Oct 27
The work and achievements still continue at WNSWLHD

While the past year has had its challenges, the recent Western NSW Local Health District Living Quality & Safety Awards have shown that our local health workers are continuing to innovate and achieve.

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) Acting Chief Executive Mark Spittal, said, “Staff across the WNSWLHD have continued to step up to the plate at every challenge that they have been faced with this year, from extreme drought, fires and a pandemic.

“This year has been very demanding at times, but that hasn’t stopped our staff from providing new and innovative ways of providing the best care to our patients. 

“At this years WNSWLHD Quality Awards, we saw once again, the amazing work our staff are doing every day,” said Mr Spittal.

This year there were eight categories, including Integrated Value Based Care, Transforming Patient Experience, Keeping People Health, Health Research and Innovation, Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services, Collaborative Staff Member of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. 

The recipient of the Collaborative Staff Member of the Year for 2020 is Kelly Leonard, the District’s Coordinator of the Family & Carer Mental Health Program. Based in Dubbo, Kelly was recognised by the WNSWLHD for her commitment to putting carers at the heart of service planning and delivery. Kelly is highly respected by her colleagues who identified her as a role model for ensuring carer’s voices are heard through co-design and service development. 

Christine Hannus was announced as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Orange Health Service. Christine has served as an outstanding volunteer at the Orange Hospital for a significant period of time as a member, and now second-term President of the hospital auxiliary. Christine is also a Volunteer Coordinator and a member of the Orange Health Council. Christine’s work in re-opening the Auxiliary-run cafeteria at Orange Hospital using a range of measures to make the service COVID-19 safe has been a key achievement, and one which is being used as a template in other parts of NSW.

In the project categories, the recipient of the Integrated Value Based Care Award, was the Symptoms of Strangulation (SOS) project at the Orange Health Service. This project brought together key agencies to improve the assessment and treatment pathways for victims of domestic violence who had experience non-fatal strangulation, and provide training resources for staff.  The work that this team pioneered is now being adopted across Australia by many health and social service agencies

The recipient of the Transforming Patient Experience Award, was the Rural Maternity Service (RMS) at Lightning Ridge Health Service. The RMS focuses on providing care across a range of services to help women stay close to home, while accessing services through pregnancy. 

The recipient the of Patient Safety First Award, was ‘Living With an Impairment’ which worked with the Orange Rehabilitation Unit to improve care and reduce falls for people living with cognitive and physical impairment. This was achieved through two key areas – simulation of impairment and the language used to discuss impairment. 

The recipient of the Keeping People Health Award, was “One Small Step for Dubbo” at the Dubbo Health Service, a podiatry-led model using a multidisciplinary approach to help reduce the risk of diabetic foot issues in remote communities. 

In the Health Research & Innovation category, the recipient was “Waiting for Speech Pathology: Advice vs Device?”, a world-first research project supporting children and families on waiting lists for speech pathology. The project developed web-based resources which have been accessed more than 14,500 times, and the project has also been awarded by Speech Pathology Australia. 

The Bathurst Panorama Clinic Mental Health In the Home (MHITH) program received the Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award. Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic this project, undertaken with the Panorama Clinic’s partner Flourish Australia, created a model that would surround people and their carers with services in their own homes. 

Using technology, MHITH connects people with an array of services including psychiatric and allied health consultants, and retains access to group work, which is an important part of the recovery process.  

“I would once again like to congratulate all of our well-deserving recipients, also acknowledge all the worthy projects that were submitted for consideration in our annual awards program. 

“All of our staff right across the District come to work every day wanting to do the best for their patients and communities, and responding to the challenges they face make them natural innovators. 

“It can’t be said too often how proud we are of the work they do, and how grateful we are for their commitment and the care they provide,” said Mr Spittal. 

Kelly Leonard.JPG
Kelly Leonard - Staff Member of the Year. 

Christine Hannus.JPG
Christine Hannus ​- Volunteer of the Year