NORTHERN SYDNEY LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT NSLHD
Welcoming our new jmo S Close to 80 new doctors have started their careers across our district. Read more on Page 5
Mr Bojangles bringing smiles to graythwaite Page 4
Bushfire response Page 10 and 11
Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing
Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse
message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox
Welcome back- I hope everyone had an enjoyable break or managed to take some time off. To those of you who worked and cared for our patients, I would like to say a huge thank you. At a time meant for holidays, family and rest, so much of NSW was devastated by bushfire. Our devoted staff have been giving their time as volunteers in the Rural Fire Brigade to fight the fires. NSLHD is working with our colleagues in bushfire affected districts. There are clinical staff who have volunteered to lend a hand to Murrumbidgee and Southern NSW local health districts as part of the NSW Health response. Staff are working alongside their counterparts in the districts to provide support and clinical care to isolated communities, hospitals and multipurpose facilities. A group of nurses, social workers and a medical officer are based at Wagga Wagga while a mental health team is assisting in the community in Bega. I would like to thank all staff who put their hand up to be deployed to help. This generosity is one of the few joys in such a terrible time. I would also like to thank Counter Disaster Unit Manager Louise Barker-Allner and A/Director of Nursing and Midwifery Jenny Neilsen for all their efforts in organising our quick response to communities in need. At the same time, I would also like to acknowledge our staff who are caring for the patients from the Mt White volcano tragedy. It has been an incredibly distressing time for these patients, some who have lost loved ones, and our staff have carried out remarkable acts of kindness. The new year welcomes new Junior Medical Officers who have started their careers as doctors in hospitals in our LHD. I had the pleasure of meeting the new doctors on their
first day and I wish them well as they embark on their career. They are all part of the highly valued staff in our district. The district is doing some very important work to care for the wellbeing of our JMO workforce, led by our JMOs, and I look forward to bringing you more news about this soon. Every year when the Australian Day honours are announced, inevitably staff in this local health district are honoured. Congratulations to Professor Bruce Robinson who has been awarded the highest honour in the Australia Day honours. Bruce was one of five distinguished Australians named as a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Division of the Order of Australia. Bruce is a much respected and admired colleague for his work in endocrinology and thyroid cancer. All who know Bruce and work with him know that he gives so much to Royal North Shore Hospital and to his patients. This is such a very special achievement to be honoured by his country. The start of the year has brought some departures and new members to the district. Our much loved Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Anthony Dombkins, has left the district to take on the role of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at ACT Health. We are currently recruiting to the DON role and I will update you soon. I would also like to welcome Elizabeth Wood who joins us from the Ministry of Health to take up the role of Executive Director of Operations. Some of you may remember Elizabeth who acted in the role last year. Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience and all who had the benefit of working with her are looking forward to working with her once again. Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth.
Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District
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Top australia day honours for RNSH professor
“I feel very honoured to receive this award, and acknowledge that it would not have been possible except for the great support I have received throughout my professional life from my family, colleagues from medicine, the broader health community, from academia, the business community and the public sector,” he said. “My work in medical research, health care and medical education, has all been built on the foundations laid by others.” Bruce said he had been very fortunate throughout his career in a multitude of ways. “Being a doctor and looking after patients is a privilege, and I would also like to acknowledge the support and trust that patients have offered to me and to acknowledge how much they have taught me,” he said. Former NSLHD mental health and suicide prevention advocate Tony Humphrey was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to community health through suicide prevention organisations. Tony worked with the district between 1988 and 2010. The hospital will boast one of the largest solar panel projects in the state’s health system and is due to be operational this year. Announcing the project, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Environment Minister Matt Kean said the hospital would save almost $250,000 in electricity bills in the first year. “That is money that is being saved and going back to patients instead of on electricity bills,” Mr Kean said. The panels will be installed on the STAR, HOPE and Mental Health buildings.
Professor Bruce Robinson
He’s the recipient of one of Australia’s most prestigious awards, but Professor Bruce Robinson insists the triumph is not his alone. Bruce received the Companion of the Order of Australia as part of this year’s Australia Day Honours for his contribution to medical research, national health care and tertiary education. Currently an endocrinologist at Royal North Shore and co-Head of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Kolling Institute, Bruce said he shared the success with a lot of people from across the organisations as well as many others.
Hornsby going solar
Health Minister Brad Hazzard announcing the solar panel project to media
Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital will soon have solar energy after the NSW Government announced a $1.5 million project.
Big Red Bus stops by Royal North Shore ‘home’
“I’ve been thinking of going on a holiday up there but I’ve got a lot of restrictions,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling very well at all before I started dialysis, but now I feel I’m on top of it all. Once I go up there and I like it, I’ll probably just follow the bus around.” Nurse Colleen Smart said working on the bus wasn’t just rewarding for patients, but for staff as well. “It gives patients some normality in their lives, they’re able to go on a holiday and visit a destination they wouldn’t normally be able to,” she said. “They so appreciate it and it’s so fulfilling as a nurse to be able to provide it for the patients. It’s fantastic to see everyone in a really good mood.”
Elvio Spaliviero and Colleen Smart aboard the Big Red Kidney Bus
The Big Red Kidney Bus has made its first stop for 2020, pulling up at Royal North Shore Hospital offering dialysis services to patients visiting from across the state. A joint initiative between the hospital and Kidney Health Australia, the bus began operating in 2016 and has proven a hit with dialysis patients, giving them the freedom to take extended holidays away from their usual place of treatment. Mr Bojangles cheers up rehab patients at Ryde Every other Friday, patients and staff at Ryde’s Graythwaite Rehabilitation Centre excitedly await a special visitor – Mr Bojangles the therapy briard. Bojangles has been visiting the centre since 2018 with Delta Society’s Therapy Dogs Program. His signature trick involves perching up on a
This year the bus will be calling into locations like Coffs Harbour, Ballina, Umina and Nelson Bay. North Narrabeen resident Elvio Spaliviero was trialling the bus with his eyes on using it when it makes a pitstop in Port Macquarie later this year. He said it’s been 18 months since his last holiday, and he was looking forward to the bus making it possible again.
Mr Bojangles puts smiles on faces during his fortnightly visits
chair next to patients to get into a prime patting position. The Therapy Dog Program provides a positive impact on patients’ social, emotional and physiological health. Shane, a rehabilitation
patient at Graythwaite, experienced this first-hand. “Mr Bojangles made my day. He is magnificent – really lovely. It’s a very good memory to take home with me,” Shane said.
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New faces just what the doctor ordered Hospitals across the district welcomed their new Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) this week, after they successfully completed their orientation.
All up, 79 doctors have joined NSLHD, with 60 shared between Royal North Shore and Ryde, 17 to Hornsby and two to Mona Vale. JMOs also attended a welcome evening at the Kirribilli Club on Wednesday evening to get to know each other as well as hear about the resources available to them through the district. Chairperson of the JMO Wellbeing Board Committee Dr Linda Xu said she was looking forward to working closely with the district’s newest doctors. “Start of intern year can be a challenging and stressful time,” she said. “We hope they enjoy the start of a long journey in medicine. The NSLHD JMO Wellbeing Board Committee is committed to improving your time here in NSLHD. “We would welcome any new JMOs to join us on the committee and contact us with ideas throughout the year. Look out for various initiatives and events throughout the year.” If you would like to find out more about the committee, please email NSLHD- JMOWellbeingCommittee@health.nsw.gov.au
Hornsby to become more environmentally Friendly
A new recycling scheme has been rolled out at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital which will see an increase in the amount of recycled waste. Staff and visitors are being encouraged to embrace the new dry-mix recycling scheme which will allow for more waste products to be diverted from landfill. While the hospital has been recycling some of its waste for many years, the new program allows for many more products to be recycled. General Manager Lee Gregory said new dry-mix bins around the hospital would now accept coffee cups, water bottles, paper and plastics, including soft plastics such as bags and uncontaminated single- Our amazing grace Nurse Grace Jones made headlines around the nation and across the globe when she saved the life of The Wiggles’ Greg Page. The Royal North Shore Hospital registered nurse was on a night out to watch The Wiggles perform a charity concert for the bushfires, when the famous former yellow wiggle collapsed on stage. Grace sprang into action and immediately offered her help, performing CPR and using a defibrillator, which paramedics have credited her for saving Greg’s life.
use medical items and their packaging. “We have always recycled, but we are taking our program to the next level by driving more waste into recycling,” he said. “Our staff and patients have wanted to do more and by changing where we send our waste to be processed we can do more to reduce our environmental footprint.” In coming months, the hospital will also launch the Return and Earn bottle scheme which will see the hospital raise money to go back into services. “There is always more we can be doing and I am looking forward to more ways our hospital can protect the environment,” Mr Gregory said.
Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital General Manager Lee Gregory
Grace Jones appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on January 19 after saving the life of Greg Page
the knowledge that helped him and saved him.” Grace is like so many of our medical staff, who spring into action when off-duty to help others who need medical assistance. Grace, 23, is now back to caring for our patients at RNSH. Greg has left hospital and is now recovering at home.
Overnight, Grace became a household name as media outlets from across Australia interviewed her on her experience, praising her as a hero. “I don’t really think of myself as a hero,” Grace told The Daily Telegraph. “I’ve been trained to do that and I kind of flicked a switch. I went in and I just used all
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Professor Jonathon Morris, NICU neonatologist Dr Eveline Staub, Jennifer and Hayden with baby James
Research spotlight on specialist NICU team Celebrity couple Hayden James and Jennifer Luby shared their emotional journey He also welcomed the chance to share their experience with other parents going through the same journey in the NICU.
following the premature birth of their son during the inaugural Women and Babies Research team seminar at the Kolling. Hayden, an award winning Australian musician and DJ, and his wife Jennifer, a Sydney-based artist, spent 87 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at RNSH last year. Their son James was born at 30 weeks, remarkably weighing just under one kilogram. James received intensive specialist treatment by the multidisciplinary team and now at six months, is a happy and thriving baby. His parents described their experience in the NICU as emotional, traumatic and surreal, but ultimately joyous. Jennifer said one comforting factor was she knew they were in the best possible place and in the best possible hands, and would be forever grateful to the team. “The NICU staff were amazing – just angels – and they really saved James’ life. We are so thankful for the nurses, doctors, social workers and specialist staff,” she said. Those comments were echoed by Hayden, who said the more information they received, and the more in-depth it was, the more they were filled with confidence.
“For us, it was a matter of time for James to develop and gain weight, and on some occasions, it felt like Groundhog Day and was very tough mentally,” he said. “The best day of our lives was driving home - the three of us, and we are now enjoying normal parent activities, and just being together.” The seminar was also addressed by leading neonatal paediatrician Professor Lex Doyle, who discussed the latest research trends for babies born early and their long term health outcomes. The event was the first public seminar hosted by the Women and Babies Research group. It investigates factors linked to pregnancy problems such as preterm birth, diabetes and hypertension with the aim of ensuring all babies have the best chance of a healthy start to life. Further information and free educational material can be found at www. everyweekcounts.com.au
ims+ is the new incident management system that will replace IIMS across NSW Health for reporting clinical, work health safety and corporate incidents into the state-wide system, and also for capturing consumer feedback. Northern Sydney LHD will go live with ims+ on 17 February 2020 with support from eHealth throughout the transition. ims+ is quicker and easier to use and uses one form for all incident types, and one system captures all data on incidents and consumer feedback. It is accessible through your StaffLink ID, notifiers can receive feedback on their incident while automatically generates the severity/harm rating. ims+ can be used
you have enrolled in a session if you haven’t already. All training related information can found on the Northern Sydney LHD intranet site. Whether you are a notifier and/or manager of incidents, it’s imperative that you complete training as soon as possible. During the week of go-live, representatives from the LHD and eHealth will be available on site to support you with any questions about the new system. More information will be available in coming days via the ims+ link on NSLHD intranet. You can get more information from the ims+ intranet page or contact the NSLHD team via NSLHDfirstname.lastname@example.org. au
Training is a blend of online modules in My Health Learning, classroom sessions and webinars. Your role in the incident process will determine the level of training required, (e.g. Notifier – all staff, Manager/ Reviewer- NUMs, Heads of Departments or any position that is responsible for managing incidents). Notifier training is an e-learning module, and it is currently available in My Health Learning. It is mandatory for all staff to complete this training Manager/Reviewer training has the option of a classroom session or an online learning modules. Classroom sessions are currently underway at various sites – please ensure
Maternity resources survey Calling parents and parents-to-be – we want to hear from you! NSW Health is reviewing maternity resources and is seeking input from parents and parents-to-be to see what works best. Check out the survey here: bit.ly/36ug2IQ Do you work in maternity or child and family health services? NSW Health also wants to hear from staff on their thoughts of its maternity resources. Fill out the survey today: bit.ly/37IlvgF
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We know our staff do amazing things and we want to hear about it. Share your news, achievements and events with your District colleagues. Contact our team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHDemail@example.com to submit your news.
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Federal Government funds recognise research expertise
Research activity across the district is stepping up following a large injection of funds through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants scheme. A group of Kolling Institute clinician/researchers will share more than $4 million for a range of projects to improve long term patient outcomes and the health of the broader community. Oncologist Dr David Chan (pictured left), Sydney Vital Research Fellow from the Bill Walsh Lab has received funding for a five-year program to improve PET imaging for neuroendocrine neoplasms - rare and highly variable tumours. His work could assist the diagnosis of other cancers too, like prostate cancer. “I feel honoured to be funded by the NHMRC scheme to continue my research in this area,” he said. “There is often little evidence to help clinicians interpret scans and choose the best treatment, so I hope this research will change the lives of those affected by neuroendocrine tumours and help improve their care.” The Women and Babies Research team at the Kolling has been awarded a large grant for a five-year study to improve outcomes for women with gestational diabetes. RNSH obstetrician and Sydney University lecturer Dr Tanya Nippita
(pictured centre left) will lead the research project involving a broad multidisciplinary team.
Dr Nippita said the project will develop further evidence-based educational resources to guide the timing of birth for these women with high risk pregnancies. “Importantly, this will help reduce unnecessary monitoring, maternal anxiety and obstetric intervention.” Clinical pharmacologist and geriatrician Professor Sarah Hilmer (pictured centre right) will also be focusing on aged care through her research into the best use of medications by frail older people. The Kolling researcher and her team have developed a toolkit for clinicians to guide the safe and effective use of medicines for older people in hospital and after discharge. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with a team of national and international experts to evaluate our tools to improve outcomes from medicines in older patients,” she said. Professor Sue Kurrle (pictured right), who is based at Hornsby Hospital, will continue her valuable work with the NHMRC grant to fund the FORTRESS study. It will look to identify frail older people in hospital, so that their treatment can be continued with their general practitioners once they’re out of hospital.
The NSLHD arriving at Wagga Wagga with the MH team from Sydney Local Health District
Sue Cheyney-Smith and Kate Gailbraith
Our staff continue to support a range of communities, including the Snowy Mountains, Batlow, Talbingo, Adelong, Tumbarumba and isolated towns in between
MHDA Team 1 and Team 2 managed to get a quick picture at Merimbula Airport as the second team arrived and before the first headed home
Assisting local residents distributing hay as the recovery from the fires continues
Transitional Nurse Practitioner Elliot Williams makes a four-legged friend
Graythwaite CNC Sandra Lever, soical worker Helen Tonkin and Hornsby Hospital Nurse Practitioner Tristan Black along with police
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NSLHD support bushfire ravaged communities Almost 50 staff from across the district have been
assisting bushfire stricken communities in the state’s south.
Staff from NSLHD are currently supporting
Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) as part of the NSW Health response to the crisis. Both districts have been greatly impacted by fires and face ongoing challenges with issues surrounding power, water, closure of health facilities and continuing fire risk. The first teams were on the ground in affected communities within 48 hours of the request for support with staff working alongside the districts to provide support and clinical care to isolated communities, hospitals and multipurpose facilities. A group of nurses, social workers, community nurses and a medical officer are based at Wagga Wagga. A group of mental health clinicians (MHDA) are assisting SNSWLHD in Bega. The team is undertaking valuable work across a range of settings, including evacuation centres, recovery centres, in the community at people’s homes, in the mental health inpatient unit and also in South East Regional Hospital in Bega. Sue Strachan, Nurse Manager from NSLHD, Nursing and Midwifery Directorate, was the Team Leader on the ground for the first two weeks of NSLHD deployment, whilst Elisabeth Manning, Operations Manager, Macquarie Hospital,
Team one briefing day prior to deployment
MHDA, NSLHD, was the Team Leader for MHDA. While it had been particularly challenging at times, both Sue and Elisabeth reported that the teams were doing an outstanding job. “As a team, we feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity. We’ve been very well supported by the team at MLHD and have made such strong connections with them and also the wider communities we’ve been working with. These connections will stay with us for life,” Sue said, reflecting on the NSLHD deployed team. “The issues have ranged from basic wound care, burns management, lots of respiratory issues, and psychological first aid for paediatrics to geriatrics and everything in between. “We came with a plan in mind and quickly found out what was really needed from us was kindness, compassion and an ear to listen. Along with that and the clinical skills to deal with and manage the community issues, all our multidisciplinary skills have
and services have not been directly affected by bushfires, Acting Director Nursing and Midwifery Jenny Neilsen said it was inspiring to see so many staff eager to support partnering districts. “Thank you to everyone on the ground and the many staff who have volunteered to help, as well as the ongoing support of those maintaining our health services during this critical time to support local communities, as well as patients and consumers from outside our District,” Jenny said. “NSLHD continues to provide excellent care as usual to the community while some staff support other districts during this time.” For those interested in getting involved in the bushfire relief efforts, please contact the Counter Disaster Unit on NSLHD-CounterDisaster@ health.nsw.gov.au. For those from MHDA who are interested, please contact your line manager. For those who require additional support, free 24- hour counselling is available via the Employee Assistance Program on 1300 687 327.
been utilised,” she said. While NSLHD hospitals
Novel coronavirus If you have any concerns, call your GP or healthdirect on 1800 022 222. Visit www.health.nsw.gov.au to find out about novel coronavirus, health advice and daily updatesPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12
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