NSLHD News August 30

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


Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol staff recognised at annual awards Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol staff celebrated another year of achievements at the annual MHDA Rewards and Recognition Awards.

Read more on Page 4

Health Minister goes behind the scenes at Royal North Shore g Page 9

district celebrates Speech Pathology week Page 1 and 11

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

On Wednesday 14 August I attended the Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol annual staff awards at Hornsby RSL. The event was hosted by renowned radio broadcaster, journalist and comedian Julie McCrossin. The afternoon also featured a rocking performance from the band The Desperados, great friends of our service. It was such an uplifting event and I really enjoyed hearing the stories of our staff and consumers from right across our mental health and drug and alcohol service and seeing the extra mile they all take in the interests of mental health patients and their families. Congratulations to all our staff in MHDA and to those who received an award. (See page 3 for photos) The NSLHD Budget Roadshows kicked off last week at Royal North Shore and Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospitals and there are more budget Roadshows planned at Macquarie Hospital (4 September), Ryde Hospital (4 September) and Mona Vale Hospital (6 September). The Roadshows provide an important opportunity to look back and celebrate at the achievements of the past year and outline our priorities for the year ahead with staff. A video will soon be available on the intranet for those who were unable to attend one of the Roadshows.

Last week I attended Hornsby Ku-rin-gai hospital’s Leadership Forum. This is great professional development initiative, bringing speakers to talk with the leadership team at Hornsby. I also walked through the stage 2 redevelopment and our new hospital is really taking shape. This investment in Hornsby is going to be a major boost to staff and give our community the contemporary hospital they deserve. On Friday 27 September we are hosting our 2019 Exceptional People Awards at the Kirribilli Club. This event is to acknowledge and thank all of you for the incredible work you do every day. More than 90 nominations were received across seven categories. I very much look forward to presenting the awards at the event. I congratulate all our nominees and the finalists for the dedication and commitment you show in your work.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


Communicating with confidence For 15 years Narelle Vazquez (pictured), 65, from Northmead worked as a principal at Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School. Narelle heavily relied on her speech and voice to address students and staff at many school assemblies and cheer on her students during dance, music, and circus performances. All that changed about four years ago when Narelle was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, involving her jaw, tongue and floor of her mouth. Following a number of surgeries, radiation therapy and speech and swallowing therapy, Narelle is making huge gains; getting her back to thinking about the possibility of returning to her much-loved career. As speech pathologists across the Northern Sydney Local Health District celebrated (see page 11) Speech Pathology Week (August 25 - 31), Narelle shared her patient journey from diagnosis to now where she continues to work on regaining her ability to speak and swallow food and drink. Narelle’s main goal is to get back to school for term 4 which is just six weeks away. “I love my job and the students – I just want to be back there with them and my staff,’’ she said. RNSH’s senior speech pathologist, Danielle Stone, has been helping Narelle with speech and voice rehabilitation for the past year.

Speech pathology student Grace Leonard, senior speech pathologist, Danielle Stone with patient Narelle Vazquez and speech pathology student Alison Lau.

Danielle specialises in head and neck oncology, as well as voice disorders and said Narelle had come a very long way with her speech. “As speech pathologists in a case like Narelle’s, we are there to provide specific skill-based training to assist people in regaining the muscle function required to speak, eat and drink,” she said. “The biggest improvements occur when the patient intensively practices exercises at home. “When Narelle first came out of surgery she struggled to swallow and needed about two minutes to swallow a sip of water.

made great progress and is able to drink liquids and eat pureed foods. “We worked hard to retrain her brain to work with her new anatomy. “We work very closely within the oncology team and manage people like Narelle from time of diagnosis and for years after treatment as needed.” Speech Pathology Week seeks to promote the speech pathology profession and their work with the more than 1.2 million Australians who have a communication disability. For information about Speech Pathology Week visit www. speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/ week

“With an intensive swallowing rehabilitation program, she has

Speech pathology students Grace Leonard and Alison Lau with patient Narelle Vazquez practicing pronouncing words with ‘g’ and ‘r’.



Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol staff recognised at annual awards Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol staff celebrated another year of achievements at the annual MHDA Rewards and Recognition Awards. Hosted by radio broadcaster, journalist and comedian Julie McCrossin at Macquarie Hospital, the awards also featured a rocking performance from the band The Desperados.

Congratulations to all of those who won awards.




Child Youth and family services team development day The Child, Youth and Family Health team Development Day was held attendance. asking the question, how does that translate into my practice?”

North Shore Child, Youth and Family Community Health Service manager Kim Lyle said the aim of the day was to encourage a service-wide approach to child and family care planning, focussed on early intervention, partnering with families and young people to promote healthy brain development and wellbeing. “The vibe in the room was incredibly positive – people were really engaged and having clients involved in the conversation really hit home with many of our staff,” she said. “Their lived experience and expectations had staff in the room

on August 14. The day was the beginning of a planning process, bringing together Child, Youth and Family and partner Local Health District (LHD) services to develop better ways to achieve the NSW goal of: Promoting healthy, happy and safe environments to support children, young people and families to reach their full potential. Consumers, representatives from all Child Youth and Family Health services, Maternity, Child Youth Mental Health services (CYMHS), Multicultural Health, PACH executives and Substance use in Pregnancy and Parenting Services (SUPPS) clinicians were in

The day focused on developing connected client care pathways, focused on the needs of vulnerable children and families. “Our aim is to connect all our services and have an interdisciplinary approach to care,” said Kim. The results of the planning day, particularly the development of child and family, as well as young person client journeys, will form the foundation for the next stage in the planning process which is scheduled for the latter part of 2019. 1000 RNSH Staff complete speaking up for safety training The Speaking Up For Safety initiative is in full swing with more than 1000 staff trained to date. Speaking Up For Safety is a fantastic initiative to empower all staff, both clinical and non clinical, to respect and support each other to ‘speak up’ about safety and quality at any time. For more information visit the intranet page: http://intranet. nslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Safety/ Pages/default.aspx

RNSH’s general manager Alison Zecchin, NSLHD CE Deb Willcox, clinical nurse consultant Rebecca Fox and patient Safety manager Virginia Armour in RNSH’s main foyer speaking the word about Speaking Up For Safety.


Experts grace the silver screen in new ABC series Two of Northern Sydney Local Health District’s staff swapped their clinic rooms for the TV studio as part of a revolutionary Clinical Director for Aged Care and Rehabilitation Professor Sue Kurrle (pictured below) and physiotherapist and rehab coordinator Nicola Kertanegara (pictured right) star on the new program Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds. social experiment being broadcast by the ABC.

They share a structured timetable that encourages physical activity, social interaction, learning and happiness. Sue said the program offered much more than cute interaction and belly laughs. “In order to make positive change for people in aged care here, we need evidence that intergenerational care can work in this country,” she said. “We hope that our experiment will give that evidence and allow it to be adopted much more widely. “Older people were young once and hopefully seeing these four- year-olds will really draw them out of themselves and get them singing and laughing and dancing again as they would’ve when they were younger, bringing them back into life again.” Nicola said the camera took some getting used to, but she was delighted to be a part of such an important experiment. “Being on TV was a huge learning curve for me, I am just an everyday person doing an everyday physiotherapist job,” she said.

lovely project to be a part of and very rewarding to see such a positive idea put into aged care.” Nicola encouraged everyone to tune in on Tuesday evening at 8.30pm as the series continues to showcase the wonderful stories

The pair feature as experts in the five part series, which premiered this week, and will continue at 8.30pm next Tuesday. The premise of the show sees pre- school aged children essentially go to class in a shared a space with older people. Across the seven week experiment, participants test a model of care that could transform the way we support our most vulnerable Australians. Two groups of eleven older Australians and ten pre-schoolers are brought together for planned, mixed activities each day in a specially designed pre-school built within a retirement home.

and heart-warming moments that intergenerational care provides. “Seeing the close bonds created by the children with the residents was definitely a highlight,” she said. “I also personally loved that the children were such great motivators – I am constantly asking patients to get up and go for a walk or to be more active and yet I never have as much success as those children do.” “Seeing the close bonds created by the children with the residents was definitely a highlight.”

“The whole experience was a



Yarning about Aboriginal Health The NSLHD Aboriginal Health Service recently held its second Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Yarning Tea and Art Therapy session.

The yarning tea also is an opportunity for the participants to co-design a health check day program that is relevant to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Social and emotional wellbeing is a priority and these sessions allow for men to openly discuss any issues affecting them. The session also provides a platform to discuss many issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men such as Stolen Generations, psychological distress and drug and alcohol issues.

RESEARCH IDENTIFIES HEALTH IMPACT OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS More than 40 per cent of people injured in a traffic accident are psychologically distressed one month after their accident, with many of those suffering depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms. The research forms part of the latest findings into the physical and emotional impact of motor vehicle crash injuries by the team from the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research. Clinician and Kolling Institute researcher Professor Ashley Craig said their results follow a five year study involving more than 2,000 people injured in a motor vehicle accident. “One in three people injured in a traffic accident suffer depression and experience post-traumatic stress symptoms,” Professor Craig said. “By following patients over a long period of time, we now recognise that people suffering The day focused on connecting mob, yarning, painting and music. Attendees discussed as a group ways to attract more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to the session as well as planning another Yarning Tea BBQ towards the end of the year. As word of mouth travels across the district, it’s hoped numbers will continue to increase.

Lisa Harvey, James Middleton, Ashley Craig, Bamini Gopinath, Ian Cameron and IIaria Pozzato

psychological distress are at a higher risk of developing severe mental health disorders, chronic pain and long-term disability, and that it can take much longer for them to recover. “This can lead to a dramatic increase in costs and take four times longer for crash survivors to recover.” Professor Ian Cameron said the team also examined factors influencing health outcomes after motor vehicle crash injury and approaches to improving wellbeing. “Traditional medical models often fail to assist recovery after a crash,” Professor Cameron said.

“Our research has shown that a return to usual activities as soon as possible is beneficial, challenging earlier recommendations that rest is best. “We have seen that family support, flexibility from employers, such as altered duties, and early treatment covered by insurance companies, all contribute to a quicker recovery. “With traffic injuries predicted to become the third leading cause of global burden by 2030, we hope that our findings will help influence future government policy and drive further reforms within the compensation system.”


Minister Hazzard surveys the work being done in Nuclear Imaging

Health Minister goes behind the scenes at Royal North Shore The Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard covered plenty of ground when he visited Royal North Shore Hospital last week, learning about the latest advances in nuclear medicine and clinical genetics. From there the Minister attended a presentation from the Clinical Genetics team along with representatives from the Children’s Tumour Foundation.

The team spoke about its ongoing efforts to combat neurofibromatosis (NF).

In nuclear medicine, Head of Department Professor Paul Roach gave the Minister a tour of the facilities while talking about some of the excellent work being done with Lutate therapy.

Clinical Associate Professor Yemima Berman also showed the Minister how the department uses lasers to help NF and Schwannomatosis patients.

Mimi Berman with John Hughes CTF Board Chair and Health Minister Brad Hazzard



Exceptional People Awards 2019 - Nominees and finalists announced With more than 90 nominations Winner will be announced at the event.

across seven categories, highlighting the excellent dedication of our employees and volunteers who support and provide the very best care for our patients and consumers. Congratulations to all our nominees! Click here to view all nominees. The finalists were identified as being within a 2 point margin of the winning score.

Responsive & Adaptable Organisation

• Maryanne Coughlan, Nursing and Midwifery Directorate, NSLHD

• Peter Woollett, Macquarie Hospital, MHDA

• Andrew Hansell, Information Communications & Technology (ICT) Lyn Olivetti, NSLHD

• Joan Pateman, Royal North Shore

The finalists are:

• Christine Jackson, Royal North Shore

Engaged & Empowered Workforce

Healthy Communities

• Simone Fitzgerald, Royal North Shore

• Ryde Acute Team, MHDA

• Dr Terrence (Terry) Finnegan, Royal North Shore

• Dr David Lillystone, PaCH


Connected Person-Centred Care

• Chris Ball, Royal North Shore

• Vicki Fox, Clinical Governance Unit, NSLHD

• Tim Yi, Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai

• Kerim Alliu – Mona Vale

• Marija Separovich, Royal North Shore

CORE Values

• Meaghan Jacob – NSHNS, PaCH

• Rado Nikic, Ryde

• Trent Haskell, MHDA

• Biljana Stanic, Corporate Communications, NSLHD

• Alison Hession, Hornsby Ku- Ring-Gai

• Matt Svenson, Ryde

An invitation only luncheon will be held on 27 September to acknowledge and celebrate all our nominees recognised for their great work. Winners will also be announced on this date, and then listed on the Exceptional People Award 2019 website. To follow the awards ceremony on 27 September, you can view live updates on our Twitter feed by following @NthSydHealth and you can get involved by using the hashtag #EPAwards2019 .

• Ricky (Rick) Soars, Mona Vale

• Respiratory Investigation Unit, Royal North Shore

• Roksana Detheridge, MHDA

• Graythwaite 5, Ryde

• Margaret O’Sullivan, PaCH

• Mental Health Intensive Care Unit – Hornsby, MHDA

• Royal North Shore Cancer Centre, Royal North Shore

• Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore

• Philip Bowdler, Information Communications & Technology (ICT) • Ambulatory Care Team, Royal North Shore Hospital

10 NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 16| 30 AUGUST 2019 No finalists identified within the score margin. • Emergency Department, Royal North Shore Evidence-Based Decision Making


• Inge Plant, Royal North Shore

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s Community Participation Committee Their passion for a healthy community and to make life better for all has brought Brian Osborne, Ruth Murray and Susan Forsaith together for the past 10 years. Together the trio has juggled work and life commitments to be members of the Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospital’s Community Participation Committee. This year marks a decade they have been valuable members, and along with Magda Campbell, they are the longest serving members of the CPC. Ruth first came to helping out at the hospital when she was a young Girl Guide and volunteered in the hospital’s kiosk. “I am from a medical family. I worked as a GP for over 25 years,” she said. “I am a very giving person and I want people to have a fair go.” Formerly a biochemist in the UK, Brian has served on many community committees both in Speech pathology teams across the district had a great week spreading the word about Speech Pathology. Staff, patients and visitors came along to a number of stands were they were able to participate in

Ruth Murray, Susan Forsaith and Brian Osborne

England and in Australia.

“I didn’t know what to expect (when I answered the advert) and I didn’t know what was required of me but it has been very worthwhile and we have been able to achieve a lot for the community,” she said. “We are all different people but we have similar goals and passions.” The CPC meets bi-monthly and is consulted on a variety of issues relating to the delivery of services at the hospital. It has provided feedback on clinical plans, hospital structures, signage and the redevelopment of the hospital.

Brian, who is currently the chair and has never missed a meeting, had no hesitation in joining the hospital’s CPC to advocate on behalf of patients and community members. “You can make a difference (being on the Community Participation Committee),”he said. “The hospital trusts us with important information and it values us. My opinion is valuable.” When Susan saw the advertisement in the paper for consumers, her interest in community and preventative health led her to joining. a variety of activities, including trying thickened fluids and guessing the consistency, communicating scenarios or requests without using speech and, of course, guessing how many teeth and mouth lollies are in the jar.

District celebrates Speech Pathology Week

Various flyers, brochures, diagrams and visuals on

communication and swallowing were available at each stand for staff, patients and visitors.

Mona Vale Hospital’s speech pathologists Sophie Walsh and Laura Pavey with team leader Sarah Hammond spreading the word about speech pathology

Staff at Ryde Hospital celebrating Speech Pathology Week




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