NSLHD News July 3

Get the latest news from across Northern Sydney Local Health District.


new mural at the henley unit A new mural is brightening up the Henley Unit at Macquarie Hospital.

Read more on Page 6

research: common medication to reduce covid-19 symptoms Page 7

volunteers return to district hospitals Page 3

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

As part of our preparations for a possible surge of patients with COVID-19, levels five and six of the Douglas Building at Royal North Shore Hospital have been rapidly refurbished to provide a new inpatient unit with over 50 beds. This work was undertaken at remarkable speed and completed in just over six weeks. The refurbishment required the temporary relocation of the NSLHD executive and administration staff to make way for the new unit. Thankfully because of the low number of cases of COVID-19 in NSW the new unit has not so far been required. Hopefully the wards will not be needed for COVID-19 patients and level five has been chosen as the new RNSH Drug and Alcohol Unit, which will relocate from the old building on Herbert Street. This is great result for our drug and alcohol patients whose current location does not meet contemporary standards. The district executive will relocate to a new interim location on level 14 of the Kolling Building from Monday 6 July. I would like to thank the district executive and administration staff for their patience and understanding during all these relocations. The success of containing COVID-19 in the community has meant we have been able to revisit the one nominated visitor policy across our hospitals and relax some of the restrictions. The restriction has been challenging for our staff, carers and visitors at a very difficult time. I would like to thank all those involved in keeping our staff and patients safe

and for those involved in revising the policy. The new policy will allow more discretion in allowing visitors to see our patients and I know it will be welcomed by many of you. The relaxation of restrictions has also enabled us to revisit some of the events we hold each year to recognise the incredible work of our staff. The NSLHD Quality and Improvement Awards will be held on Tuesday 28 July and the Innovation Awards on Wednesday 29 July. Despite COVID-19 there have been some excellent high-quality entries. To ensure we comply with current health advice, these events will need to be held in a different way to previous years. But I am really pleased we are able to ensure staff get the recognition they deserve. I am very much looking forward to celebrating these achievements with you.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


Solar panels have now been installed on the rooftop at Mona Vale Hospital

MONA VALE GOES SOLAR Mona Vale Hospital is going green as part of a state-wide initiative to improve energy efficiency at hospitals. A rooftop solar energy system has been fitted to the newest inpatient building at the hospital. The new building is due to be completed in September and will accommodate a dedicated inpatient palliative care unit and an inpatient geriatric medical unit. Acting General Manager Jennifer Parkin said this was the first building at MVH to be equipped with a solar PV system. “We are excited to have solar panels installed on the new building which has been Vollies return to our hospitals A handful of volunteers have begun returning to our hospitals with many keen to be back helping patients and supporting our staff. After a three-month hiatus during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic in NSW, a small group of Pink Ladies and Men volunteers are back at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. Returning last week, the mail courier volunteers at HKH are working in the florist shop mail room away from visitors and the public sorting the mail, while they practice social distancing and keep up strict hand hygiene. Support Services Manager Marie Perkins said only a small number of the approximately 120 volunteers have returned under strict protocols to protect them from possible exposure to COVID-19. “We are excited to see our volunteers return: we have certainly missed seeing them,” Marie said. “We are working with the volunteer auxiliary committee to ensure the safe return of the florist shop, and then remaining volunteers

designed to maximise exposure to the north and capture the sun,” Ms Parkin said “Hospitals are operational around the clock so they naturally consume lots of energy. By having solar panels, we can reduce our carbon emissions and reduce energy costs.” Other recent infrastructure additions at the hospital include the inpatient rehabilitation unit, inpatient drug and alcohol unit, support services building, helipad, urgent care centre, and community health services building. Excavation and preconstruction works are also underway for the introduction of a new ambulance station – due to be completed next year.

Volunteer Jan sorts out the mail

to the hospital in the future.” RNSH and Ryde Hospitals are also assessing the safe return of some volunteers.



RNSH prepared for COVID-19 with two new wards In April 2020, a team from Royal North Shore Hospital and the Northern Sydney Local

The 55 beds are spread across two levels of the Douglas Building and will be serviced under the new model of care developed to support staff providing care to patients transitioning from the acute hospital back to their communities and usual place of residence. Staffed by multidisciplinary teams comprising of medical, nursing and allied health, the wards will assist in ensuring that Royal North Shore Hospital is prepared for any anticipated increases in positive presentations, and providing the right care in the right place. These wards will be maintained in their current state to ensure the facility is prepared for any changes in the state’s COVID-19 situation.

Health District commenced the development of two new wards in the Douglas Building in response to the pandemic and potential increase in patients requiring assistance in their recovery from COVID-19. Royal North Shore Hospital General Manager Alison Zecchin said the project has required an enormous amount of team work and collaboration including the reconfiguration and construction of the two new wards. “To support services operating in these wards, a new model of care was developed, and further planning was required to ensure the wards were ready to be operational, if and when required, with equipment and supplies,” she said.

Some of the members of Ryde’s new council

Ryde’s Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Professional Council Ryde Hospital is bringing some of its

Midwifery Drew Hilditch-Roberts said the council will identify opportunities and provide consultation regarding the growth and strengthening of the nursing and midwifery workforce and profession. “The council is a means to bring senior leaders and clinicians in nursing and midwifery together,” he said. “It’s about breaking down the silos, leading future models of care and being a strong nursing and midwifery voice in the vision of what the new Ryde Hospital will look like.”

brightest and most experienced nurses and midwives together with the hospital’s newly established Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Professional Council. The senior council, a chief body of nursing and midwifery professionals at the hospital, aims to uncover innovative ways to deliver care to the Ryde community and will focus on leading for the future, workforce building, talent development and pioneering research. Ryde Hospital’s Director of Nursing and



Inside the time capsule: local newspapers, floor plans and annual reports

Time capsule found at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital A time capsule from the 1930s was

Stern said the capsule was placed in copper guttering and attached to the plaque that was laid on 10 December 1932 by Minister for Health and Secretary for Public Works, Reginald Weaver. “It is a wonderful find especially as we are building a hospital for the future,” Ms Stern said. The redevelopment team is looking to place the contents of the time capsule into a box frame for display in the new building.

unearthed during recent redevelopment works at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. The glimpse into the past was found when Building 2 was partially demolished to make way for the Stage 2 redevelopment. Inside the capsule were floor plans of the original hospital, six annual reports, and two local newspapers dated 8 December 1932. Redevelopment Transition Manager Adrienne Webinar wednesdays Webinars are being held every Wednesday at 1pm to support staff and managers on topics of concern and interest during COVID-19. The webinars are also recorded and available for viewing in your own time. So far the webinars have focused on building resilience, self-care, managing stress and the risk of harm. The team is currently in the process of planning the next series and would love to hear from staff about ideas on future topics.


Share your news and achievements. Contact our team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@ health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.

Contact NSLHD-ODTeam@health.nsw.gov.au with your ideas. For more information visit the COVID Care Information hub on the Intranet. stay up-to-date with nslhd on social media NSLHD on Facebook

• facebook.com/HornsbyHospital/ NSLHD on Twitter • twitter.com/NthSydHealth NSLHD on LinkedIn • linkedin.com/company/northern-sydney- local-health-district/

• facebook.com/nthsydhealth/ • facebook.com/RydeHospital/ • facebook.com/MonaValeHospitalNSW/ • facebook.com/RoyalNorthShore/



The new mural is in the courtyard at the Henley Unit

New mural at Macquarie represents path to recovery A new mural at the Henley Unit at Macquarie Hospital is brightening up the courtyard in a bid to represent hope, optimism and the path to recovery for consumers and staff.

the consumers’ goals and support them on their road to recovery. “This project continues to follow on from our Asking the Question animation and NSLHD’s commitment to working with our Aboriginal consumers and communities.” Handprints of staff and consumers are incorporated in the piece to reflect each individual being open to learning and showing their true selves. Director of Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Andrea Taylor said the mural is a reflection of the community and the positive relationships built between consumers, staff and the communities that the hospital serve. “It highlights the cultural inclusiveness within the unit and importance of First Nations culture within the health sector,” she said. Sandon will continue to enhance Aboriginal culture within Macquarie Hospital with a few murals to be completed at Northern Sydney Education and Conference Centre (NSECC). The new mural joins two other murals at the hospital completed last year by Aboriginal artist Selwyn Williams.

The Henley mural has been designed by Aboriginal artist Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill of Burruguu Art who was commissioned to produce the work by the district’s Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol service. Sandon worked closely with the current consumers at the Henley Unit to bring the mural to life. The mural was celebrated and officially welcomed to the unit with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Koomurri and Kjooragee.

Kjooragee and Koomurri

NSLHD Clinical Lead for Aboriginal Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Michelle Lawrence said Sandon worked with both consumers and staff to provide knowledge and educate them on Darug people. “The mural acknowledges the traditional lands we work on, where we provide care and treatment for our most vulnerable,” she said. “The mural depicts an image of both clinicians and consumers, no one is more powerful rather we work together to achieve


A/Professor Meg Jardine and Professor Carol Pollock

medication could reduce severe COVID-19 symptoms A group of blood pressure

“The trial will investigate whether a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers can improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients, by interrupting the virus’ entry into the body’s cells,” she said. “We’ll also be looking at whether these medications can protect patients against lung injury from COVID-19, a common outcome for those with severe symptoms. “These existing blood pressure medications have already shown to reduce inflammation and we’re hopeful they’ll reduce the risk of severe COVID disease and guide future treatment advice.” Blood pressure medications have been used widely in the treatment of various chronic diseases for more than 30 years and are affordable and easy to

access. “If found to be effective, these medications could be rapidly incorporated into the routine clinical care of COVID-19 patients, long before a vaccine is ready,” Professor Pollock said. “This would represent a major breakthrough in the management of these patients, so we’re very keen to see the initial results of the trial. “The project involves a tremendous national and international collaboration, and it will give Australia the opportunity to deliver really significant global benefits.” The trial has received $1.4 million from the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

Morrison was being cared for at Royal North Shore Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and last week she celebrated her milestone 18th birthday. Maya was born at 25 weeks, weighing just 732 grams. Maya’s mum Jodi Morrison got in contact via the Royal North Shore Hospital Facebook page to send her thanks to staff at the NICU. “Just wanted to say a massive thank you to the doctors and nurses at RNSH NICU,” she said. medications may hold the key to better outcomes for those with COVID-19, marking a significant breakthrough in the treatment of the virus. An exciting new study, involving researchers from across Australia and India, will investigate whether existing blood pressure medications can reduce the risk of severe disease as well as the duration of severe symptoms. Researchers from Royal North Shore Hospital will support a team led by Associate Professor Meg Jardine from The George Institute for Global Health. Professor Carol Pollock, who will lead the trial at RNSH, said the CLARITY study will involve up to 600 patients over the next year.

RNSH NICU baby celebrates 18th birthday Eighteen years ago Maya

“Feeling so grateful and didn’t know how to show our appreciation.”

Maya in the NICU



Are you looking for mental health support?

Go to headtohealth.gov.au to find online and phone services and information.

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