NSLHD News 08 March 2024


Main story NSLHD welcomes our newest nurses and midwives NSLHD welcomed more than 200 nursing and midwifery graduates Page 3 Short blurb Read more on Page x

AYAH celebrates one year anniversary Page 7

Our researchers making an impact on the world’s stage Page 6


Message from the chief executive

Adjunct Professor Anthony M. Schembri AM

We recognised International Women’s Day (IWD) on Friday 8 March which provided us with an important opportunity to reflect and recognise the invaluable contributions of women in the workplace and around the world. Here at NSLHD women make up 77 per cent of our workforce. The dedication and unwavering commitment to our patients and consumers that is demonstrated by our female staff is a constant inspiration. However, as we celebrate the contributions made by our female staff, it is crucial to also acknowledge the challenges that persist. The NSLHD Advancing Women in Medical Leadership (AWiML) Working Group is just one example that has a range of initiatives underway to identify the barriers and enablers relating to female doctors progressing to senior roles. With women in our district under-represented in most medical disciplines this is something we are committed to addressing. As well as ensuring we continue to promote greater gender equality across are organisation in senior leadership roles. I am very excited to be attending the inaugural Planetary Health Showcase which is coming up on Monday 18 March. This showcase boasts a wonderful lineup of presenters who will be discussing all things Planetary Health and will report on some of the progress we are making as we work towards Net Zero for emissions we can control as a district. If you wish to attend the showcase online or in person at Royal North Shore Hospital, please register by visiting https://bit.ly/PH- showcase-2024. I would like to commend and congratulate staff from the Manly Adolescent Youth Hospice who recently reached their first

year of operation.

This service has already made such an incredible difference to so many patients and their families and this will continue to be the case for many years to come. Each time I have visited I have been blown away from the feedback I receive, and I would like to thank the entire AYAH team for the role they play in providing high- quality care to patients and their families. The district’s Quality and Improvement Awards nominations are now open. Every year these awards provide an opportunity for staff to showcase their wonderful efforts through projects that improve safety and quality of care across our district. These awards will inform the district’s entries into the NSW Premier’s Awards and NSW Health Awards. You can find out more about the awards on the NSLHD website – http://bit.ly/3YegN3A. It was a pleasure to attend the NSW Health Excellence in Allied Health Awards last week, where our district had four wonderful finalists named across different categories. I would like to congratulate each of the finalists for being recognised at these awards. It is a huge achievement and something to be very proud.

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



Nursing and midwifery graduates at orientation at Royal North Shore Hospital Nursing a career in health

Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) has welcomed 255 nursing and midwifery graduates who are starting their career in the district. This is the highest number of new graduates we have employed to date in NSLHD. They join more than 3400 other nurses and midwife graduates who are starting their career across the state. NSLHD Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Claire Harris welcomed the first group of graduates who went through orientation at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) before joining their new teams across the district’s facilities. “It is wonderful to see so many eager graduates who have chosen this wonderful profession that I am so grateful to be part of,” Claire said. “It is a privilege to be a nurse or midwife, caring for a patient or a family’s loved one at a time when they are vulnerable. It is also a privilege to employ nurses and midwives of such a high calibre into NSLHD. I am very proud of this district and the strength and quality of our nursing and midwifery workforce, that I believe is the best in the state. “I wish them every success in their endeavours and hope they have a fulfilling and diverse career that we are able to support and develop with them.” The new graduates commence as the NSW Government undertakes an ambitious plan to strengthen the state’s health workforce, through the implementation of Safe Staffing Levels. This will begin with increased levels of staff in our emergency departments, starting at RNSH. It is also introducing a 12,000 tertiary health study subsidies of $4000 a year over three years for newly commencing students, or a one off $8000 for existing students paid upon commencement in a role in NSW Health, to assist with the cost of study and to attract health graduates to work with the health system.

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.



Blake Harrison and Christian Shawyer

NSLHD duo ‘capture the flag’ to win cyber security challenge

Two members of NSLHD’s Digital Health Services ‘cracked the code’ by winning a statewide cybersecurity challenge. NSLHD Operations Security Officer Christian Shawyer and NSLHD Cyber Security Officer Blake Harrison placed first out of 100 teams across NSW Government agencies to win a recent capture the flag challenge that was organised by Cyber Security NSW (of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice department) and TahSec. The capture the flag event included a series of challenges across cybersecurity categories including reverse engineering, forensics, cryptography, web exploitation, open-source intelligence and more.

The duo was very happy to be named winners and represent the district. “It felt amazing to win. It was a ton of fun so being able to represent the district was extra special,” Blake said. “Winning this event was very motivating and it’s inspired me to keep developing my skills in cybersecurity,” Christian said. Blake and Christian both said cyber security is becoming increasingly important as online threats become more prominent. “More and more devices are bringing us online every day, and malicious actors are getting better and better at taking advantage of it,” Blake said.

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NSLHD leader in electronic referrals The Northern Sydney Health District has set the record for largest number of electronic referrals, processing over 9200 electronic referrals since August 2022, with 211 GP practices seamlessly adopting the e-referral systems.

The benefits of electronic referrals extend beyond mere convenience. The system facilitates improved clinical information sharing, incorporates comprehensive patient medical history, and allows for the prompt resolution of issues. The portal provides a platform for better understanding of information, minimising time wastage, and enhancing overall patient care. NSLHD’s commitment to digital

Presently, two-thirds of practices have integrated electronic referrals into their workflows, with an impressive 97 percent of Healthlink software embedding the system for ease of use. Additionally, collaborative efforts with NSW e-Health are underway to develop integrations,insuring a more interconnected healthcare ecosystem. Almost 100 services are expected to be added in March elevating NSLHD’s outpatient services coverage to approximately 90 percent across the district boasting over 210 services available for e-referrals. “I am very proud of the team, the service and all the staff. We are very positive about the system as its increased efficiency and coordination.” said Dr Irene Chen Positive feedback has been received from both GPs and hospital staff, citing increased efficiency and improved workflow due to the eReferral system. Improvement Awards have officially opened. The annual awards aim to acknowledge and recognise staff members across the district that go above and beyond every day and make a real difference for our patients, consumers and our community. 2024 marks the fifth edition of the awards and staff can nominate across eight categories: • Planetary Health Award • Transforming Patient Experience Award • Patient Safety First Award • Keeping People Healthy Award • People and Culture Award • Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award • Health Innovation Award • Health Research Award • Excellence in Multicultural Healthcare Award Responsive User Services in Health (RUSH) manager Peter Ellis-Jones worked on the ‘Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) reducing plastic waste’ with Royal North Shore and Brookvale Community Health

integration aligns with its strategic plan to support digital integration across all care providers, including primary care and non-

healthcare providers. Quality and Improvement Awards return for 2024 Applications for the 2024 Quality and

Dr Irene Chen, Project Lead

centre’s, which won the 2023 Planetary Health Award. Peter said the awards are a fantastic opportunity for staff to be recognised for their hard work. “Being recognised for our dedication and hard work infused the entire team with a renewed sense of morale. This acknowledgment not only brought us together but also sparked a surge of creativity, leading to the initiation of innovative ideas,” he said. Staff wanting to enter the awards can visit https://bit.ly/3YegN3A or email nslhd- awards@health.nsw.gov.au for any guidance with submissions. Entries need to be submitted by Wednesday 3 April.

Health Education Officer Quentin Evans with RUSH manager Petter Ellis-Jones at the 2023 QI awards ceremony



Our researchers making an impact on the world stage Internationally respected investigator

are really a reflection of the extraordinary members of the Raymond Purves Research Lab team that I’ve have the privilege of leading over the past 20 years. “Ultimately, it’s the work that they do to increase knowledge of the mechanisms of musculoskeletal disease to help develop new treatments, that is the most important thing. “Societies like the Orthopaedic Research Society enable us to both disseminate what we learn in our research and learn from others around the world, so that together we can hopefully change the lives of patients.”

Professor Chris Little has been recognised for his remarkable contribution to orthopaedic research at an event in Long Beach California. In front of a large international audience, Chris was elected as a Fellow of the Orthopaedic Research Society for his exemplary service and leadership. The accolade acknowledges Chris’ achievement, expert knowledge and contribution to the society and the field of musculoskeletal research over more than 20 years.

Fellows are recognised as thought leaders and serve as role models for those beginning their research journey. Chris has welcomed the honour. “Since its inception 70 years ago, the US Orthopaedic pre-eminent international scientific society dedicated to musculoskeletal research,” he said. “I am therefore very honoured and humbled to have been nominated as an Orthopaedic Research Society Fellow. “Such personal accolades Research Society has arguably become the

Professor Chris Little

New research challenges link between weather and joint pain Many people believe there is a connection

“The only exception was gout where we found hot and dry weather can increase the risk of a flare in people with gout.” Manuela said the study highlighted a wider issue that even though more than a quarter of Australians are affected by a chronic musculoskeletal condition, there are still widespread misconceptions and limited treatment options. “Patients are often left to navigate and understand their medical condition without access to reliable information,” she said. “Our research has debunked a common myth, and we hope shifted attention to evidenced based care. “When seeking pain prevention and relief, both patients and clinicians should focus on how to best manage the condition, including weight management and exercises, and not let the weather influence any treatment.” The study has been published in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism Journal.

between the weather and joint or muscle pain, but a team of researchers from the Kolling Institute say their latest study has found there is no link between the two. Lead author Professor Manuela Ferreira said there is a longstanding belief that changes in weather conditions, such as rain or temperature variations, can trigger or worsen muscle and joint pain, but based on their analyses, they have found the weather has no direct influence on the most common musculoskeletal conditions. “We looked at data from over 15,000 people from seven different countries,” she said. “Together, these people reported over 28,000 episodes of pain, mostly back pain, knee or hip osteoarthritis. We also included people with rheumatoid arthritis and gout. “We then looked at the frequency of those pain reports in different types of weather, hot, cold, humid, dry, rainy and found no difference.



AYAH’s one year anniversary included arts and crafts

AYAh celebrates one year anniversary The Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) has marked its one-year anniversary since opening its doors to patients and families. To acknowledge the milestone, a BBQ was organised at the AYAH premises, bringing together attendees, including patients and families who have utilised the facility during its inaugural year. The event, supported by various community groups, hosted over 65 attendees and featured activities facilitated by partners such as Surfboard Souls Manly, who conducted an artistic workshop. Using repurposed surfboards, attendees created ocean-inspired artworks under the guidance of Oli O Art. Ben and Jerry’s Manly sponsored the event by providing complimentary ice cream for attendees. Stella Maris College, Manly, contributed musical entertainment, including a piano/ vocal duo and a string band with vocalists. Stella Maris College Manly also donated gift baskets to the facility. AYAH volunteers played a crucial role, contributing additional time for various tasks such as set-up, assisting with art activities, and supporting the overall event. Chef Phil and the team

ensured a well-crafted spread of food for the attendees. “It was an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on this milestone. We feel we’ve established a supportive environment at the AYAH, and it was good to see familiar faces come together in a social setting. The success of the day was made possible by our event partners, volunteers, and AYAH staff, committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment,” said Laura Grant, Community Partnerships Manager.

Tayia Yeates, AYAH Service Manager creating art with AYAH resident



NSLHD Administrative Professionals Awards 2024 N omination s are now open! An opportunity to f ormally recognise and than k our Administrative Professional s for the incredible work and support of staff in delivering excellent health and wellbeing outcomes for our patients and consumers. Nominations close Friday 22 March 2024. Follow the link for further information and nomination form.


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