NSLHD News February 28

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



MACQUARIE HOSPITAL’S PARKVIEW UNIT REINVIGORATED Renovations at Macquarie Hospital’s Parkview Unit have recently been completed. Read more on Page 4

#endpjparalysis at ryde Page 3


Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

message FROM the CHAIRMAN Trevor Danos AM

Welcome to what has already been a busy 2020.

Following the Mt White volcano tragedy in December last year, many patients were transported to Royal North Shore Hospital from New Zealand where our staff carried out remarkable care. The bushfire crisis has seen more than 50 of our staff from across the District head to the State’s south to support Murrumbidgee and Southern NSW Local Health Districts. Taking a dramatic turn in weather events, the recent storms personally affected many of our own staff, and also saw our hardworking community health staff and disaster recovery teams supporting vulnerable patients. This start to the year has been particularly challenging for many of our staff and I would like to thank you all for your hard work and support. The coronavirus has posed additional challenges for our staff, but their management, knowledge and compassion in response to the situation have been exceptional. Thank you to everyone during this time, especially those in our emergency departments, infection control and public health units. Two new members have joined the Northern Sydney Local Health District Board this year – a warm welcome to Ms Kimberley Reynolds and Dr Stephanie Teoh who have been appointed for a three-year term until 31 December 2022. Kimberley has a wealth of executive experience in both the NSW Government and private sector in driving organisational performance and supporting organisations in achieving a consumer focused service. Kimberley was previously a member of the NSLHD Consumer Committee and will continue in that role (as well as taking on other responsibilities).

Stephanie is an experienced General Practitioner having worked both in Australia and China. Stephanie is the Clinical Director of Osana Cremorne, a primary healthcare service aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of patients with chronic disease. Stephanie is passionate about primary care and improving the health of individuals and communities as a whole. I would also like to congratulate Mr Anthony Hollis on his re-appointment to the Board until 31 December 2022. Anthony has for a number of years given the Board excellent advice and insight on issues of modern technology and customer focus. I look forward to working with the Board Members throughout 2020 as we continue to develop our services and drive further successes for the District. Lastly, I am particularly pleased that the year ahead is filled with fantastic events to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible work our people do every day. I am especially looking forward to our Innovation projects, Northern Lights showcases and Exceptional People Awards.

Trevor Danos AM

Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District


staff in pyjamas to get patients up and moving

“We want our patients to feel less vulnerable by being in their normal clothes rather than a hospital gown or pyjamas,” he said. “We want to get them up, dressed and moving so we can get them home faster and safely back to their loved ones where they belong.” The feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive with the majority of those surveyed about the initiative saying they prefer to wear their own clothes over hospital gowns or pyjamas, and getting dressed improved their mood, their motivation to mobilise and their ability to look after themselves. #EndPJparalysis is part of a global movement and Ryde is one of several hospitals undertaking the initiative in NSW.

Ryde staff don their pyjamas to encourage patients to get up, dressed and moving.

For the past 12 months, Ryde Hospital has been running the #endPJparalysis campaign in a bid to reduce the risk of patients deconditioning while in hospital. To celebrate the one year mark, staff were called on to wear their pyjamas to work to create discussion and raise awareness of the campaign.

impressive results, having helped patients on over 4400 occasions on the acute wards and more than 7000 occasions on the rehabilitation wards at Ryde to get up, dressed and moving over the last year. Director of Nursing and Midwifery Drew Hilditch- Roberts said the initiative is all about empowering patients.

The initiative is seeing

Speaking up for safety comes to ryde The Speaking Up For Safety strategy has officially launched at Ryde Hospital, the second hospital in the district where it has been implemented. The program empowers all staff – clinical and non-clinical – to respect and support each other to ‘speak up’ about safety and quality.

everyone,” she said. “We are hoping to train all staff working at Ryde, bringing benefits to both their patients and fellow colleagues.” For more information on Speaking Up For Safety, visit the intranet: bit.ly/32vV0sW

Following the success of the initiative at Royal North Shore, Ryde staff will be encouraged to attend training sessions on how to respectfully and effectively communicate concerns. Four staff members have already been accredited and will start delivering the training sessions in early-March. Ryde’s General Manager Heather Gough said it builds on NSLHD’s culture of providing safe and high quality healthcare. “This is a really important initiative for

Staff at the launch of Speaking Up For Safety at Ryde.



works reinvigorate ParkVIEW at Macquarie

CE Deb Wilcox officially opens the newly renovated Parkview Unit

Consumers at Macquarie Hospital’s Parkview Unit are enjoying a new gym, courtyard and sensory room after the completion of capital works at the site. The project, which was Mental Health Therapeutic Environments Minor Capital Works Program, was officially capped off with a morning tea. Chief Executive Deb Willcox joined Macquarie and Mental Health executive staff and consumers for the celebrations, test driving the new gym equipment and sensory room. “It is really pleasing to see this project complete, I know how hard the staff here at Macquarie and within our mental health team worked to make it possible,” Deb said. made possible with $500,000 from the

“These improvements are going to have very real impacts for consumers, from the new gym equipment that forms an important part of the Wellbeing Unit to the sensory room which will provide a new therapeutic space.” Senior occupational therapist at Macquarie Kate Priddle said the new sensory room was an exciting addition to the campus. “The use of sensory modulation in adult mental health settings is a rapid growth area with increasing evidence base to support its use as an effective therapeutic intervention,” she said. “We’re taking the lead here in Parkview, enhancing the capacity of the whole multidisciplinary team to use sensory modulation in a person-centred, trauma-

informed capacity for the wellbeing of our consumers who are experiencing distress.” Senior exercise physiologist Kristine Grainger said the gym has been well received by consumers, carers and staff. “Some days we have more than half the unit joining in the gym groups or using the equipment,” she said. “Consumer feedback is that they really value having something so positive to engage in on the unit and enjoy the wide variety of equipment, exercise programs and expertise of the exercise physiologists

and physiotherapist available to them.”



International focus on our ovarian cancer research In an exciting breakthrough, researchers from the Kolling Institute’s Bill Walsh Lab have identified new genes involved in the spread of ovarian cancer.

Tragically, it is the deadliest female cancer, claiming more than 900 lives in Australia each year. Most women are diagnosed relatively late, when the cancer has spread, significantly reducing their chances of survival. The ovarian cancer research team from the Bill Walsh Lab is focusing its efforts on the role of the tumour microenvironment. Newest team member Dr Razia Zakarya said this microenvironment provides the support network that the tumour cells need to survive and spread throughout the body.

Dr Razia Zakarya, A/Prof Viive Howell and Dr Emily Colvin

investigating the role of a specific cell in the ovarian tumour microenvironment called a cancer-associated fibroblast. “We have identified new genes that are switched on in these fibroblasts and influence ovarian tumour spread. Our results also suggest that these genes may even play a role in how ovarian tumours avoid destruction by the immune system,” she said. Research Director A/Prof Viive Howell said there is a real need for more research to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“We are very grateful for the generous support from patient donations for this research,” she said. “These exciting results confirm the crucial role of the tumor microenvironment in the spread of ovarian cancer. We hope to continue this research to find new ways to target the tumor microenvironment and control ovarian cancer spread.” The research is receiving international attention following publication in the journal Cancer Science.

“With the tumour cells relying heavily on their

local microenvironment, it is emerging as an important target,” she said. Lead author Dr Emily Colvin said we have been

Gathering ideas for your success Throughout February and March we’ve been asking team members for their views on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at NSLHD.

Participants have been generous, sharing their experiences, thoughts and ideas on issues impacting on the development and maintenance of a positive workplace culture. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to be involved in the consultations, either by attending a focus group, or by completing the on-line survey. It’s not too late. If you’d like to complete the survey you can access it at https://www.surveymonkey. com/r/DIBPlan

The results of these consultations will be used to help us develop a strategy which maximises how we value and embed these features in our organisation. Each campus hosted at least two focus groups, but we also held a number of targeted consultations, where people from particular groups were able to discuss relevant issues.



New program to offer data driven insights A new data-driven initiative being implemented at Royal North Shore Hospital has the potential to improve patient outcomes and practice. the amount of time patients are in hospital for. Our care for our patients extends beyond the hospital, so it is only fair that the data should reflect that.”

At the start of the year, Royal North Shore started submitting data to the American College of Surgeons as part of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). The pilot program includes some specialities this year, hoping to expand to more in the following years. The internationally recognised, surgeon-led program aims to foster a culture of surgical quality by using data to measure post- operative outcomes including factors such as complication, readmission and mortality. NSQIP has been successfully implemented in other NSW hospitals, including Westmead and Nepean with more hospitals joining the program each year. The process is being led by Clinical Director of the Division of Surgery and Anaesthetics Dr Michelle Mulligan, Division of Surgery and Anaesthetics Operations Manager Linda Furness, surgeons Dr Anubhav Mittal and Dr Matthew Winter, and clinical reviewer Negar Talaei Zanjani. “Using data to measure a hospital’s performance is not a new phenomenon, but the exciting part of NSQIP is it uses advanced data analysis techniques to generate actionable reports,” Matthew said. “NSQIP uses 30-day patient outcomes, not just

Anubhav said he believed NSQIP would help inform surgeons of how they can continue to deliver better patient outcomes. “As surgeons, we’re always looking for tools and methods to improve our practice – and data is at the forefront of that,” Anubhav said. “Data, like what we submit through NSQIP to be analysed, can lead to innovative practice. In the past, data analysis has shown us how complications like surgical site infections or UTIs can be reduced by modifying our methods. “There’s no telling what life- saving insights we will be given next.” Negar said the process would allow RNSH to measure itself against other hospitals from across the globe in a way that could have very real patient benefits. “We will be able to see how hospitals with similar patients and cases are performing and measure them against ourselves,” she said. “From there, if there is opportunity for improvement, we can find it and do it – likewise when it comes to helping others. The reason we all do this is to help patients, whether they be at RNSH or on the other side of the world.”

Dr Anubhav Mittal

Dr Matthew Winter

Negar Talaei Zanjani


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 NSLHD-media@health. nsw.gov.au to submit your news.


RNS Staff specialist gives back in Papua New Guinea Chris Arthur, Staff Specialist in Haematology at Royal North Shore Hospital, had planned to use his long service leave to travel around Europe. But a couple of years ago, when in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea on a religious mission with his church, Chris stuck his head into a local hospital and he’s never looked back.

“I find it really fascinating working at St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital and the team seem to appreciate my help,” he said. “I started going on ward rounds with the doctors and got to know the people. They didn’t have access to information, so I helped set them up with an online journal.” In March, Chris will embark on his third six- month visit to the hospital. In a voluntary capacity, he spends three days a week at the hospital and other times as needed, and he’s even learning pidgin – the local language. Chris has seen a variety of patients at the hospital, including those with haematological problems, machete wounds from domestic violence cases, diabetes, malaria, leukaemia and lymphoma. He said most of these aren’t managed properly because the staff doesn’t have the resources. “The trouble is it takes so long to get the results from a biopsy that patients just get sicker compared to patients in Australia with lymphoma, for example, where it’s highly treatable,” he said. “A lot of the patients just accept the suffering – some think it’s a curse that has been put on them.” International Women’s Day This year the theme for International Women’s Day is ‘#eachforequal’, where an equal world is an enabled world. This theme perfectly supports our recent consultations around diversity, inclusion and belonging at NSLHD. This year NSLHD will mark the event on March 10.

Chris on a ward round at the hospital

But with the limited resources they do have, Chris said the doctors are impressive. He remembers seeing several patients come in with pericardial tuberculosis, a condition where fluid surrounds the heart. “The doctors are amazing – they would just go and stick a needle in and drain out all the fluids and the patient would get better,” he said. On his upcoming visit, Chris plans to work with the local team to set up a cancer service and he also hopes to continue to develop links with health services in Australia to provide extra support. “The hospital is such a contrast to what we have here and I want to help as much as I can,” he said. “I’ve formed a partnership with a pathology service in Brisbane to help us with diagnoses, I’m talking to Pathology NSW to try and get some better equipment for the team over there. But I’m also hoping we can set up digital imaging, so we can send specimens to pathologists here to help diagnose.” We will be hosting stalls at RNSH, Hornsby, Mona Vale, Macquarie and Ryde hospitals. You will find details about these at your local facility. Visit a stall to have your say, and help us develop a District wide strategy to enhance our workplace culture. There will be prizes for staff who complete the online survey.




Duration of the entire procedure: 20-30 seconds

1 a

1 b


Apply a palmful of the product in a cupped hand, covering all surfaces;

Rub hands palm to palm;




Right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa;

Palm to palm with fingers interlaced;

Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked;




Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa;

Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa;

Once dry, your hands are safe.

All reasonable precautions have been taken by the World Health Organization to verify the information contained in this document. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall the World Health Organization be liable for damages arising from its use. WHO acknowledges the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG), in particular the members of the Infection Control Programme, for their active participation in developing this material.

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