are so extremely fortunate to have such high calibre clinical staff, who are true leaders in their disciplines and always have our patients and staff at the centre of their advice. We are also making some changes to elective surgery and our private hospitals are a welcome partner in helping ensure our patients receive timely access to surgical procedures. A dedicated district team is undertaking planning requirements for COVID-19 including planning for additional beds, equipment and staff in the likelihood they will be required. It is also likely we going
to need to be more innovative and agile in our workforce to ensure we have the right people with the right skills in all parts of our services when we need them the most. While we are working tirelessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff, we also need the support of the community to be vigilant in order to protect families, especially the vulnerable. Already, we have seen such a positive response from the community by supporting our restrictions on visitors to hospital. I cannot stress the importance of also staying at home if you are unwell, as well as the need to keep up hand washing and hygiene. All the advice from infectious disease experts is the best way to protect you and your loved ones from the virus, is those simple measures. I understand as a society we are being asked to make significant changes to how we live, and because the local effect of this virus is not fully unknown, this creates anxiety. To reduce anxiety, it is important to seek information only from trusted sources, such as www.health.nsw.gov.au. It has never been more important as a community to band together and look after each other. Assist others in their time of need, protect the elderly and vulnerable neighbours and follow the advice of the Government and health authorities. Each of us has a role to play in reducing the spread of Coronavirus and keeping our loved ones safe.
Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District
2 NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 5| 24 MARCH 2020
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