NSLHD News April 8 2022

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


Main story Short blurb aboriginal mental health and wellbeing strategy launch Northern Sydney Local Health District’s Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service has officially launched the Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2025. Page 3 Read more on Page x

technology to target debilitating Mito disease Page 5

april falls day Page 6


Message from the Chief Executive Deb Willcox

Northern Sydney Local Health District has commenced development of our next Strategic Plan 2022-2027. The strategic plan will guide the direction of our health services over the next five years and articulate how we will achieve our goals, leverage opportunities and add to our existing strengths. Central to the development of our next strategic plan, will be our commitment to the delivery of high-quality healthcare and dedication to ensuring our consumers and patients get the best possible care in the right, place at the right time. We will be hosting 12 virtual consultation sessions (via Zoom) for all staff and key stakeholders in May 2022. The consultation sessions will focus on six strategic themes that are aligned to the recently released NSW Health Future Health: Strategic Framework 2022-2032. I encourage those of you who would like to contribute to attend one of these sessions and help shape the future of our district and healthcare. I was so pleased to attend the launch of the Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy at Macquarie Hospital. The NSLHD Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2025 supports and assists the district in delivering respectful and appropriate mental health drug and alcohol services. It reflects our commitment to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW. Lastly, starting April 11, our district will begin its annual staff influenza vaccination program. Over the past two years, COVID-19

has caused disruptions to all of our lives, but thankfully it also meant cases of influenza remained low. However, as things return to the new normal, with no lockdowns, as well as open international and state borders – we must prepare for what could be a challenging winter period. Low levels of exposure to the virus, as well as low vaccine coverage may have led us to having lower levels of immunity. That is why, this year, it is more important than ever that everyone gets vaccinated against the flu. It is the most effective way to reduce the incidence and severity of the virus. To our staff, it is integral we protect ourselves, each other and our patients; the arrival of flu in conjunction with COVID-19 presents more pressure on all of you and understandably will cause apprehension. You continue to provide outstanding care and know what needs to be done to keep yourself, your colleagues and patients safe. All the executive teams are focused on supporting you so please know you are our priority. To our community, especially those of you who are older or may be more susceptible to influenza, please visit your GP or local pharmacy to receive your vaccine.

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Michelle Lawrence with Pauline - who shared her story as a consumer

Director of MHDA, Andrea Taylor with Mrs Drew from the Ryde Aboriginal Women’s Group

Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy launch Northern Sydney Local Health District’s Mental Health Drug and Alcohol the strategy. “The strategy is the

the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal people. “We are working in partnership with Aboriginal services, and Aboriginal people and communities to achieve this,” she said. “Each strategic direction and action reflects our commitment to do better, to listen and engage more, and to continue to provide the highest quality care for the Aboriginal community.” Clinical Lead for the MHDA Aboriginal service, Michelle Lawrence, worked closely with MHDA Director Andrea Taylor, the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service, MHDA consumers, community members and the Primary Health Network, to develop

foundation for change that will support a future way of working under the national agreement for closing the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes,” Michelle said. “The launch celebrated the commitment to closing the gap and improving health outcomes for our First Nations people.” The strategy is supported by three goals: • Holistic, person and family-centred care and healing • Culturally safe, trauma- informed, quality care • Connected care To read the strategy, please visit https://bit.ly/3Jht2on.

Service has officially launched the NSLHD Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The NSLHD Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020- 2025 supports and assists the district in delivering respectful and appropriate mental health drug and alcohol services. It reflects the state government’s commitment to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people in NSW. NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said the district is committed to improving service planning, co- ordination and delivery of health services to support

(Left to right): Marlene, who provided entertainment, with Pauline, Pauline’s daughter Grace, and Leroy who also provided entertainment

(Left to right): Amanda, Tania, Trish, Tracey and Mel attended the launch



Shelley Beverley discovered she had Mitochondrial disease just five years ago

Australia to introduce ground breaking technology to target debilitating Mito disease

Clinicians, researchers and patients have welcomed a landmark law which will pave the way for remarkable new IVF technology to prevent Mitochondrial disease. Known as “Maeve’s law” after a young Victorian girl with a rare genetic disorder, the legislation was passed by Federal Parliament allowing the specialised IVF procedure to be carried out in Australia. It will involve replacing faulty mitochondria with healthy mitochondria to greatly reduce the risk of a child inheriting the disease. Mitochondrial disease can be devastating, causing major organ failure, blindness, deafness, brain disorders, muscular problems and early death. About 50 babies are born with a severe form each year, and many die before the age of five. The Kolling Institute’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue is a globally recognised expert in this field, and says the new law is a tremendously important step for many families impacted by Mitochondrial disease. “Maeve’s Law will help provide families affected by

this inherited disease with the best opportunity to have a healthy, biologically related child,” she said. “It will provide hope and may be life-changing for many families, particularly those where multiple generations are affected. It may help relieve the enormous emotional, physical, social and financial burden on affected families. “Australia has a long history with procedures involving assisted reproductive technologies and an excellent regulatory environment. This new step will provide families with access to the most advanced technology in the safest possible way.” One woman who may benefit from the landmark decision is 37 year old Shelley Beverley. She discovered she had Mitochondrial disease just five years ago following the death of her mother. Her brother Neil also tragically died from the condition at just 34. Shelley has a heart condition, hearing loss, muscle weakness and diabetes, which are all linked to the disease.

Shelley and her husband James have welcomed the passing of the landmark law. “This law gives us new hope of having our own healthy biological child without the fear of passing on this devastating disease,” she said. “Having lost so much already, it is a dream come true, one that we have longed for. “This procedure is a huge milestone that will genuinely save lives and an incredible amount of unimaginable heartache.” It’s anticipated women undergoing the procedure will be supported by RNSH’s clinic for Mitochondrial disease patients, the largest of its type in Australia.

Kolling Institute’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue



Staff and community help shape design of new Ryde Hospital Planning for Ryde Hospital’s redevelopment is continuing to take shape and staff and the community are being construction works. Ryde Hospital General Heather said the first round of project user group

meetings and consumer reference group meetings have also been successful. “These meetings focus on ensuring the patients and carers voices are considered as part of the new hospital’s design,” she said. “There has been some great engagement from staff, clinicians and consumers.” To find out more about the Ryde Hospital redevelopment, visit www. rydehospitalredevelopment. health.nsw.gov.au.

Manager Heather Gough said pop-up stalls were recently held at the hospital for staff and the community to meet with the project team and find about more about the redevelopment. “The pop-up sessions were really successful amongst staff and members in the community,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to work with staff and our community on shaping the designs of our new hospital.”

called on to get involved and have their say on what they would like to see as part of the redevelopment. Over the coming months the project team will submit an application to the Department of Planning and Environment for concept approval, including early construction works. A more detailed design of the redevelopment will be submitted in 2023, which will seek approval for the main


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



Ryde Hospital staff celebrating April Falls Day

aPRIL FALLS DAY AT RYDE April Falls Day is an important date on Ryde Hospital’s calendar every year. The hospital recently celebrated the day with an information stall, quiz, prizes and new resources. Nursing, physiotherapy, podiatry, medical and administration staff held an information stall and foyer display with plenty of resources for staff and patients about falls prevention.

Ryde Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery Alecia Daly said it was great to see so many people engaging with the day. “A huge thank you to all our staff who got involved, and for all our staff wearing the falls prevention orange t-shirts,” she said. “Falls prevention is everyone’s business.”

Ryde Hospital staff wore orange t-shirts to spread the message about falls prevention

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Kolling Institute researcher and RNSH endocrinologist Associate Professor Sarah Glastras

Researchers identify link between obesity severity and adverse outcomes for pregnant women and their babies There are calls for a

“Women with obesity are more likely to deliver a baby with congenital abnormalities, respiratory distress syndrome and have a large baby,” she said. “Our research has now given us a much clearer picture of the direct link between the severity of obesity and the risk of adverse impacts for both the mother and her baby.” Three classes of obesity were identified with class one assessing women with the lowest severity of obesity. • The research found 21 per cent of women with class I obesity developed gestational diabetes, compared with 28 per cent with class III.

class I, a 45 per cent risk in class II and 54 per cent in class III. This compared with the national average of 33 per cent. • 26 per cent of women with class I obesity had a large baby compared with 33 per cent in class III. “Our study highlights the importance of weight management in women of child-bearing age, not just during pregnancy, but also at the time of conception,” Sarah said. “Encouragingly, we also demonstrated that with good obstetric care, we can mitigate some of the risks associated with obesity in pregnancy. “Our research not only provides individuals with an incentive to manage their own weight, but also offers health providers and policy-makers more evidence to support

greater focus on weight management following new research defining the relationship between obesity and pregnancy-related complications for mother and baby. The study follows an increase in obesity levels globally as well as a rise in prevalence during pregnancy. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australian women have obesity at the time of conception. Kolling Institute researcher and Royal North Shore Hospital endocrinologist Associate Professor Sarah Glastras said we know that obesity in pregnancy increases the risk of the mother developing gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension or high blood pressure, and pre- eclampsia. There is also a higher risk of stillbirth as well as a caesarean section delivery.

• Women with class I

obesity had half the risk of developing pre-eclampsia compared class III. (2.8% versus 6.2%). • There was an increased risk of caesarean delivery, with a 40 per cent risk in

pre-conception weight management initiatives.”



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