NSLHD News July 15 2022

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


Main story Short blurb NSLHD Celebrates naidoc week Events staged across the district to mark NAIDOC Week 2022

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2022 Quality and improvement awards Pages 4 and 5

palliative CARE service providing DISTRICT WIDE support Page 6


It was great to see NAIDOC Week celebrations in full swing across our district last week. This year’s theme was Get up! Stand up! Show up! and our district has a strong and proud history of getting up, standing up and showing up. Despite the rainy weather, the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service held celebrations at Ryde, Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals. We all must continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders and our communities. We were fortunate to have staff come together to celebrate the 2022 Quality and Improvement Awards. After holding the event virtually last year, it was great to be able to present winners and finalists with their awards and recognise their incredible efforts. I am always impressed by the award submissions within our district. It makes me proud to learn about the wonderful projects and initiatives staff have implemented. I’d like to thank everyone who sent submissions this year and offer my congratulations to our winners and finalists. Following extensive consultation with staff, patients, carers, members of the local community, clinical leaders and key partners, the draft NSLHD Strategic Plan 2022-2027 has now been developed. You can view the draft plan via www.bit.ly/ NSLHDdraftplan As we work to finalise the strategic plan, we are seeking feedback on the draft to ensure the plan aligns closely to the NSW Health Future Health: Strategic Framework 2022-2032. You can submit feedback by visiting www.bit.ly/

NSLHDdraftsurvey or by emailing NSLHD- StrategicPlan@health.nsw.gov.au by Monday 18 July 2022. We recently began advertising applications for the 2023 NSLHD Graduate Health Management Program which offers a unique opportunity to step in to the public health system whilst undertaking a fully funded master’s degree in Health Service Management through the University of Tasmania. It’s been wonderful following the journey of so many graduates who have come through the program and I look forward to welcoming some fresh faces in 2023. Applications for the 2023 intake close on Friday 29 July 2022. More information on the program and how to apply can be found at www.bit.ly/NSLHDGrad. I appreciate the news of another wave of Omicron COVID-19 is not something we want to hear. Experts predict the peak of infections is expected in late July or early August in our community. This means once more we need to remain vigilant to ensure we keep you and your patients safe. I know the constant changes as we learn to live with the virus can be wearing at times but equally know how extraordinary you all are. I want you to know we are doing everything we can to provide you with every support possible. Thank you for everything you are doing to care for our community during the winter season. Please take care of yourselves too.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Smoking ceremony at Hornsby Hospital

NSLHD treated to NAIDOC Week celebrations Celebrations for NAIDOC Week returned to Northern Sydney Local Health District, marking this year’s theme: Get up! Stand up! Show up! Events at Ryde, Hornsby and Royal North Shore hospitals featured singing, dancing ceremony alongside a Yidaki performance by Koomurri and Torres Strait Islander dance by the Kiris An Tharun Dance Group. Acting Director of the

Chief Executive Deb Willcox said it was wonderful to see so many staff members embracing NAIDOC Week and this year’s theme. “The theme is about the desire to improve the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non- Indigenous Australians to one that is based on justice, equity, and the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” she said. “It’s important we “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” and amplify our voices to bring about this much needed change, and come together as one nation.” At Mona Vale, the construction of a yarning circle is set to begin in August with construction firm NPM Indigenous on board to create it.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Paul Weir thanked staff, patients and community members for taking part in NAIDOC Week celebrations. “It was deadly to see the number of staff and community who attended our NAIDOC events despite the cold and wet weather conditions,” he said. “Our colleagues really showed us how we as a district “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” and on behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service, I’d like to thank everyone across the district for taking part in the celebrations.”

and giveaways as the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service put on a spectacular show at each site, with the help of Koomurri and the Kiris An

Tharan Dance Group. At Ryde, a smoking ceremony and Yidaki

performance took place at the yarning circle followed by more dancing and celebrations on the verandah of Denistone House. Staff were also treated to delicious Indigenous food including emu, crocodile and kangaroo sliders. Staff at Royal North Shore and Hornsby Hospitals were treated to a smoking

Acting Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Paul Weir provides Ryde General Manager Heather Gough with Indigenous food

Members of Koomurri during celebrations at RNSH



Transforming the Patient Experience Award

Patient Safety First Award



Delivering Value-Based Integrated Care Award Developing a novel ICU follow-up service for our sickest patients Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award “S.O.S. – SAVE OUR SKIN!” Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Skin Integrity Committee, Royal North Shore Hospital



Geriatrician outreach to GPs NSLHD Aged Care and Sydney North Health Network

Youth Suicide Response Framework Child and Youth Mental Health Service, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol



2022 quality and improvement awards After being held remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, the 2022 Quality and Improvement Awards were recently held at Royal North Shore Hospital. The awards are a special event to celebrate staff who make a real and positive difference to the lives of our patients, consumers, and their families and carers. The Planetary Health Award was a new category added this year. NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said: “It is great that we were able to celebrate these awards in person again so the winners and finalists can receive these awards. “To the winners and finalists, today is a celebration of your hard work which enables our district to provide the best and highest quality care for our community. It is also an opportunity to inspire your colleagues.” For the full list of winners and finalists, visit: www.bit.ly/QI2022

Health Research and Innovation Award

Supporting our People and Culture Award



Performance postcards: A picture of variation Royal North Shore Hospital

Adapting pain self-management delivery during COVID-19 ADAPT pain management team, Royal North Shore Hospital

Planetary Health Award

Keeping People Healthy Award



Anaesthetic greenhouse gas reductions Department of Anaesthesia, Royal North Shore Hospital

A framework for successful tele-rehabilitation with older non-English speaking patients – Chronic Disease Community Rehabilitation Service, Primary and Community Health



palliative service providing support to patients and families The NSLHD Palliative Aged Care Supportive Service has been working across the district to provide support and care for patients who are transitioning between acute care and aged care.

appreciated.’ Kelly said working in the service is rewarding because the team is able to help patients and families find their way during a difficult time. “Although we meet patients and families at a very vulnerable time, we are able to help them find their way and make sense of the services available to them,” she said “We work closely with GPs and residential aged care staff, and provide support to enable them to care for their residents better, which is really rewarding.” Alyssa said being able to help patients and their families receive treatment in alignment with their preferences is something that makes the work rewarding. “We are able to work with patients and their families to help determine their preferences of care and what we can do to facilitate these preferences,” she said. have brought together experts from business, academia and health, to accelerate the translation of research and deliver tangible improvements in medical technologies and patient care. “It’s been a supportive environment and tremendously encouraging to see consistent and timely progress. This is helping to speed up the time it takes to bring advances to patient care, broadly improving the health of our community. “I anticipate we will see an escalation in partnerships with industry with the Kolling well-positioned to take advantage of upcoming opportunities. Our researchers have a unique breadth of experience and expertise, along with access to world-leading technology.”

The team (pictured on front page) works across different areas of the district and includes three transitional nurse practitioners; Kelly Arthurs, Alyssa Kim and Sushila Khadka The team helps ensure patients have a smooth transition from the acute care setting to the aged care setting. Working closely with GPs and residential age care staff, the team is able to provide patients with the care they need, without them having to go back and forth from hospitals and aged care facilities. The families of patients undoubtedly value the service, with one testimonial reading ‘I want to thank the team for all their care and support during a difficult time. It was very much accelerating improvements in patient care. One team which has particularly benefitted from a strong relationship with industry partners is the diverse group from the Murray Maxwell Biomechanics Laboratory. Director, Associate Professor Liz Clarke is encouraging others to follow suit, convinced that collaborations with business bring vast opportunities and benefits for researchers. “Our partnerships with Allegra Orthopaedics and Bone Ligament Tendon have delivered more than $3 million in funding, on top of crucial employment, education and training opportunities for a large collection of researchers,” she said. “Industry ties offer a chance to develop intellectual property for products, while also raising the profile of teams and their expertise. This can lift your reputation not just nationally but internationally as well. “Our business partnerships have delivered a wealth of support to our team and it all stemmed from a small industry-led research project several years ago. “We were then involved with extensive testing of a kangaroo xenograft for ACL injuries, as well as the product development of a device to help manage problems with spinal discs. “Each opportunity brought more funding, more jobs and more chances for our younger researchers to advance their careers. “I’ve welcomed the chance to work with our partners on real world problems, where we

Researchers seeking closer ties with industry Researchers at the Kolling Institute are increasingly forging partnerships with industry partners, with the collaborative efforts

A/Professor Elizabeth Clarke with Professor Bill Walter



RADIATION THERAPY TRIAL OFFERS HOPE for those WITH CANCER Cancer patients in New South Wales are

progressing well.” RNSH radiation oncologist Professor Tom Eade, said the advanced technology of the Ethos radiotherapy machine would have benefits beyond the faster therapy delivery time and more targeted doses. The Varian Ethos machine used at the RNSH provides personalised, adaptive treatment that can adjust to changes in the tumour and ensure the cancer receives the optimum dose of radiation, while the surrounding healthy tissue is spared. “We’re hopeful delivering larger doses of radiation in shorter time frames will have advantages for patients undergoing palliative radiotherapy, but the adaptive technology also means we can create treatment plans on the day to respond to how the cancer may be changing within the patient’s body,” Professor Eade said. “Previously this process would have taken longer and meant the patient would have to wait while these treatment plans were created. “While undergoing palliative radiotherapy, how the cancer is positioned or located can change along with their body – so this technology allows us to follow it, target the cancerous tissue and manage some of the symptoms they may be experiencing.” The trial will run for up to five years and continue to gather evidence and inform palliative care into the future.

benefitting from a new palliative care radiation trial at Royal North Shore Hospital’s Cancer Centre which is reducing the time spent in treatment. The trial will treat some of the region’s sickest cancer patients with higher and more precise doses of radiation therapy, reducing the time spent in treatment and potentially alleviating some of the painful symptoms of treatment. The trial, which is the first internationally on Varian’s Ethos machine, will treat patients with higher, more targeted doses of radiation therapy, potentially alleviating painful symptoms of cancer and spending less time in hospital. One of those patients is Nigel Nettleship of Avalon, who was diagnosed with myeloma earlier this year, with a tumour detected at the base of his sacrum. “I was originally warned of low haemoglobin by the Red Cross Blood Bank when attending for a routine donation. I had no pain or other symptoms, and we seem to have caught my problem early,” Nigel said. “When I was referred to the Cancer Centre for radiotherapy, I was asked and was happy to take part in the trial. I have had one treatment so far as an outpatient, with no after effects for me. “I am sure the trial has delivered an important benefit to my overall treatment which is

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