Jun 22
Local Health District focuses on innovation, quality and safety in health care

Western NSW Local Health District is celebrating innovation, quality and patient safety in health with its Living Quality & Safety Health and Innovation Awards held last night.

Staff and teams from across the Local Health District submitted entries leading up to the Awards, with projects focussing on ways better health results can be achieved for patients through innovation.

Over 100 award submissions were received this year including 77 projects across 10 project award categories, with 29 individual submissions received.

Award finalists presented their projects via video and poster presentation at a Symposium yesterday, allowing projects to be showcased to staff and managers from across the District so that innovative ideas could be shared.

Special guests Dr Fiona Kerr and Ben Austin OAM spoke to participants on the day to share their individual stories and help motivate managers and staff from across the District.

Dr Fiona Kerr has over 30 years of experience in the areas of complex organisational strategy and transformation across the public, private and tertiary sectors and within various industries.

Born in Wellington in the Central West, Ben Austin is one of Australia's most successful and recognised Paralympian swimmers.

Awards were presented to staff for making an outstanding contribution to innovation in health care in our region and included Staff Member of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Collaborative Leader of the Year.

The Studer Group Staff Member of the Year was dually awarded to Judith Caswell from Brewarrina and Karen Beattie from Bathurst.

Judith was recognised for her commitment to local health services as the Community Health Team Leader and for her work with the audiometry service in Brewarrina, while Karen was recognised for her collaborative work with stakeholders as the Clinical Nurse Educator in the Intensive Care Unit at Bathurst Hospital.

Volunteer of the Year went to Gwen Davis, the Treasurer and a Committee Member of the Bourke United Hospital Auxiliary. Gwen was awarded Volunteer of the Year for her tireless dedication to the Auxiliary since the 1950s and her commitment and passion for the Bourke community.

Collaborative Leader of the Year was awarded to Ann Ryan, the Local Health District's Manager of HIV/AIDS and Related Program (HARP) for her work building partnerships within and external to the organisation in rolling out a range of important programs.

The Chief Executive's Award was presented to a project from Coonamble which aimed to promote wellness and improve the quality of life for aged care residents at the MPS.

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Award was presented to an allied health project which aimed to improve access and quality and safety and enrich patient experiences for people accessing a variety of allied health services in the region including physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy, social work services and speech pathology services.

The People's Choice Award was presented to a project aimed at identifying venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients admitted to the Older Persons Mental Health Unit in Orange. This project led to 100% of patients admitted to the Unit having a VTE risk-assessment performed.

For more information about quality and innovation initiatives in the Local Health District, please visit our website: https://wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/our-organisation/our-initiatives/fostering-innovation. 

Category Winners:

Category 1 – 'Patients as Partners' Category Winner: Virtual clinical pharmacy service

Category 2 – 'Delivering Integrated Care' Category Winner: Asthma in Mudgee: Hitting the targets in a rural setting (Mudgee Health Service)

Category 3 – 'Patient Safety First' Category Winner: Intensive Care Unit Governance Framework (Dubbo Hospital)

Category 4 – The Spotless 'Keeping People Healthy' Category Winner: Forbes High School Wellness Hub (Forbes Hospital – Lachlan Health Service)

Category 5 – Maxxia 'Supporting Our People' Category Winner: Supporting our Junior Doctors (Orange Health Service)

Category 6 – 'A Safe and Healthy Workplace' Category Highly Commended: Work Health and Safety Management Systems

Category 7 – First State Super 'Health Research and Innovation' Category Winner: Umbilical vein ultrasound for diagnosing IUGR (Orange Health Service)

Category 8 – First State Super 'Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services' Category Winner: CIRCuiTS cognitive remediation therapy trial in Orange (Bloomfield Hospital, Orange)

Category 9 – 'Excellence in MPS/Rural Facilities' Category Winner: Tailoring access to specialised sexual assault services in a remote MPS (Bourke Multipurpose Service)

Category 10 – 'Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health Disadvantage' Category Winner: Closing the Gap: A creative integrated care approach

Category 11 – Volunteer of the Year: Gwen Davis, Treasurer and Committee Member, Bourke United Hospital Auxiliary, Bourke Multipurpose Service (MPS)

Category 12 – Studer Group Staff Member of the Year:

Judith Caswell, Community Health Team Leader/Audiometry Service Registered Nurse, Brewarrina Health Service

Karen Beattie, Clinical Nurse Educator – Intensive Care Unit, Bathurst Hospital

Category 13 – Maxxia Collaborative Leader of the Year: Ann Ryan, Manager HIV/AIDS & Related Programs (HARP)