NSLHD News July 9

Message from the Chief Executive Deb Willcox

As the situation at Royal North Shore Hospital continues to improve following the recent COVID-19 exposure I wanted to thank you all again for everything that has been achieved to keep the hospital operating and safe as we responded. Patients and staff identified as close and casual contacts continued to receive negative COVID-19 test results. The latest reports from those who have tested positive is they are progressing well and they are being looked after by staff in the virtual hospital. The hard work, dedication and diligence all of you have shown toward keeping our patients, each other and our community safe over the past two weeks or so has been extraordinary. From the professionalism of staff on the affected wards and the leadership of hospital management, right through to those from other facilities who have put their hands up to help out – everyone has played their role in our shared success to date. While the impact of the necessary restrictions will continue to be felt for another week or so, it is heartening to see the number of staff who needed to stay in isolation fall below 300. This is largely down to the fast and forensic work of staff tracking the outbreak, assessing risk and reclassifying contacts. The staff in isolation are being offered every support and they are in our thoughts as they continue to do what is required for the benefit of us all.

As well as ensuring our staff are looked after, more than 60 patients from the affected wards have now been discharged to complete their isolation period from the comfort of their own home. Each patient has had their situation assessed and will continue to abide by the public health requirements and I thank you for the care and compassion you have shown them. It is important we continue to do all the right things – we are currently doing very well, and I know we are all determined to see us back to business as usual as quickly and as safely as possible. This week, together with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters we are celebrating NAIDOC Week, albeit in a modified and COVID-safe way. NAIDOC Week celebrates more than 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country’ which calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage. While we may not have been able to enjoy the usual celebrations, hopefully we can all come together soon and honour the world’s oldest continuing culture. I would like to thank the Aboriginal Health Service team who is working hard to ensure we are able to do so.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



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