NSLHD News June 4

MEssage FROM the chairman Trevor Danos AM

It has been a difficult first part of the year and all our staff have stepped up to the challenge of preparing our hospitals and health services for COVID-19. Our staff should feel proud of their commitment, hard work and achievements to date and of the very high regard in which they are held by the entire community. With restrictions easing, it is important we remain vigilant and ready. The Board is confident that our hospitals and health services are as well prepared as they possibly can be if there is a rise in COVID-19 presentations. COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of making sure every one of our over 11,000 staff arrives at work feeling respected, that they are treated equally and inclusively, have a voice, and are in a safe and supportive environment. I am very pleased and proud that NSLHD has established a Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Council. The Council’s existence and agenda send a clear message that diversity, inclusion and belonging (and our CORE values too) matter and need to be prioritised no matter what else is taking place at NSLHD. The purpose of the Council is to monitor, support and guide progress towards the objectives in the NSLHD Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Strategy and Action Plan, which is due to launch soon. Recently the Council consulted with over 350 of our staff about diversity, inclusion and belonging at NSLHD. The feedback was very constructive and has started the conversation around what we can do better to make sure everyone feels valued and supported at work including in relation to flexible working arrangements. We want our people to be able to bring their authentic selves to work. Our diversity is and should be one of our great strengths. The Council has also discussed introducing employee networks at NSLHD, which are voluntary groups of employees based on shared characteristics or life experiences who come together and arrange events, discuss issues,

raise awareness, support one another and advocate for change. Employee networks improve diversity and inclusion and support employees. Chief Executive Deb Willcox recently sent out a message acknowledging the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and requested expressions of interest from staff to join the LGBTQI+ Employee Network. Similar requests will be made in the coming months for other employee networks such as Living with Disability Network or Women in Leadership. I look forward to continuing to be involved with and monitoring the achievements of the Council as we strive to make NSLHD a more supportive, diverse and inclusive environment for everyone. The Board is passionate about celebrating the talents, excellence and innovation of all our staff and putting a spotlight on the hard work and delivery of programs and services which have made a real difference to the patients and families we care for. So it is a timely reminder to get in your application for the Quality and Improvement Awards with applications closing on June 10. Finally, the June long weekend is fast approaching and I hope you enjoy a well-earned break and get to spend some quality time with your loved ones. For those of you who will be working and continuing to provide quality care to our patients I am extremely grateful and extend my thanks and appreciation. I do hope you still manage to enjoy some down-time.

Trevor Danos AM Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District


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