NSLHD Year in Review 2020

message FROM the Chief executive

bushfires or any other number of challenges that we face each and every day in our hospitals, community health centres or the community; teamwork. We are extremely privileged to have such committed clinicians who really are leading the way in their discipline. Their advice and support made such an incredible difference and informed the critical decisions that had to be made. Our Clinical Advisory Group, a team of some of our most dedicated and brilliant clinicians from across disciplines worked hand in hand with members of the executive. They are a large part of why our district has been as prepared and managed so well during the pandemic. I would like to thank them all for their time, expertise and support. Our nurses were quite remarkable at taking charge of any space and turning it into a testing clinic, with patient feedback incredibly positive. Our public health unit with its contact tracing efforts and monitoring positive patients – again, teamwork was central to that. There were those who donned a pink vest and helped to form the COVID Care team. This initiative from People and Culture was integral in helping to maintain the wellbeing of all of our staff, including those on the frontline, during a time of great stress and uncertainty. But then there is the rest of the teamwho played a huge role in helping us get to the stage we are now in and that’s our community. I would like to thank you all for doing what was asked of you; we asked you to get tested and you did, we asked you to wear a mask and you did, we asked you to stay 1.5 metres apart and you did that too – we even asked you to respect limits when visiting loved ones in hospital and you did that too. You even went so far as to send our staff food, and children made our staff thank you cards and drawings. On behalf of all of us here at Northern Sydney Local Health District, thank you to all of you who stepped up and played your part in overcoming the challenge that has been 2020. Here’s to 2021 and another year of challenges and triumphs. Until then, stay well and have a wonderful holiday season.

This year, 2020, was a year which held so much promise. It was the first year of a new decade and the year of the Nurse and the Midwife. However in the blink of an eye, 2020 quickly became the year of devastating bushfires and of course COVID-19. It has certainly been a year like no other, especially in healthcare, not just within our district or state or even country, but across the entire world. This year has pushed many of us to our limits professionally and personally too, and while this year might have felt like challenge after challenge, there have been a number of celebrations and triumphs too. While our events like the Innovation Program and Quality and Improvement Awards might have looked a little different, it focused on the same calibre of excellent work being produced. Our district was acknowledged for this work when it won two NSWHealth Awards in the Patient Safety First and Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services category, as well as being a finalist in the Transforming Patient Experience category. Speaking of tremendous achievements, back in January, our district united to help our friends and colleagues in Murrumbidgee and Southern NSW local health districts as they battled some of the worst bushfires this state has ever seen. We had staff from across a broad range of disciplines; mental health, nursing, allied health – selflessly put themselves forward and I had personal feedback from both Murrumbidgee and Southern NSW LHDs chief executives about the incredible role they played and how they immersed themselves in the community when they were in dire need. I think those first months set the tone for what was to come. After the fires settled, the COVID-19 virus started to impact us and cause huge disruption to life as we know it. At the very outset of this pandemic, our clinicians were at the forefront of decision-making and advice to care for community. They demonstrated the incredible values of healthcare workers - dedication, care, and professionalism. I could not have been prouder of the resilience they showed and continue to show in our response. One of the first communities in our country to be affected was Ryde. The situation that faced us at Ryde Hospital was a difficult one, and I commend our staff for the incredible work they did to keep others safe and most of all the unwavering care and committment. That’s where the key lies to overcoming challenges – whether it’s COVID or

Deb Willcox, Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


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