Ryde Hospital staff with a simple message for the community
NSLHD responds to COVID-19
From building wards in under a week to training new nurses in intensive care, Northern Sydney Local Health District used all available resources to prepare for COVID-19 at the outset of the pandemic.
One of the very first actions it took was to set up an executive level incident management team which met daily to ensure the hospitals and services were appropriately resourced. The dedicated district team comprised of clinical advisors from respiratory, intensive care, emergency, infectious diseases and surgery, as well as district directors. Chief Executive Deb Willcox said the team would continue to come together throughout the pandemic to undertake planning for additional beds, equipment and resourcing as well as provide advice on personal protective equipment (PPE) and best clinical practice. “Together we are working on our district-wide response and preparedness, with special focus on emergency care, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, and
possible place to care for patients with COVID-19.” More negative pressure single rooms have been created, meaning more infectious patients will be able to isolate to protect staff and patients. Many nurses underwent training to be upskilled in intensive care, under the supervision of ICU nurses and doctors. At Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, the emergency department was split into hot and cold zones to reduce the potential spread of COVID, with hot for patients suspected of COVID-19 while other patients could continue to be treated. More clinicians and health services turned to telehealth with many patients able to receive treatment or follow up consultations over the phone or video calls.
critical care. We are so extremely fortunate to have such high calibre clinical staff, who are true leaders in their disciplines and always have our patients and staff at the centre of their advice,” she said. At the onset of the pandemic, staff worked tirelessly in preparing for an anticipated surge of patients. Intensive care units (ICUs) doubled their capacity and teams of experts established a high dependency unit (HDU) at Royal North Shore Hospital in under a week – something that would normally take years to do. “The speed in which our staff have been able to achieve some of this is remarkable,” Deb said. “Everyone is working together, no matter what speciality they come from, to ensure we are in the best
4 NSLHDNEWS | 2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
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