NSLHD News August 27

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


RYDE WARD takes stand against falls Teamwork the key as Ward Three continues record run against patient falls.

Read more on page 5

the front door of the front line Page 3

nominations open for Exceptional People Awards Page 4

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


adhere to maximum numbers in lifts, or being sure to practise hand hygiene upon arriving at work that act as a big reminder of the current situation we find ourselves. While celebrations and gatherings have been more restrained this year, I am delighted to announce the return of the Exceptional People Awards for 2020. Nominations are now open for the annual awards, with a physically distanced ceremony planned for Friday December 11 2020. As many of you know the awards are to acknowledge and celebrate individual staff members and teams who live the true meaning of our CORE Values and Behaviours Charter, those who go over and above to make a difference for the benefit of their colleagues, our patients and consumers. There are seven award categories: Healthy Communities, Connected Person-Centre Care, Evidence Based Decision Making, Responsive and Adaptable Organisation, Engaged and Empowered Workforce CORE Values and finally Leadership. Individual winners, team winners and volunteer winners will be awarded, so if you know an exceptional person, team or volunteer, visit the Exceptional People Awards page on our website to nominate them. Nominations close on September 25. After such a challenging and eventful year, there are so many of you who deserve recognition so be sure to nominate someone to let them know you think they are truly exceptional. Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

As the end of August approaches, we have now been living with COVID-19 for around eight months. Thankfully case numbers in NSW remain low and community transmission numbers lower still – but we are of course thinking of our colleagues in Victoria who continue to fight the virus. As a district, we have performed incredibly well in the face of the greatest public health challenge this century. Our district has faced its own challenges, from early in the pandemic with Ryde Hospital and Dorothy Henderson Lodge to more recently at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. I would like to thank the ED team at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital for their superb response and resilience. I have said on numerous occasions the reason why we as a district have been able to continue delivering exceptional patient care in the face of ever-changing adversity is because of the devotion and commitment of our staff. Whether you have been on the frontline or behind the scenes, every single one of you has played an integral role in our response and I want to say thank you for your hard work during this challenging period. While we might be more comfortable with the ‘new normal’ – it’s important we remember things like physical distancing and practising appropriate hand hygiene and mask usage. As well as the virus, complacency is our number one threat, so I am always so pleased to see and hear how our staff are setting an example for the local community. It is the little things like making sure we


RN Samantha Johnson, Benji Rengasamy and Danielle Sanz

On the front line: protecting our hospitals from COVID-19 They are the first people we see when we walk into hospitals across our district and the front line against COVID-19 but our front door team aren’t daunted by the responsibility in front of them.

“It wasn’t easy but it had to be done.” For assistant in nursing Danielle Sanz, she saw it as a chance not just to keep everyone safe but also impart some much needed positivity given the unfolding situation. “With everyone, we have a smile on our face and we greet them happily and positively which hopefully has a domino effect on their day,” she said. Danielle said the team took pride in offering guidance in a period of constant change. “It’s good to be in this role working with the community, and if they have any questions we can help, we’re happy to be there to support them,” she said. “That’s my way of working - just to bring in that positivity, it helps to help each other.” Admin officer Benji Rengasamy said the staff always had to be switched on to ensure others were too. “We set the example for people walking into the hospital, how they should wear the masks, how to act in the serious situation we are in,” he said. “Hopefully everyone complies and things can go back to normal soon.” While the bright pink vests might not have been everyone’s first choice of colour, Danielle said it was perfect for a number of reasons, not just to get noticed. “It’s very vibrant and matches the hand Avagard sanitiser too!”

Tasked with taking temperatures, conducting health checks and relaying updated health guidelines the crack team of 40 staff at Royal North Shore Hospital alone, have been essential in keeping our staff, patients and visitors safe. But behind the masks are smiles from across hospitals and professions ranging from registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing and admin officers. Since early March, staff like registered nurse Samantha Johnson have been present at major entry points of Royal North Shore from 5am to 11pm, seven days a week. “Being at the hospital you can always be pulled into different roles,” she said. “COVID expanded quite quickly so it was just a matter of jumping in and helping out. It’s protecting the hospitals, the community and the patients.” Sam said the role was not without its challenges, but it was one she and her colleagues had embraced. “There’s been some huge challenges, like with the nominated visitors rules, only allowing one in, it was a really difficult time for patients who want all of their loved ones there but we have to follow the rules to protect everyone,” she said.



Researchers assess new approach to post-operative care With increasing evidence around the benefits of Northern Sydney Local Health District Professor Jim Elliott has welcomed the chance to

physiotherapy after surgery, a project is set to get underway examining new ways to extend the support. The BOOST project will investigate how hospitals can deliver more frequent exercise programs for patients with hip fracture, through an innovative model of care involving physiotherapists and other healthcare workers. The program will be led by the University of Sydney’s A/Professor Alison Harmer and Clinical Lecturer and physiotherapist Marie March, and will be trialled in the Northern Sydney and Western Sydney local health districts.

be involved in the project, which he hopes may extend post-operative care. “We know there are wide ranging benefits of more intensive physiotherapy after surgery, from improved patient mobility to shorter hospital stays,” he said. “The lack of availability of physiotherapists in many hospitals means this can’t always be delivered adequately and in a timely fashion.” The research team will be looking at how the existing non-physiotherapy workforce can be trained to deliver high-quality post-operative exercise for patients with hip fracture. This approach will be evaluated using a variety of methods, including patient outcomes, cost and patient-

Professor Jim Elliott

reported experience “We are looking forward to the collaborative project and hope it will help inform future models of care, improving patient outcomes and recovery after some surgeries,” Jim said “It will be a great opportunity for our district team to be part of the joint initiative working closely with A/Prof Harmer and Ms March.”

Sydney Health Partners has provided the initial

$25,000 for the trial, which will involve the team from Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s physiotherapy department and orthogeriatric service.

Nominations now open for 2020 Exceptional People Awards The Exceptional People Awards are a great way to recognise individuals and teams who go above and beyond to support our services and our patients and consumers. Completing the nomination form is simple; just visit the Exceptional People Awards page and download the staff nomination form, which can be submitted by email.

This year has been an especially unique, challenging year but many people across the district have contributed to the success of our COVID-19 response as well as our business as usual functions. With seven categories to choose from, there is a category to suit everyone from our dedicated volunteers, support staff, clinical and non-clinical teams and individuals across the district. If you know a person or team doing great work, let them know by nominating them for an award.

Nominees will be invited to the Exceptional People Awards event in December to celebrate. Nominations close on September 25 2020.



ZERO FALLS FOR RYDE’S WARD three Ryde Hospital’s orthopaedic and surgical Ward Three is working hard to sustain its zero falls record for nine weeks. Off the back of a continued increase in falls from January to June this year and a spike in falls resulting in serious injury, Ward Three Nursing Unit Manager Janelle Cahill and the team came together to work out what needed to be done and what would work best to prevent falls in the ward.

“Some of the measures include coming together at the start of the shift and identifying patients who are at a higher risk of falls,” Janelle said. “Staff work out a plan of how they will best care for these patients such as tag teaming and asking for help early if needed, especially after hours support.” High risk patients are also discussed at the daily multidisciplinary team meeting where medical and allied health are made aware of our high risk falls patients. Janelle said this assists in ensuring a combined effort is made on falls prevention for all staff working on the ward. “The staff are putting in a huge amount of People Matter Engagement Survey 2020 Due to COVID-19, the 2020 People Matter Engagement Survey (PMES) has been postponed this year. People and Culture is still committed to finding ways to consult with staff in 2020 through approaches like COVID-19 pulse surveys, COVID Care rounding and Employee Experience consultations. It has been well over a year since more than 4000 NSLHD employees participated in the 2019 PMES, administrated by the Public Service Commission. In response to staff feedback, the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy is underway. New approaches have been implemented, such as site newsletters, to enhance communication.

Ward Three NUM Janelle Cahill

effort and are really focused on it, and it’s a great feeling for all of us ticking off the board with zero falls at the end of the day,” she said. Director of Nursing Drew Hilditch-Roberts said the team has worked really hard to put new processes in place to sustain zero falls. “When there’s already so much happening in the ward, it’s such a great achievement,” he said. “We also achieved zero falls for the entire facility in the first week of July this year. “It’s an amazing effort and I’m really proud of the team.”

ICT used their PMES prize money to run a Staff Engagement forum

managers to build their capacity to support staff and provided ongoing support to staff with the COVID Care initiative. To celebrate the increase in staff participation in the 2019 PMES, two prizes were awarded across NSLHD. The Information Communication Technology (ICT) team received the prize for highest participation rate and Mona Vale Hospital received the prize for showing the greatest improvement in participation. There will be another short COVID-19 pulse survey in September with the opportunity for staff to provide feedback.

People and Culture have worked with



VALE Dr Richard Geeves : 1924 – 2020 Instrumental in setting up the aged care rehabilitation services at Hornsby Hospital, Dr Richard Banks Geeves (Dick) passed away on July 18. general practice and became a full time physician at the hospital. He went on to

develop a larger community team, and developed a 26- bed rehabilitation ward, day hospital, and outpatient unit in the Palmerston Building. He also designed and built a 60-bed transitional care and respite nursing home on the hospital grounds. These were all opened in 1975. His ability to network and raise money was legendary, and he was instrumental in raising funds for the nursing home, ward, day hospital and clinic. Dick spent his career tirelessly advocating for older people and striving for the best care to be provided to them. In 1986 Dick was asked to pilot a Geriatric Assessment Team for the Commonwealth Department of Health, using his well-developed model of multidisciplinary community assessment and care. This model became the basis for all future Aged Care Assessment Teams across Australia, and the Hornsby team continues to this day as one of the busiest in NSW. After his retirement from

Dick had a long career in medicine, following time serving in the army which saw him sent to Papua New Guinea during WWII. After joining his father in general practice, Dick recognised there was a significant gap in the care of older people and people with a disability living in the community. At that time he was appointed as honorary community physician at Hornsby District Hospital and with support from his specialist and general practitioner colleagues, he developed a multidisciplinary team providing geriatric and rehabilitation services in the community. This team was allocated a hospital cottage which became a day rehabilitation centre, one of the earliest such medical rehabilitation centres in Sydney. In 1974 a Community Geriatric and Rehabilitation Service

Dr Richard Geeves

Hornsby Hospital in 1989, he and his wife Barbara moved to Geeveston in Tasmania. Never one to slow down, Dick was involved in developing a new role for the Geeveston area after the closure of the large paper. Together with locals, he worked on creating a woodworking hub for Geeveston, and the famous Tahune Airwalk was part of that development, showcasing the Huon River. Dick continued living in his home after the death of his wife in 2002 and remained an integral part of the community even having a street named after him. He is survived by his five sons.

was set up at Hornsby Hospital, and Dick left

Royal North Shore Hospital Childbirth & Early Parenting Education Online interactive classes now available: • Early Pregnancy • Birthing Programs (incl Virtual Maternity Tour) • Hypnobirthing ® • Parenting Programs • Breastfeeding • Grandparenting • Mandarin & Cantonese classes • Prenatal Yoga & Postnatal Exercise BOOK ONLINE - > NSHEALTHPROMOTION.COM.AU NSLHD-parented@health.nsw.gov.au (02) 9462 9588


OlI gives new insights in pregnancy A landmark study into maternal and fetal monitoring

is now entering its second human clinical study, where midwives at RNSH hope the data collected will shine a light on mother and baby monitoring. Michelle de Vroome, Network Manager Midwifery Practice, NSLHD, said the current cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring really hadn’t changed since 1965, measuring the same parameters. Women in labour are currently monitored via two devices strapped to thick bands wrapped around their torsos, one with a fetal heart rate sensor, the other to track the frequency of contractions. These are then either connected directly to a CTG machine, limiting movement, or wirelessly over a short distance to the CTG machine. The Oli has the potential to help cut the rates of unnecessary interventions, and where needed, intervene earlier to avoid complications. Women have already begun to be recruited into the

is underway at Royal North Shore Hospital and has the potential to help change the way monitoring occurs for the first time in 55 years. As part of the Oli study, 120 pregnant women are currently being recruited to use new wireless monitoring that offers new measures, which it is hoped, if successful, could replace current invasive monitoring that can restrict the mother’s movements during labour. The Oli is a wireless patch that monitors key measures impacting mother and baby during pregnancy and labour. Providing details surrounding the quality of uterine activity, maternal and fetal wellbeing, movements and exertion, Oli is being developed to be used before birth, providing information on how a labour is presenting and progressing. Designed by Baymatob, a company founded by engineer and mother-of-three Dr Sarah McDonald after her second birth, the device

Sarah McDonald with the Oli

study, which is split into three groups, with some women using the Oli during their antenatal visits, while others will be wearing the Oli during labour. Following the results, a larger clinical trial across the state is expected to be conducted. RNSH Clinical Midwife Consultant, Kate Pigott, said the current CTG monitoring is sensitive and not specific to midwives’ and obstetricians’ needs. “We want to change that around,” she said.

Stride into Steptember Get ready to start stepping from Tuesday September 1, as Steptember 2020 gets underway. It’s not too late to register yourself or your team to take part in the action. Steptember helps to raise money and awareness for those living with cerebral palsy for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Northern Sydney Local Health District is currently leading the way with more than 370 people signed up for the challenge, but South Eastern Sydney Local Health District has early bragging rights for funds raised. SESLHD has raised more than $3000 so far,

around $600 more than Northern Sydney, despite only having around 90 registered steppers. Come on Northern Sydney – it’s time to step up to the challenge and register for Steptember. You can sign up as a team or individual for Steptember 2020 by heading to steptember. org.au and select ‘Join an organisation’ and insert Northern Sydney LHD to register for our challenge. Be sure to use the code NSLHD2020 for free registration.



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