NSLHD News April 23 COVID-19 edition

Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

In a matter of weeks, our hospitals have been able to transform themselves in readiness for COVID. Building new wards, relocating Intensive care units, splitting EDs into two and increasing staff numbers. The speed in which this has been done has never been seen before. The way our staff have come together and had to think in such new ways is so impressive. There is a real sense of achievement among staff who are in high spirits, buoyed by the support of the community. Of course, none of this could have been achieved without the support of the Australian people which has played such an important role in buying the health system valuable time to prepare. By everyone following the advice to stay at home, keep social distancing and practice hand hygiene it appears to have slowed the transmission of COVID-19, and allowed our hospitals to prepare and not be overwhelmed with patients needing critical care. It has also provided some wonderful opportunities for our hospitals to trial new models of care to treat patients, work in ways staff have never had to before and give our nurses an opportunity to upskill in

critical care they may not have considered. In times such as these, when our daily lives have been curtailed and we face the unknown, it can be easy to dwell on the negatives. Yet, through this adversity I have seen some wonderful acts of kindness and been impressed by the resilience of all our healthcare workers, whether they be in patient care, support staff cleaning hospitals, engineering or administration. Our hospitals have been overwhelmed by the generosity of not just businesses, but local restaurants and members of the public wanting to drop off cookies, meals, quilt scrub hats, mask covers and school children sending thank you cards and art works. I hope we don’t see an increase in coronavirus cases, but I do know our hospitals from Hornsby to Ryde, Mona Vale and Royal North Shore, along with our community health services are ready. Importantly, at the end of this, whenever that may be, we will be a stronger and better local health district.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


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