Apr 07

The mobile screening van will visit Condobolin from 21st April 2021.

BreastScreen NSW provides free mammograms to eligible women aged between 50 and 74 across the State.

BreastScreen NSW is taking all necessary measures in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), to protect women, staff and the wider community. This includes:

Pre-screening questions around personal health and travel
Limiting the number of people in the clinic/van
Practicing social distancing and providing hand sanitizer in waiting rooms
A minimal contact check-in process
Additional cleaning of equipment and commonly used surfaces.

Meg O’Brien, Manager at BreastScreen NSW Greater Western says a screening mammogram is one of the most important things women aged 50-74 can do for their health.

“Detecting breast cancer early increases your chance of survival while reducing the likelihood of invasive treatment, such as mastectomy or chemotherapy.”

“Around 90 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. This is why breast cancer screening is so important for all eligible women.”

Ms O’Brien says having a BreastScreen NSW van in Condobolin makes it easier for women to attend their recommended two-yearly screening.

“Bringing these vital services to Condobolin means more local women can be screened. Life gets busy and we want women to make their health a priority.”

The BreastScreen NSW van is in town between 21st April and 12th May and is located at the Brenshaw Medical Centre Car Park – 3 Melrose St, Condobolin. The service is free and there’s no referral needed.

BreastScreen NSW mobile vans include the latest digital mammography technology and secure wireless communication system. The NSW Government, through the Cancer Institute NSW, is investing $62.2 million in breast cancer screening this financial year.
To book a mammogram with BreastScreen NSW, call 13 20 50 or visit https://book.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au/​.

Mar 31
Pushing Back On COVID-19: Take A Step Towards Safe Activity for Everybody

​With the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, older Australians in Western NSW Local Health District are encouraged to get physically and socially active as part of an April Falls Day campaign to reduce the incidence of falls in older age groups.


Safe Activity for Everybody is the theme of April Falls Day, Thursday April 1 2021.


NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network Lead Advisor Prof Cathie Sherrington said she hoped 2021 would be the year of safe activity for everybody with the campaign focused on encouraging older Australians to get moving again by embracing balance and strength exercises and reconnecting with their community.


Professor Sherrington said there was some anecdotal evidence that older people had been leading a more sedentary and isolated lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Staying physically active is the single most important thing we can do to stay independent as we age. During ageing, our bodies lose muscle strength and coordination, so the more active we remain the better chance we have of maintaining our physical function.


“Improving strength and balance in our legs allows us to complete regular daily activities more easily, including getting up and down stairs, in and out of cars, negotiating uneven surfaces and reducing the risk of falling.


“Older people benefit from regular tai chi, group exercise programs, gym sessions, Stepping On programs or simple exercises at home to improve muscle strength and balance.


“Research has also shown that regular exercise can reduce falls in older people by 23 per cent, but slowly building up high-challenge balance exercises can increase the effects of exercise by up to 40 per cent."


High-challenge balance exercises include those that reduce the base of support – for instance, not holding on to a chair or bench and lifting one leg at a time.


The NSW Fall Prevention Program is run by the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and this year the CEC collaborated with the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to produce a range of April Falls resources for patients, families, carers and health staff.


Fall Prevention information is also on the Clinical Excellence Commission website and local balance and strength exercises classes on the NSW Active and Healthy website. 

Mar 30
Career Path Options on the table for JMO’s
​Tonight Junior Medical Officers (JMO) at Orange Health Service will have the opportunity to see where their careers can take them. 

Orange Hospital in conjunction with the Western New South Wales Regional Training Hub will be holding a careers night for the Junior Medical Officers and the University of Sydney 4th year medical Students to explore the opportunities within medicine. 

Orange Hospital Respiratory Physician Dr Bud Nanayakkara, said, “The JMO’s will be going through the recruitment process soon, which is when most of them will decide a career pathway”.

“Working in a hospital setting is very busy and sometimes the JMO’s aren’t able to see and experience all the opportunities available to them. 

“The night provides an opportunity for small groups of JMO’s and medical students to meet with each department or specialty to ask those important questions about their potential career paths”.

“It is also a really important opportunity for our JMO’s as they are able to ask important questions and get some background to each speciality which they might not have time to do in their normal day to day work.

“It’s also hoped that it encourages more JMO’s to come work and stay in rural and regional settings. Nights like this highlight the opportunities and lifestyle we can offer out here”. Dr Nanayakkara said. 

Mar 22
Vaccine rollout begins for health workforce
​Western NSW Local Health District frontline health staff rolled up their sleeves to receive the first jabs of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Dubbo Hospital Vaccination Hub this morning.

The Vaccination Hub at Dubbo is operating as a central point of storage and distribution for the vaccinations that will distributed to thousands of staff across the Local Health District. 

Director of Dubbo Health Service’s Emergency Department, Dr Dan Stewart, said the vaccination was a safe and effective way of protecting the community. 

“Staff here in Dubbo know what it’s like to care for COVID-19 patients, and we all know that COVID-19 has had an extraordinary impact on our communities. 

“The Dubbo hospital team are excited to be among the first people in the region to receive the vaccine. I want to encourage my colleagues and everyone in the community to get vaccinated when they are eligible,” said Dr Stewart.

Dubbo, along with Orange and Bathurst hospitals, will provide fixed-site vaccination clinics for healthcare workers, with two mobile services rotating through health facilities at another 35 locations. 

Chief Executive of the Western NSW Local Health District, Scott McLachlan, said that vaccination of frontline health staff was an important milestone for communities across the region.

“We all want and need our local healthcare workers to be safe and healthy. COVID-19 vaccination is key in protecting them, and everyone else in our community. 

“The role being played here in Dubbo, as a vaccination hub, is very important. To get both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to our staff is a huge undertaking and the Dubbo hub will be the logistics centre for all that activity. 

“It’s a massive exercise but one we’ve planned in great detail. The COVID-19 vaccine offers an additional measure of protection and I want to join Dr Stewart in encouraging all health staff, and in fact everyone in the community, to take advantage of having the vaccine when it becomes available to them.”

To find out more about eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination, go the Australian Government’s online eligibility checker at www.health.gov.au​ . NSW is working closely with the Australian Government to implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in NSW go to www.health.nsw.gov.au  

Mar 16
Celebrating Telestroke’s one-year anniversary and 500 patients treated
On 16 March 2021, the NSW Telestroke Service celebrates its first anniversary with more than 500 patients treated since the service’s statewide roll out began.

Telestroke gives rural and regional patients access to high-quality specialist clinical care across our vast state.

Hosted by Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital, it connects stroke specialists with local emergency physicians to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

The service is available at seven sites in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Orange, Dubbo, Bathurst and Shoalhaven and will roll out to up to 23 sites by June 2022.

More than 500 rural and regional patients have already benefited from rapid stroke assessment, treatment and management via the service.

One of those patients is Melinda Laverick, a schoolteacher in Coffs Harbour who had a stroke last year. Melinda recently shared her story with Seven News. Watch the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnxtgE76qkA

Professor Ken Butcher, Medical Director of the NSW Telestroke Service and Director Clinical Neuroscience, Prince of Wales Hospital, said the service bridges more than just geographical distances in the fight against stroke which is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability.

“The state-wide launch of Telestroke in March 2020 coincided with the outbreak of COVID- 19, which demonstrated how well this model of care can work during COVID-19 and beyond,” he said.

“Every year around 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke and more than a third live in regional, remote or rural areas. Using Telestroke, our clinicians can deliver better outcomes for patients exhibiting signs of stroke by harnessing this cutting-edge technology – irrespective of location.”

Implementation of the NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the Prince of Wales Hospital, eHealth NSW, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the NSW Ministry of Health. Implementation is supported by the Stroke Foundation. The service is a $21.7 million NSW Government election commitment announced in March 2019 and is jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Learn more about the service: https://vimeo.com/295104771​

Mar 16
Orange Hospitals first decade! Happy 10th Birthday

Orange Hospital will celebrate its first decade on Tuesday 16 March 2021. The hospital first opened its doors at the facility on Forest Road on 16 March 2011.

“The birthday celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the continuous service improvements and recognise the contribution of staff and volunteers over the past ten years,” said Orange Health Service General Manager, Catherine Nowlan. 

“We’ve seen a lot of service improvements including the opening and then expansion of Radiation Therapy service, five day per week cardiac catheterisation lab providing 24 hour rescue service, establishment of the first clinical trials unit in the District, opening of a specialist haematology oncology and palliative care ward, and world-class IT systems that allow for virtual specialist care such as Telestroke.”

“Many services available at this hospital are reflective of a major metropolitan hospital. “We are extremely proud of the health professionals and volunteers who make the Orange Hospital what it is today. “Without this team of people this facility would just be bricks and mortar, but it is so much more than that. I am so proud to lead this team as their General Manager,” said Ms Nowlan.

To celebrate this occasion, a commemorative tree planting ceremony will occur at 10am on Tuesday 16 March followed by a barbeque lunch for staff. A tenth birthday celebration biscuit will be provided to all patients to enjoy with their morning tea. Pictures will be on display celebrating the last ten years. 

Media are invited to the tenth birthday celebration including a tree planting to commemorate ten years.

Date: Tuesday 16 March 2021
Time: 10am
Location: The gardens, next to Community Health (back entrance)

Mar 09
New Medical Ward providing specialist care at Orange
​A new dedicated ward area for people receiving palliative end-of-life care, haematology and oncology treatment has opened at Orange Hospital. 

Orange Hospital General Manager, Catherine Nowlan said the new area was a significant development in the continued growth of the hospital.

“The opening of this area gives Orange Hospital two dedicated palliative care beds, with the capacity to increase to 4 beds if needed.” Ms Nowlan said. 

“The remaining beds within the unit are for patients admitted for haematology or oncology treatment.

“It provides patients and families with the option to receive palliative end-of-life care within the hospital environment in a dedicated palliative care unit with a specialist medical, nursing and allied health team.”

The unit will complement the work being done with the community palliative care team and community nurses who also provide palliative care within the home,” Ms Nowlan said.  

The concept was proposed in July 2020 after a trial of dedicated palliative care beds at Parkwood Uniting Care.

After endorsement by the palliative care strategic working group, which includes local advocacy group Push For Palliative (PFP), in October 2020, Western NSW Local Health District announced it would progress. 

“We are grateful for the collaboration and assistance of PFP in achieving this service enhancement and for the provision of an environment that is comfortable for patients at the end of their life and for their families,” Ms Nowlan said.  

The area is part of the NSW Government’s commitment in 2019 of $10 million for refurbishments of palliative care facility across NSW, as part of a $45 million enhancement over four years for palliative care.  

The NSW Government is investing $10.9 billion in health infrastructure over the next four years to upgrade and build 29 hospital and health facilities.

Mar 03
Orange Hospital welcomes new graduate nurses specialising in critical care

Orange Hospital has welcomed six new second-year graduate nurses.

These graduates will spend the next twelve months training in the treatment of critically ill patients, through the transition to speciality training pathway.

Orange Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Joanne Dean said, “The Transition to Specialty requires a commitment to undertake formal education covering the theoretical knowledge and skills required to practice in critical care".

“The new graduate nurses will gain experience in caring for patients in a variety of settings, including intensive care, coronary care, stroke and the emergency department. 

In 2020, the transition to speciality pathway had a retention rate of over 86% of participants. It started in 2016 and has proven to be a successful training pathway and an effective way to grow a competent skilled workforce in rural hospitals.

“This is an exciting time for the hospital and the community. Over the next twelve months, the graduates will gain vital skills and exposure to looking after critical care patients.

“The training pathway has been extremely successful with the majority of the new graduates deciding to stay working at the Hospital or other rural health services, which is great for our communities," said Ms Dean

The new graduates will spend the next three days at orientation before starting rotation in each department.

​“The investment of time and effort to support and educate these new graduates is significant. However, the benefits for staff, facilities and our communities are many. Our goal as an organisation is to help them develop and continue working with us beyond their transition year". Ms Dean said.  

Mar 01
Choose to challenge gender inequality on International Women’s Day
​This year’s International Women’s Day them is encouraging us all to ‘choose to challenge’ the barriers faced by women in all parts of society.

Around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. 

We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and choosing to create a more gender equal world is no different. 

Lorna Brennan, Local Facilitator of Buninyong Schools as Community Centre, said ‘COVID-19 has showed us how important women and the many roles they play are to everyone’. 

COVID-19 and drought have had significant impacts on us all. For many women it has meant an increase to the amount of unpaid work they already do. Women are more likely to be in casual or temporary work, or industries that have been affected by shutdowns. 

Lorna said, ‘The work women do at home, at work, and in the community is often not recognised. This year’s theme ‘choose to challenge’ encourages us to think and work to dismantle the barriers that contribute to gender inequality’.

The recovery following COVID-19 relies on the work women do at home, in the workplace, and in our communities. 

Western NSW Local Health District Women’s Health Nurse, Joanne Philips said, ‘International Women’s Day is a reminder that as long as one woman or girl faces discrimination, harassment, or inequality, we all do’. 

The Dubbo International Women’s Day Committee is inviting businesses in Dubbo to show their commitment to gender equality. Attending or hosting an event, window displays, and using #choosetochallenge on social media are some of the ways people and businesses can get involved. 

In Dubbo, local community organisations are grouping together to host a morning tea at the Church Street Rotunda. Representatives from local community organisations, including Connecting Community Services, Orana Support Service Buninyong & Dubbo West Schools as Communities Centre, Uniting, Mission Australia and Wilay Café and Western NSW Local Health District will be there on the day.

Joanne Philips said, ‘the morning tea is an excellent opportunity to bring friends and meet new people who share the same goal of equality for women. Social connection is such an important part of health and wellbeing.’ 

The event runs from 10am to midday, and is an opportunity for women and anyone interested to network over a free morning tea. COVID safety measures will be in place, and anyone experiencing a fever or who is unwell should stay home. 

Dubbo Community Agencies International Women’s Day
Monday 8 March 2021
10:00am to 12:00pm
Church Street Rotunda, Dubbo

Feb 24
Visitor restrictions ease at WNSWLHD MPS’s

​There are no longer restriction on visitors to aged care residents, including those in Multipurpose Service (MPS) across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD).

The following conditions will apply:

  • ALL VISITORS are subject to COVID-19 screening and temperature testing.
  • There are no longer restrictions on the number of visitors a resident can have each day or at one time.
  • Visitors are not required to wear a mask.
  • Subject to conditions, residents may leave to attend events.
  • Local visiting rules may apply. Please follow the directions of Health Service staff.

​WNSWLHD Director Rural Services, Sharon McKay, urged all local residents to continue to be vigilant and to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“It's great that we are able to permit visiting, but COVID-19 remains a very real risk, particularly for vulnerable people such as the elderly, and those with existing health conditions.

“It's incredibly important that we continue to screen visitors to aged care residents carefully. If you have even the mildest symptoms, or if you've recently been to a location where COVID-19 has been a concern, then please leave your visit to another time.

“If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 it's really important that you self-isolate, get tested and remain in isolation until you get a negative result."

For the latest information on COVID-19, including symptoms and where you can have a test, go to www.health.nsw.gov.au

1 - 10Next
About this blog
No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!