NSLHD News June 3 2022

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


Main story Short blurb Read more on Page x The new building has been named after Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as staff celebrate the cultural ties to the community. Page 3 Hornsby Hospital honours First Nations in building name

Structure completed for australian first hospice Page 4

Sorry day Page 5


Both Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals staff received glowing and generous feedback from accreditation surveyors who were greatly impressed by the care they deliver. It was fantastic to hear accreditors describe our facilities as high-performing, truly engaging with our patients and demonstrating some of the highest standards of infection control. The feedback from the accreditors who oversaw the Australian Council on Health Care Standards accreditation at Hornsby were very impressed with the infection control and the engagement of the doctors, nurses and allied health staff in the care they provided. In their summation, the accreditors said Hornsby’s patients, carers and consumers were so proud of the hospital and it was evident a happy and positive culture had been built. Having worked there as general manager for number of years, I can attest to the hard work and commitment of the staff. At RNSH, they were also suitably impressed with the culture which has been created to be engaging, inclusive and respectful among staff and with patients and their carers. It was so uplifting to hear such praise given to our hospitals, especially after the extraordinary challenges we have been through the past two years. At RNSH’s summation the key feedback provided was there was a culture of safety and the ability for staff to escalate concerns where no blame is attached. The surveyors were impressed with the highly engaged workforce which has a multidisciplinary

focus and the highly defined governance structure to support the delivery of care. Congratulations to all of the staff who worked tirelessly to prepare for the accreditors. We all know, though, that it is not just one week that we uphold these standards: we are constantly striving to deliver the best and safest health care while undergoing a continual cycle of improvement. You have more than demonstrated that our hospitals and health services are the very best place for our patients and their families to receive the safest and highest quality care for our community. I would like to formally congratulate and welcome Simon Hill who has just been appointed the general manager of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. Simon has been acting in the role since February 2021 and during that time has led the hospital to the completion of its redevelopment, while dealing with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and of course most recently the accreditation. As Reconciliation Week draws to a close this Friday (3 June), it has been wonderful to see the events of the past week which have honoured the First Nations. Firstly the very emotional service for Sorry Day at RNSH, hosted by NSLHD’s Aboriginal Health Service. This was followed by Hornsby Hospital’s celebration that honoured the indigenous community by naming the new clinical services building Muru Jannawi, which means “take the path with us.”

Lee Gregory Acting Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



(Left to right): Hornsby Hospital General Manager Simon Hill, Chief Executive Deb Willcox, Pink Ladies’ volunteers June McCarthy and Brian Minnett, Lois Birk and NSLHD Deputy Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Paul Weir

Hornsby Hospital honours First Nations in building name The new building just completed at Hornsby

a feast of indigenous bush tucker food featuring kangaroo, crocodile and bush herbs. Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Deb Willcox said it was lovely to see the new hospital acknowledge the First Nations people through the building’s name, greeting signs and art. “This is really special day and it is wonderful for staff, patients and the community to have a hospital they deserve,” she said. “Thank you to each and every one of our staff, our volunteers and our community members who have played such an important role in the new hospital.” Artist Jade Oakley also presented concepts of murals, which she created with Frances Belle Parker, that will adorn the façade of the multi-storey car park.

Ku-ring-gai Hospital has been named in honour of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as the staff celebrate the cultural ties to the community. Now when visitors and patients come to the new hospital, they will be entering the Muru Jannawi building. Muru means path, and Jannawi means with us and together the translation is ‘’take the path with us.” It is pronounced mooroo yannawi. Staff took part in a special celebration recently at the building’s name unveiling, which featured a Welcome to Country from Aunty Tracie Howie, who is a direct descendant of Bungaree and a Guringai Traditional Custodian. The day’s events also included a smoking ceremony and dance by Koomurri and

Staff participate in the smoking ceremony performed by Koomurri dance group

(Left to right) Simon Hill, retired volunteer Win Newton and Deb Willcox



Member for Manly James Griffin MP and NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox

Structure completed for australian first hospice at manly The Member for Manly James

structure and installation of the roof for the new facility. The internal fit-out works for the hospice are progressing well, which will include eight purpose-built patient suites and two, two-bedroom family suites. The facility will offer respite care, symptom management and end of life care for

patients between the ages of 15 and 24. The development has been made possible through generous donations from the community and funding committed by the NSW and Australian governments. Construction of the AYAH Manly is on track for completion in late 2022.

Griffin MP recently visited the site of Australia’s first dedicated adolescent and young adult hospice, to view progress at the Manly facility. Despite wet weather challenges, the project has achieved significant construction progress, including completion of the palliative care week The palliative care department at Royal North Shore Hospital recently celebrated National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) with a conversation starter initiative. NPCW aims to increase understanding about the many benefits of palliative care and how it can help not only those dying, but anyone with a life-limiting illness. To mark the occasion, the palliative care department at RNSH set up buckets in some of the inpatient wards that had an individually wrapped tea bag and a conversation starter card to encourage people to talk to their families and friends about what matters most to them at end-of-life. RNSH Clinical Nurse Consultant Jacqueline Endicott said the idea for the initiative stemmed from some of the data the team had seen around people having

The RNSH Palliative Care Department

conversations about their wishes. “We want people to start talking because 88 per cent of people report they know what their wishes are if they become unwell but only 50 per cent of people have actually told anyone about them,” she said. “It’s only a small gesture, but we’re hoping that the teabags and conversation starter help provide people with a means to have those conversations.”

RNSH Clinical Nurse Consultant Caitlin Macdonagh said it’s important to have weeks like NPCW to recognise the importance of palliative care and to dispel any myths around it. “Palliative care has a stigma attached to it that it is only for people who are dying,” she said. “It is much more than that - it is about improving a person’s

quality of life through patient-centred care.”

4 NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 10 | 3 JUNE 2022

Sorry day Staff came together at Royal North Shore Hospital on 26 May to mark National Sorry Day. Sorry Day is held each year to acknowledge and recognise members of the Stolen Generations and acknowledge the injustice they experienced and the pain that continues for many. A smoking ceremony and singing by Koomurri took place to commemorate the important day. The term “Stolen Generations” refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed, as children, from their families by government, welfare or church authorities and placed into institutional care or with non-Indigenous foster families. NSLHD Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Peter Shine said NSLHD is committed to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. “Recognition of those lost affected by the Stolen Generation is necessary for the

continued healing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said. “Not only does NSLHD acknowledge the suffering, we are more determined now than ever before to walk hand in hand with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ease the suffering and to listen to your advice and act on it.” NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said: “For us to reconcile and heal as a nation, everyone needs to reflect and consider that reconciliation must be in the hearts, minds and actions of us all if we are to truly be a nation that honours and respects First Nations people – people who belong to the longest continuous culture in the world.” Sorry Day marks the start of National Reconciliation Week, from 27 May to 3 June. This week provides an opportunity for people to come together, reconcile and heal as a nation with the theme of “Be Brave. Make Change”. For more information on this week and its significance, visit www.reconciliation.org.au and www.healingfoundation.org.au.

(Left to right): NSLHD Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Peter Shine and NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox

A smoking ceremony by Jesse from Koomurri

Vaccination celebrations at Mona Vale and Hornsby Celebrations were held at the Mona Vale and Hornsby hospitals’ vaccination hubs to thank staff for the past 18 months of protecting the community.

all members of the vax hubs team, which involved pharmacists, nurses, doctors, cleaners and administration support. “The vaccination hubs played such an important role in protecting our communities. Hornsby was one of the first to open and we had a terrific response from the public,” Lee said. “To everyone who worked at the hubs – thank you! You should feel very proud of your contribution to NSW Health’s response against COVID-19.” There have been 145,000 vaccinations administered across Hornsby, Mona Vale and Royal North Shore hubs since they opened last year.

As vaccinations are widely available at GPs and pharmacies, the staff at the hubs are moving into new roles. For some staff, they have been working at the hubs since they opened their doors in February last year. At Hornsby, staff celebrated with cake and an afternoon tea, while Mona Vale had an afternoon tea when the last patients came through. Acting Chief Executive Lee Gregory praised



Staff from the Manning Unit at Macquarie Hospital

A spotlight on hand hygiene A range of events recently took place across Northern Sydney Local Health District to celebrate World Hygiene Day.

wowed the judges with their hand hygiene posters. Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre (PECC) was the winner of the ‘championing hand hygiene’ quiz. Mental Health Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) Clinical Nurse Consultant Mae Sia organised many of the events surrounding the day with the support of NSLHD Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Director, Jo Tallon, MHDA patients who come through our ED. The volunteers play an important role in the running the large number of trials. With COVID-19 now settling and restrictions eased, the hospital is hoping to recruit more people to these positions. Specifically, people are needed with some time to spare to volunteer on a weekly basis for a five hour shift of a morning or afternoon.

Director Andrea Taylor and MHDA DON Mark Joyce. Mae said the events were an interactive way to raise awareness about hand hygiene in achieving quality and care. “MHDA services across the district showed so much enthusiasm for World Hygiene Day, and I think this shows how involved Northern Sydney Local Health district staff are in promoting proper hand hygiene,” she said. This role would particularly suit retired people who have some background in medical, nursing or allied health. The hospital will provide the appropriate orientation to the role and expect volunteers to participate in the free research training program. Anyone seeking more information on volunteering in ED should contact Associate Professor Mark Gillett (Director ED Research RNSH) on mgillett@med. usyd.edu.au.

This year’s theme was ‘Unite for safety: clean your hands’ and featured a district wide team poster competition as well as a quiz. Joint first place teams Northern Beaches Community Mental Health Services (NBCMHS) and the manning unit from Macquarie Hospital emergency department is needing volunteers to help with vital research that may lead to changes in treatment and the way care is delivered. The emergency department (ED) currently runs over 20 different research projects aimed at improving knowledge in the assessment and management of emergency medical conditions. Volunteers are needed to help with the research endeavours to recruit

Research volunteers sought at rnsh Royal North Shore Hospital’s



precision medicine for children living with arthritis The largest study in Australia into the treatment of juvenile arthritis may pave the way for a unique approach to care for those with the disabling condition and dramatically improve outcomes. The Medical Research vulnerable to infection, which can be very serious. “International clinical and research experts agree we need to use these medications more effectively, but there is no high-quality data

Collaborative (A3BC) biobank-registry collection. Paediatric rheumatologist Professor Davinder Singh- Grewal said this body of work will pave the way for the development of new living treatment guidelines and clinical decision support tools to truly personalise medicine for the individual. “This could be a global game changer for the management of children living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, improving health outcomes and reducing uncertainty for clinicians, patients and their families,” he said. For the first time, researchers led by the Kolling Institute’s Dr Manasi Mittinty, will also investigate how children and their families navigate the mental health impact of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This research will assess coping mechanisms, treatment responses and children’s well-being.

indicating when or how to take children off these drugs when their condition is under control,” she said. The CHAMPION clinical trial will recruit more than 300 children from every major paediatric rheumatology treatment centre across Australia. It will involve tapering the medications to determine who can come off these drugs and how best to withdraw them once the disease is controlled. A broad range of biological, environmental and health information will be collected from participants throughout the study. These data and biospecimens will form part of the Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank

Future Fund will invest $2.5 million in the A3BC for Kids project which will involve researchers from the Kolling Institute and the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Rheumatology Group. Kolling researcher and Royal North Shore Hospital Head of Rheumatology Professor Lyn March said the centrepiece of the project, a large-scale clinical trial represents an important step towards improved care and more efficient use of medicines. “Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects over two million children worldwide. It is the most common chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal condition in children, and can lead to blindness and life-long disability,” she said. “The condition is more common in girls than boys and may affect a child’s bone development and overall growth. Sadly, there is no known cause or cure.” Current treatments involve the use of disease modifying and biologic medications which target particular immune pathways. Professor March said these medications help, but they come with risks as they dampen the immune system, leaving some children

Professor Lyn March


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




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