NSLHD News September 25

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


New Paeds department opens at hornsby The latest addition to the evolving Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospital campus has opened to much fanfare from staff and patients. Read more on page 3

child protection awards Page 7

kolling research: insights into Parkinsons disease Page 3

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

It almost seems hard to remember a time before COVID-19 and I know for many of us it has become very much part of our routine daily personal and working lives. I would like to thank everyone for maintaining the important safety measures in place to contain the virus and not becoming complacent and for encouraging people to get tested. Thanks to all those involved in helping with temperature checks, working in the testing centres and the laboratories, contact tracing and looking after the small number patients with the virus in our care. I know myself how difficult it can be at times to maintain social distancing with colleagues at work. To help us in these ever changing times the Clinical Excellence Commission have produced some guidelines to provide some infection prevention and control advice for healthcare workers when working in a shared workspace. You can find the guidelines on the district intranet homepage in the infectious diseases for clinician’s portal. COVID-19 testing at RNSH is set to be improved greatly with the arrival of a new temporary demountable to be placed in the car parking area directly in front of the Douglas Building. The new clinic space will comprise of eight dedicated rooms for testing patients with separate entry and exit points and waiting areas, it will be fully covered for those waiting to be swabbed and of course wheel chair accessible. I appreciate the difficulties associated with the former location on level 6 of the Douglas Building. I am grateful for everyone’s patience while we arranged a more suitable solution for ongoing testing at RNSH. The new temporary building is expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Our district has the highest proportion of residents aged 80 years or older in NSW as well as the largest number of residential aged care places than any LHD. These are some of our most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic and we know when the virus gets into an aged care facility it has devastating effects. Therefore the district has established a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) Strike Force Response Group able to provide a 24/7 immediate and

comprehensive response to a COVID-19 outbreak in an aged care facility. This response includes mobilisation of clinicians from infection prevention and control, infectious diseases, public health unit, RACF aged care outreach teams, allied health and GPs to provide support to aged care facilities to contain and effectively manage a COVID-19 outbreak. The Strike Force response has also included engagement and liaison with Northern Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN), NSW ambulance and local GPs. In addition to developing a response to potential outbreaks, the district has been engaging and is working with aged care facilities to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention plan. This includes providing infection prevention and control and PPE training and education, regular webinars and teleconferences, escalation pathways and outreach teams. Our response is being well received by the aged care facilities who are appreciative of the engagement, support and opportunity to work collaboratively with the District to protect the safety and wellbeing of their residents. We hope we will not have to engage the Strike Force, but if we do we are the most prepared we can be to support these vulnerable members of our community. I would like to thank everyone involved in this very important initiative. Finally, the closing date for the Exceptional People Awards nominations has been extended to 5pm on 2 October. The Awards are a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the great work of our staff and volunteers who deliver excellent health and wellbeing outcomes for our patients and consumers, especially given the impact that COVID-19 has had this year. If you would like to submit a nomination, please visit the 2020 Exceptional People Awards webpage for more information.I look forward to sharing in the celebrations and acknowledging our finalists and winners in December. Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


New Paediatrics Department opens at Hornsby There was much excitement as staff welcomed the first patient into the new Paediatrics Department.

Patients and their families were involved in the buzz that surrounded the new ward’s opening with balloons handed out and photos taken. Nurses, paediatricians and wards staff said goodbye to the old department as all patients were transferred to the new purpose-built ward which provide larger rooms and more suitable play areas.

The new department is second to open as part of the NSW Government’s $265 million redevelopment of the hospital, which is opening in stages and due for completion in 2021. Kolling researchers join global search for new insights into Parkinson’s disease The first patient arrives at the new Paediatrics Department at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

Kolling Institute researchers will help drive an exciting international project to identify the genetic links to Parkinson’s disease and new ways to treat the debilitating disorder. The program will bring together leading researchers from Sweden, the United States and Australia after a $12.5 million grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative, which will be administered by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The Kolling Institute’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue is thrilled to be involved, with the degenerative movement disorder impacting more than six million people worldwide. “Parkinson’s disease is one of the biggest neurological health challenges this century, affecting an increasing number of people due to our ageing population,” she said. Professor Sue, who is also the Director of Neurogenetics at Royal North Shore Hospital, said the project will use state- of-art technologies and a very specialised approach involving gene editing. “Our research will investigate three specific genes linked

Dr Gautam Wali, Prof Carolyn Sue and Dr Ryan Davis

to the disease, including the LRRK2, PARKIN and A-SYNUCLEIN genes,” she said. “By understanding how genes contribute to Parkinson’s disease, we will be in a better position to identify new therapies that could slow the disease process. “Even if we slow the process by a small amount, the impact on patients will be significant.” Two members of Professor Sue’s neuroscience research team will also join the three- year project, including Dr Ryan Davis and Dr Gautam Wali. “We have world leading expertise in this field and have been selected to take part after a global search for innovative programs to speed-up the search for the next generation of treatments for Parkinson’s,”

she said. “This collaborative project will see our team work with other world leading experts to unravel some of the fundamental mechanisms that cause Parkinson’s disease and develop new ways to treat the disorder. “The program illustrates the importance of our translational research at the Kolling Institute, where we can directly incorporate scientific breakthroughs to improve clinical care for our patients. “It also highlights the significance of a collaborative approach, where we can harness the strengths and expertise from multiple institutions to accelerate our research progress.”



As part of the lead up to National Carers Week, which runs from October 11 to 17, NSLHD News and NSLHD Carer Support have explored the world of carers and staff on the front line in our district. National Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise, celebrate, and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles. There are 2.65 million Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend with disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged. According to Deloitte , friends and family will give more than 2.2 billion hours of unpaid care in 2020, valued at almost $78 billion.

Including carers: why those closest have the most to offer Staff are being encouraged

to look at ways they can integrate carers along the patient journey. For many patients and carers, coming to hospital can be a daunting experience, but Nurse Unit Manager for 8D at Royal North Shore Hospital, Jacque Hextall says listening is key to delivering a positive experience. “It’s so important for clinicians to involve the carer in the patient journey because its “A lot of us take for granted being able to communicate what makes us uncomfortable or if there’s something that will make us feel better, but some of our most vulnerable patients can’t – that’s where working with their carer is so important.” Jacque said carers usually have a wealth of knowledge about their loved one that can help improve outcomes and make everyone life more comfortable. “We always talk about treating the whole person and quite often no one knows more about a person than their carer,” Jacque said. helps to deliver the best outcome,” Jacque said.

“If you’re a nurse, you can see hundreds of patients a week and every single one of those people are unique – not just in diagnosis and treatment but also in what they like and dislike. “Using this information can help us improve not just the healthcare outcomes of the patient, but also their carer.” Carers often also feel the strain of their role, sometimes needing help to maintain their physical and mental health, especially in the hospital environment. “Like anyone who has a sick loved one, hospital stays can be stressful,” Jacque said. “We have a duty to not only look after the patient, but also their carer’s wellbeing which is linked to the health and

happiness of their loved one.” The NSLHD Carers’ Support team is available to answer any questions staff may have about caring for patients with carers. “Barbara Lewis and her team do a phenomenal job in working with staff to accommodate for carers, whether that’s putting a bed in the patient’s room so they can stay with them or organising an extra meal to be sent for the carer,” Jacque said. “We’re really lucky to have the service and I would encourage all clinical staff to engage with them. Involving the carer in our care has a really positive effect on everyone experience in healthcare.”



Simone, Jade and Sharlene Parkinson

Side-by-side: the journey of carers through hOSPITAL For Jade Parkinson and his

While Jade has been a patient at the hospital before, both Simone and Sharlene said they have seen a real change for the better in attitudes towards carers, with staff acknowledging their deep knowledge of Jade’s needs and working with them to deliver a positive experience for all. “It makes life easier all round; firstly for the patient, because they have a friendly face here they are comfortable with that they know will support them 100 per cent,” Simone said. “He understands everything we’re saying, but he’s pretty non-verbal – he can say certain words. He can get a bit of anxiety so for him knowing there’s people around him that he knows helps a lot. “Then for the nurses and doctors, if they come in and ask Jade a question, he tries to answer but we can relay what he’s trying to say. “We’re not here as a hindrance – we’re here to help; we’re here to help Jade and we’re here to help the staff.”

Simone said Jade’s latest stay in Ward 5E had been the smoothest yet, with Jade feeling more comfortable than ever. “It was nice to come back and everyone recognising him, saying ‘hi Jade, how are you?’” she said. “It’s a family friendly place for him, with all the old faces and it give us a bit of comfort.” As for any advice for those who have a loved one they care for and are due a stay at hospital, Simone did not hesitate in recommending getting in touch with the NSLHD Carer Support Service. “It’s a godsend service – it really is,” Simone said. “Get in touch with Carer Support, ask questions because some people might not know what to bring or what to do.” Carer Support are available Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm and can be phoned on 02 9462 9488 or via email at NSLHD-Carers@health.nsw. gov.au

sisters and carers, Simone and Sharlene, trips to hospital are a reality of living with cerebral palsy – but they all agree their experience has got better every visit. From the moment they walked through the door at Royal North Shore Hospital this time around, the south Sydney based siblings were comforted, having already been in touch with Barbara Lewis and the NSLHD Carer Support Service. “It’s all the little things she does before you get here but then it’s just knowing you’ve got someone here to help break down any barrier you may have,” Simone said. “She says ‘this is what we need to do, we’ll get this sorted for you’. She helps get us set up correctly with carer’s meals, the bed in the room – you don’t have to chase the nurses because it’s already done. “It’s also about knowing you’ve got somebody to call if anything goes wrong or if there’s any help you need.”



CREATING Welcoming ENVIRONMENTS ACROSS NSLHD When patients, staff and

consumers enter a Northern Sydney Local Health District hospital or service, there’s a mission to make each and every person feel welcome. NSLHD Clinical Lead for Aboriginal Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Michelle Lawrence is behind this mission. Michelle recently developed two welcome banners with inclusivity top of mind – an Acknowledgement of Country banner and a multicultural banner with ‘hello’ written in 40 languages. “The banners are beautifully designed and include ‘hello’ in AUSLAN for our hearing impaired community,” Michelle said. “I want these banners to make everyone feel welcome and acknowledged. Culture is everywhere and if the banners help one person on their

Vocational and Housing Manager Marianna Wong and Michelle Lawrence

journey into a health setting to feel more welcome than we have been successful in what we set out to achieve.” The banners are located across Macquarie Hospital and Ryde and Royal North Shore community health centres.

The banners link to the National Quality Health Standards and the self- assessment tool of building cultural environments. They are available through Design and Print.

New medication may offer relief for knee osteoarthritis A study has been launched to investigate the benefits of a new injectable medication for those with knee osteoarthritis.

The condition can have a profound impact on a person’s life, leading to physical limitations, ongoing pain and joint instability. There are broader implications too which can make it difficult for those with the condition to engage in social, community and occupational activities. Significant resources and expertise are being directed towards the disease, and a number of clinical trials and research studies are underway to develop new interventions and tests that may alleviate the symptoms of the condition. One of these promising trials is being led by Professor David Hunter and his team from the Kolling Institute and Royal North Shore Hospital.

The Excellence Study will evaluate a new injectable medication that has been formulated to provide both short-term and long-acting relief from pain, inflammation and mobility impairments. Many current medications for knee osteoarthritis offer only short-term relief, while this

new medication may offer relief for up to six months. Volunteers are being recruited for the study and further community support is needed. To find out more about joining the trial, call 9463 1774 or go to: https://redcap.sydney.edu. au/surveys/?s=4T7XWDW33T


The 2020 NSLHD Child and Young Person Wellbeing and Protection Awards

CHILD PROTECTION AWARDS winners crowned Health workers have a unique

Health Service (CYMHS) Service or Team – Certificate of Recognition Lower North Shore Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) North Shore Ryde Outreach Support for Children and Adolescents (OSCA) Collaborative Practice – Excellence Sarah Hobson, Clinical Coordinator, Transitional Aged Care Program Vicki Laing, GP Community Liaison Nurse CNS2, Child and Family Health Collaborative Practice – Highly Commended Laila Zarour, Medico-legal Advisor, Northern Sydney Health Information Service Collaborative Practice – Certificate of Recognition Lauren Huntley, NSLHD Youth Health RN, Child Youth and Family Health Susan Barrett, Social Worker, Northern Beaches Child and Youth Mental Health Service Northern Beaches Safe Start Multidisciplinary Case Discussion, Child Youth and Family Health

entertainment was provided by Royal North Shore Hospital Child Care Centre. Congratulations to all of the winners. Individual – Excellence Alison Eastwood, RNS Occupational Therapist, Child Youth and Family Health Individual - Highly Commended Ian Cappleman, RNS Occupational Therapy Team Lead, Child Youth and Family Health Individual – Certificate of Recognition Saw Bee Hogan, NS and Ryde Early Childhood Nurse, Child Youth and Family Health Kate Tolley, NSLHD Youth Health CNC, Child Youth and Family Health Service or Team – Excellence Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) School-Link Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) Got It! Service or Team – Highly Commended Hornsby Mental Health Intensive Care Unit (MHICU) Hornsby Child & Youth Mental

opportunity to advocate and prioritise children and young people’s safety, welfare and wellbeing, and connect families with support. On September 7 health workers across Northern Sydney Local Health District were recognised for their work in making this opportunity a reality at the NSLHD Child and Young Person Wellbeing and Protection Awards. Held during National Child Protection Week, the event celebrated the achievements of individuals, teams and services whose child focused practice supports the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people in Northern Sydney. Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy, Director of Child, Youth and Family, hosted the event and Executive Director of Operations Elizabeth Wood presented the awards. Special guest speakers from The Cornucopia Committee; President Maureen Thornett and Secretary Sue Beston attended, and video



National Carers Week�(,)�(,), CONVERSATIONS MON120CT -FRI 16 OCT VVITH CARERS. Recognising, respecting, and valuing carers as partners in care. EVERYDAY FROM 10:30AMto 12 OON Join us for a series of virtual talks about caring for a family member, friend, or neighbour. Proudlysupported by Carers SupportService & Local Councils.

Wednesday 14 October Let's talk about maleCarers

Monday 12 October Caring for the Older Person

Michael Riley , Team Leader and Counsellor - R elationships Australia, will host an insightful and candid conversation with male Carers. They will discuss issues related to being a male Carer, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and knowing when and how to access support.

Sue Pieters Hawke will reflect on her journey as a Carer for her parents Hazel and Bob Hawke. Prof Dimity Pond has strategies for getting the most out of a Doc­ tor's appointment including those uncomfortable conversa­ tions about dementia and cogni­ tive impairment. Prof Sue Kurrie, Geriatrician, talking about fraility and care of an older person. Thursday 15 October Better outcomes for people with Intellectual Disability Margaret Meaker, A parent's journey in creating changes and lifelong learning. Vince Ponzio, NSWMinistry of Health, covering new approach­ es of care. Understanding Guardianship: A Carer's guide on how to make it work for your family.

Petrea King will share some tools and strategies to help carers care for themselves so they may in turn care for others. Petrea will help you maintain hope, humour and optimism when living with and caring for a family member.

BOOK ONLINE lanecove.nsw.gov.au/carersweek

BOOK BYPHONE Contact NSLHD Carer Support Service on 9462 9488 You will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to join a free online talk via a Zoom video call. Booking is essential. Each talk will be held on Zoom from 10:30AMto 12:00PM, Or by phone. Recordings available at: www.nscarersupport.com.au

Tarja Malone Carer Counsellor Social Worker Tarja, has worked in clinical and therapeutic set­ tings in areas of complex trauma and mental health. YourSide - for the Carers Gateway Roshan is Carer to a child with complex support needs, she shares insights into effective strategies that have worked for her family. Week Round-Up - Discussion & Questions with Carer Support Service's Barbara and Mary.

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