NSLHD News February 12

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


Main story Short blurb mona vale palliative care unit opens Northern eaches patients nearing the final stages of life will be supported and cared for closer to home with a new purpose-built unit. Read more on Page x

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intellectual disability program launch Page 5



Message from the Chief Executive Deb Willcox

It is especially pleasing to see that low community transmission of COVID-19 is allowing many of us to return to a sense of normality, both at work and in our personal lives. As of Friday, NSW has now been 26 days without community transmission and the NSW Government is further easing restrictions with the two metre social distancing rule coming into effect on Friday 12, February. We continue to plan for the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, working closely with NSW Health on the program. I will provide updates to staff when more information is available but in the interim, NSW Health has set up a dedicated landing page on the COVID-19 vaccination program which you can visit at https://www.health.nsw. gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/covid- vaccination.aspx I recently had the pleasure of officially opening Mona Vale Hospital’s palliative care and geriatric evaluation management units. For the first time northern beaches palliative care patients nearing the final stages of life will be supported and cared for closer to home with the new purpose-built unit. The units were built as part of the upgrade of the northern beaches health facilities. It was really great to meet the staff at the opening event

who I know will provide the very best compassionate care to our patients. Their excitement was so encouraging and I know they are very much looking forward to welcoming patients and their families and helping them during a difficult time. The new specialised geriatric evaluation and management service will also add to the diversity of health care services we provide at Mona Vale Hospital. Applications are now open in the first round of the Innovation Pitch Program – a chance for all of you to receive up to $50,000 in grant funding for an innovative idea that can transform the way we deliver care to our patients. It’s not hard to enter and we have seen some really remarkable ideas previously which are now embedded in our health services at the district. Please take a look at the intranet page to find out more information on applying. It can be found at the Improvement Hub on the NSLHD website or by visiting https://bit. ly/3aMGPnW I look forward to seeing your entries and attending the next Pitch event.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Staff with Board Chair Trevor Danos AM and CE Deb Willcox at the opening of the unit

palliative care unit opens at mona vale In a landmark day for Mona Vale

tendency to fall, reduced mobility and cognitive impairment,” Jennifer said. “This is another important addition to our hospital, joining the urgent care, community health, diagnostic, rehabilitation and other speciality services.” Everything from the floor to ceiling was designed in conjunction with consumer and community groups, and Northern Sydney Chief Executive Deb Willcox was excited to see it come to life “The fittings through to the artwork were selected in consultation with groups like Friends of Northern Beaches Palliative Care and Northern Beaches In-patient Palliative Care Working Group, so the unit can meet all the needs of those admitted,” she said. About 50 staff will work at the facility across the disciplines of medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, clinical psychology, neuro-psychology, podiatry, speech pathology, dietetics, pharmacy, administration and environmental services. “It was a pleasure to meet some of the staff at the opening and I know they will contribute greatly to the lives of those needing care at one of the hardest, most challenging times of their life,” Deb said.

Hospital, the new Palliative Care and Geriatric Evaluation and Management building has opened to the community. The new unit, which houses the two services, was officially opened to much fanfare with the Minister for Health Brad Hazzard and local MPs Rob Stokes and James Griffin touring the unit alongside members of the local community. Mona Vale Hospital Acting General Manager Jennifer McConnell said the new services were important for so many reasons. “Patients nearing the final stages of life will be supported and cared for closer to home in this new, purpose- built facility,” she said. “Our new specialised multi- disciplinary palliative care team will give patients and their families real choice and support during what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times.” The building has two wings with a 10-bed Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) unit joining the ten dedicated palliative care beds. “The GEM will provide early assessment and treatment for people experiencing health conditions associated with aging, such as a



staff at the helm: mona vale palliative care unit Jodie Wason, Nurse Unit Manager

“As cliché as it sounds we want to work as a family and care for each other.” Jodie said the future-proofed unit was exciting not just for the community, but for staff as well. “The end of life stage is such a stressful time so having something close by at Mona Vale will be really important for the community,” she said. “There’s a lot of new, modern technology which is really exciting. All of our PCs have cameras so hopefully in the future we can do a lot more virtual care consults for our patients out in the community. “We will also be able to have multidisciplinary consults with other hospitals, and we will be able to do that from here, rather than taking the patient there which when it comes to aged care, is really important.” While palliative care can be an emotional journey for northern Sydney, having trained at the district during his junior years, while more recently working at Hornsby Hospital and HammondCare Palliative Care at Mona Vale. Now he has turned his focus to heading up the new unit, which opened last week, and helping those in the northern beaches community get the help they need closer to home. “I’m really excited, I’ve been walking around in a bit of a daze – I don’t know that you would find a better place for this unit,” he said. “I’ve never been part of a service where there’s been a new palliative care unit that is purpose built. It shows a prioritising of palliative care that’s not common in most health services. “Having a local place where people can come, receive the help they need, be welcomed and still be in their local area

The chance to build a new team and shape the culture of palliative care at Mona Vale Hospital was too important to pass up for new Nurse Unit Manager Jodie Wason. The former acting deputy director of nursing takes on the new role with a clear aim: providing the best environment possible for patients. “One of the things that really attracted me to this role was building a team and bringing a positive culture into a new environment. It’s fun and exciting, being involved in something so new,” she said. “We’re aiming for a really caring, nurturing environment, not just for the patients but for each other, that we’re really listening to each other and valuing opinions.

all involved, Jodie said it was also a special time for staff who can make such an incredible impact on patients and their loved ones. “It’s a privilege to be involved with the family and being able to share those intimate moments with them, while making sure that you provide the care that they want, putting the wishes of patient and family in place,” Jodie said. “I’m looking forward to making a positive impact for our community and I think that the whole facility is looking forward to that too.”

Dr Peter Roach, Staff Specialist

From Dr Peter Roach’s first rotation through palliative care as a junior doctor, he knew he had found his calling. The recently appointed inaugural staff specialist of Mona Vale Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit said it was the words of a wise JMO manager that changed the course of his career in medicine. “She sent me to the palliative care units in Northern Sydney for six months and I loved it – it was a model of care I’d never even thought about,” he said. “I thought ‘this is the way medicine should be practised.’ It was ideal for me and it suited my temperament – I’ve loved it from then.” Peter is no stranger to

will be fantastic.” Peter said quality palliative care was as much about the people in it as the set up or location, and he is confident they have the right team to help those in their time of need. “I’ve been here for five hours and I’m just so impressed by the warmth of the hospital. It’s a beautiful building, but with palliative care, it is about the people,” he said. “The staff that I’ve met aren’t going to just make this a beautiful physical place but a caring place as well.”



intellectual disability program launch Demand for specialist

intellectual disability and mental health services in NSLHD is high with about 6000 people accessing our services every year. Workshops are now available to support staff involved in the care of people with an intellectual disability. Designed and delivered by carers and clinicians, the workshops explore best practice and optimal interventions for the care of people with an intellectual disability. Available to all NSLHD staff, there are two workshops, one designed for general staff and disability support workers, while the other is for mental health professionals. Manager Kerry Hides-Pearson said the workshops will also explore pathways for people with an intellectual disability to mental health care. “NSLHD is recognised as Mental Health Drug and Alcohol’s Senior Project is joining Ryde Hospital’s orthopaedics and surgery team – a first of its kind for the hospital. Brooke Little is taking on the new position of Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 (CNS2) which aims to improve the care of orthopaedic and surgical patients and educate staff, leading contemporary clinical practice for the speciality. Brooke joins the team from Hornsby Hospital where she has been managing a number of quality improvement

(Left to right) Raj Gopalan, Kerry Hides-Pearson, Adam Johnston, Andrea Taylor and CE Deb Willcox

having the largest population of people with an intellectual disability and co-occurring mental health issues residing in supported accommodation in NSW,” Kerry said. “The Intellectual Disability Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Program has also instigated a Team of Champions who self- nominated from multiple disciplines across all settings in NSLHD. These clinicians will be supporting others in their local setting to embed quality care for people with an intellectual disability.” Chief Executive Deb Willcox projects and educating and supporting a multidisciplinary team to develop patient outcomes. Ryde Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery Drew Hilditch-Roberts said it is fantastic to have Brooke on board. “We have never had a surgery advanced practice role at Ryde – Brooke is already a huge asset to our team,” he said. “Brooke will also take a key clinical leadership role as

recently launched the workshops which are being offered at various venues across the district. Kerry said the district’s specialised services for people with an intellectual disability included a specialist team based at Royal North Shore Hospital and a primary and community health intellectual disability team based at Cremorne. Enrolments for the workshops are now open on My Health Learning.


Brooke Little

we head into the hospital’s redevelopment.”



New graduate management trainees on board for 2021 A pandemic and state borders have not stopped this year’s graduate health management trainees joining Northern Sydney Local Health District for the next two years.

The two-year program has been created to establish tomorrow’s leaders in health management. They will be provided opportunities to gain work experience in a number of areas including executive and operational management as well as finance. Nina Trimboli has travelled across the Nullarbor from Perth to take up her position, while Anna Jamison joins the mainland after previously calling Tasmania home. Meanwhile Chrystjan Bowers completes the trio from closer to home, making the commute from the Central Coast. Nina, a qualified physiotherapist, said she was looking forward to continuing to help others, albeit from a different role. “I have always had a passion for health and helping communities; so it is a really attractive opportunity to be able to experience this area through a management perspective,” she said. Anna, who is on rotation at

Left to right: Nina Trimboli, Chrystjan Bowers and Anna Jamison

Hornsby, said she was looking forward to getting more experience in the hospital environment after originally completing a degree in microbiology. “The first few days have been busy and very informative, I think there is a lot to gain from the orientation to see how all the different areas in the hospitals across the district are managed,” she said. “As I have little experience in the hospital environment I’ve learnt the importance of observing how things are run at the clinical level and being aware of how every department works together to make it all tick.” Chrystjan’s experience since

graduating with a degree in business analytics includes work at IBM and Tableau, but he said the programs opportunity to work alongside leaders was most exciting. “Not many programs out there give you the chance to work with executives straight out of university, give you management experience, cover a masters and provide experience in the health industry,” he said. “My first few days has increased my weekly step average and has been great so far “It is nice to learn about the district from different levels, locations and positions and getting insights and an understanding.”

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




Schematic design revealed: Hornsby Redevelopment Stage 2 The schematic design for additional services as part of the $265 million Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s Stage 2 Redevelopment has been revealed. In addition to the consolidation of community

health services, the new building (as seen in the schematic design) which will connect to the main Clinical Services Building, will expand outpatient services at the hospital by providing chemotherapy services and renal dialysis for the first time. Other services in the new building include oral health, BreastScreen and an equipment loan pool for home use of medical equipment. The building has been designed in line with features of the main Clinical Services Building, particularly the facade elements and interior design. The provision of additional

Schematic design of additional services of Hornsby Hospital’s redevelopment

services follows an additional $65 million to the Hornsby Stage 2 Redevelopment, bringing the total stage 2 investment to $265 million. The new paediatric ward opened in September 2020 and the new outpatients in October. November was a busy month with the new pharmacy department opening, making Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital the first

public hospital in NSW to use robotics in a pharmacy setting. The new intensive care unit (ICU) also opened in November 2020, which is around three times the size of the previous unit. The main clinical services building is due to open later this year.

You matter, I matter, Everyone matters at NSLHD Have you seen the new diversity, inclusion and belonging badges available at NSLHD? They form a small part of the important series of Improvement Plan, generated from your feedback. Some of the highlights of the actions taken based on the last PMES survey are: • Expansion of the PMES will be back in late 2021, but in the

meantime we will continue to run pulse checks to ensure you have the opportunity to tell us what you need. We are also pulling together an Employee Experience Framework through consultation with employees. If you are interested in getting involved and are able to be released to attend a monthly workshop for the next six months, please do not hesitate to contact NSLHD-ODTeam@health.nsw. gov.au.

actions taken in response to the feedback you gave us in the 2019 People Matter Engagement Survey (PMES). We are serious about diversity and inclusion and we are dedicated to making our workplace a great place to work, where you can bring your whole self to work. Send us an email to NSLHD- ODTeam@health.nsw.gov.au if you want to get yourself a badge. NSLHD continues to work through the Culture

Speaking Up for Safety strategy (with roll out to PaCH and Hornsby due to commence this quarter • Establishment of People Manager Learning Path (for all new managers leading teams) • Launch of Leadership Advisory Board and the NSLHD Leadership Charter • Commencement of the Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Strategy



‘Will I be a good dad?’ is a common concern amongst new dads and dads-to-be.

The Focus on New Fathers program provides a free text message based service called SMS4dads.

Free tips, tools and links – directly to dad’s phone To help new dads and dads-to-be navigate the changes, before and after the birth of their baby, NSW Health and the University of Newcastle have partnered to deliver SMS4dads. Once new dads and dads-to-be are registered, they’ll receive practical tips, tools and helpful links directly to their phone. You’re eligible: • if you are 18 years or older • if your partner is at least 16 weeks (four months) pregnant; or • from your baby’s birth until they are 6 months old.

Just wanted to say thanks for this project. The text messages have been invaluable and I couldn’t have known just how much I needed to receive these short and helpful messages.

Registration is free and easy. www.health.nsw.gov.au/ focus-on-new-fathers

For more information visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/focus-on-new-fathers

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