NSLHD News May 8

MEssage FROM the chairman Trevor Danos AM

Throughout this pandemic, the Board has been immensely proud of the dedication, hard work and achievements by all staff across our hospitals and health services. Sometimes it takes a challenging situation, like the one we are experiencing now, for people to discover their ingenuity and inner passions. I recently visited Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospital with the Chief Executive, Deb Willcox and was so impressed with what the staff have achieved in the shadow of very major, and at times, disruptive construction works. Hornsby Hospital has established a streamlined COVID-19 testing clinic; created dual and physically separated emergency and ICU departments to deal with COVID-19 “hot” and “cold” cases. The cold cases are patients with non-respiratory illnesses and are being cared for in a new and really impressive demountable building. While the “hot” cases are patients displaying respiratory COVID-like symptoms and cared for in repurposed rooms and resuscitation bays. At the same time, staff are continuing to provide care and treatment to the normal stream of non-COVID emergencies. It is not just Hornsby Hospital where we have seen enormous and rapid changes to models of care and the redesigning of the physical layout of wards and treatment spaces. All of our hospitals, community health centres and mental health services have needed to rethink the way they treat their patients and care for the community in light of COVID-19. After a recent visit at Ryde Hospital, I was pleased to see how the hospital and its

staff have bounced back from the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Without warning, Ryde Hospital found itself having to deal with the initial COVID-19 outbreak in real time without the comprehensive state-wide support arrangements that now exist. On my visit I found a positive, can-do attitude, a quiet confidence, a determination to succeed and resilience. In every case, staff had a smile on their faces, a calm and purposeful demeanour and went about their duties with great humility. Ensuring our staff have access to necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been a constant challenge, but a well governed centralised approach has meant frontline staff have been able to access PPE when they need it. The Board has been very impressed with the District’s leadership, collaboration and clinical governance in response to COVID-19. The speed in which the District has had to come together and act has no precedent and everyone should be proud of what they have achieved in such a short amount of time. It gives the Board great confidence that our hospitals and health services are prepared if there is a rise in COVID-19 presentations. Importantly, it also shows that no matter what challenge staff may face they have the leadership, knowledge, skills and initiative to meet it and to continue to provide the highest standard of care to the community.

Trevor Danos AM Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District



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