Oct 20
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

​17,600 women in the Western NSW Local Health District are missing out on a lifesaving test.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, health authorities are urging women aged 50 – 74 years in the Western NSW Local Health District to be vigilant with their regular mammograms, with latest figures revealing that 17,600 local women have not participated in the national breast cancer screening program in the last two years.

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in NSW, with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime. In the Western NSW Local Health District, around 200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and around 40 women die of the disease.

The state’s Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow explained that breast cancer does not need to be a death sentence.
"We know that detecting breast cancer early means women have better treatment options, and ultimately a better outcome," he said.

"The best way for women aged 50-74 to detect cancer early is to have a mammogram every two years."

In spite of this, only 55.8 per cent of eligible women in Western NSW Local Health District have had their mammogram in the last two years.

Meg O'Brien, Director of BreastScreen's Greater Western service says, "There are many reasons why women may put off their mammogram. Some feel that without a family history they are not at risk, some say they are too busy and others fear embarrassment."

"We need women to know that breast cancer can happen to anyone. In fact, nine out of ten women who develop breast cancer have no family history. A mammogram with BreastScreen NSW is free, takes 20 minutes and is performed by highly trained female-only staff. Most importantly, it could save your life."

Western NSW Local Health District, in collaboration with Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Services, is currently running a pilot program tailored towards increasing the screening activity and participation rates of Aboriginal women.

"Our community led Yarning Circles discuss the importance of mammograms and also address fears and barriers to screening. Once each session is finished we hope that people will be less fearful of getting screened and we will provide them with the opportunity to get screened right then and there," said Kay Smith, Health Promotions Officer, Western NSW Local Health District.
 
"We consistently consult and engage with local Aboriginal health workers and communities to ensure our program is culturally appropriate."

Upcoming Yarning Circles include:
31 October and 13 November- Narromine
23 November – Peak Hill
20 November – Molong
1 December – Orange
5 December – Mudgee

Woman can book a mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW by calling 13 20 50, or can book online or search for their nearest BreastScreen NSW service by visiting breastscreen.nsw.gov.au

Oct 19
Caring staff and Carers count

​An Award winning artist, Isobel Wilkinson recently donated one of her paintings to the Surgical Ward at Bathurst Hospital in thanks for fantastic treatment.

Mrs Wilkinson’s husband, Peter, said he was thoroughly impressed with the treatment his wife received.

"Bathurst Hospital restored my faith in Australian medicine; it’s filled with caring people who went to the limits to help my wife," said Mr Wilkinson.

"We’ll never forget the kindness showed to us."

The donated painting depicting poppies will hang proudly in the Surgical Ward for all to enjoy.

Mrs Wilkinson was a top ten finalist in the Bald Archy Prize for her caricature of Sunrise’s David ‘Kochie’ Koch and toured her artwork around NSW.

Nurse Unit Manager, Catherine Poschich said the generous gesture was appreciated by staff.

"Staff on the ward provide the highest level of care to patients during their hospitalisation. It is always rewarding to see patients progress and the difference the care we provide can make in people’s lives. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for people using our service, and support their family and carers during this process".

Isobel and Peter Wilkinson have been together forty years. Mr Wilkinson had been his wife’s carer for a year prior to her hospitalisation. Now 82, Mr Wilkinson, made the decision to get his wife professional care after she came out of hospital.

He was one of the 2.8 million family and friend carers in Australia providing 36 million hours of care and support every week to a family member or friend who has a disability, chronic condition, terminal illness, is frail, or has a mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency.

National Carers Week (15-21 October) is an opportunity to raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

Carers count and make an enormous contribution to our communities as well as our national economy but you don’t need to be a carer to be part of National Carers Week. If you would like to get involved in this year’s campaign visit www.carersweek.com.au.

Oct 17
BreastScreen visits Peak Hill

​A BreastScreen NSW Mobile Screening Van will arrive in Peak Hill today and will stay for one week until 24 October.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, health authorities are urging women aged 50 – 74 years in the Western NSW Local Health District to be vigilant with their regular mammograms, with latest figures revealing that 17,600 local women have not participated in the national breast cancer screening program in the last two years.

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in NSW, with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime. In the Western NSW Local Health District, around 200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and around 40 women die of the disease.

Meg O'Brien, Director of BreastScreen's Greater Western service says, “There are many reasons why women may put off their mammogram. Some feel that without a family history they are not at risk, some say they are too busy and others fear embarrassment.”

“We need women to know that breast cancer can happen to anyone. In fact, nine out of ten women who develop breast cancer have no family history. A mammogram with BreastScreen NSW is free, takes 20 minutes and is performed by highly trained female-only staff.”

Patricia Bullen, Health Service Manager at Peak Hill says, “It’s important to be able to offer this lifesaving service in Peak Hill and I urge women to take up the opportunity to be screened.”

“The van will be parked on the hospital grounds off Newell Highway. Woman can book a mammogram with BreastScreen NSW by calling 13 20 50.”

Oct 16
Blayney Health Expo

​The local community is invited to the annual Blayney Multipurpose Service’s Health Expo on Wednesday 18 October.

Held in the garden at Blayney Multipurpose Service, the expo is an opportunity to find out what services are available in the local area.

Health Service Manager at Blayney Health Service, Kathleen Hillier, said that there will be stalls from various organisations that provide services to the Blayney Shire community who will explain what services they offer.

“We’ll be offering free health checks which include blood pressure checks and cholesterol testing,” said Ms Hillier.

“Blayney Health Services Integrated Care Team will be sharing how they help those with complex health care needs navigate the health care system.

“There will also be a barbeque lunch that the community can enjoy.”

Lifeline (Bathurst) will be sharing with the community the help they can provide with financial planning and gambling addiction.

Other organisations attending include United Care, Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre, Ability Links and VERTO.

Event details:

Blayney Health Service’s Health Expo
Where: Blayney Health Service Garden - 3 Osman Street, Blayney
When: Wednesday 18 October, 11am -2pm

Oct 13
Perioperative Nurses Week

​Dubbo Hospital is celebrating their dedicated perioperative nurses this week as part of Perioperative Nurses Week.

At Dubbo Hospital, 60 perioperative nurses care for patients before, during and after surgery and work in areas like anaesthetics and the recovery room.

Director of Nursing at Dubbo Hospital, Jenny Johnson, said the hard work of Dubbo’s perioperative nurses and the care they provide for patients should be recognised.

“When people come in to have an operation they see the nurses when they arrive and when they leave but not the perioperative nurses in between. However perioperative nurses take exceptional care of patients in their most vulnerable state while they are in surgery,” said Ms Johnson.

“Many of our nurses at Dubbo Hospital have post-graduate qualifications, specialising in perioperative nursing and do all that they can to ensure they pass on the best care possible to the people they look after.”

Charmaine Grady has been a perioperative nurse for seven years at Dubbo Hospital.

“When I started at Dubbo Hospital my first placement was in surgery and it felt more natural to me than any other nursing I had experienced, it felt like home,” said Ms Grady.

“Our team is fantastic and you need everyone working together to ensure the best possible care for the patient.

“It’s a very dynamic environment and each day we do our best to keep everything running smoothly so that all of our patients have their surgery performed.

“It’s definitely a varied role and I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with new grads.”

Dubbo Hospital thanks all of its perioperative nurses!

Oct 09
Reducing stigma this Mental Health Month

​Mental Health Month, Western NSW Local Health District’s Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Service is inviting the community to an open day for its voluntary mental health unit in Dubbo to help reduce stigma around mental health.

The unit supports people aged between 18-65 years with mental health issues in Western NSW.


Director of Integrated Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services for Western NSW Local Health District, Jason Crisp, said that people have the opportunity to work within a collaborative model with support workers, clinical teams, families and carers to achieve personal recovery goals.

"The unit offers individualised care that is responsive to the person’s needs and the consumer has a say in what recovery might look like for them because we know there is no one size fits all approach to mental health," said Mr Crisp.


"For example, if someone is stepping down into the unit from being in hospital we can work with them to make their transition back into the community as smooth as possible. Similarly, if someone is stepping up from the community into the unit and needs more supportive care we can tailor their care plan to ensure they are getting the help they need.


"We want to help people to get better and stay better.


"We are also working with local elders around renaming the unit to something culturally appropriate and reflective of the care that is provided.


"People can access the unit via their GP or through their local mental health team."


The voluntary unit is a 10 bed facility offering 24-hour supported care. People in the program also have access to peer workers who use their own experiences of recovery to walk beside consumers on their recovery journey.


Western NSW Local Health District manages the unit in partnership with Flourish Australia.


Open Day event details:
Date: 11 October 2017
Time: 11am
Location: 170 Myall Street

Oct 09
State first chemotherapy service in Coonabarabran

​In a first for NSW, a trial outreach chemotherapy service will start in Coonabarabran on Tuesday October 10.

This new service, Remote Video-Assisted Chemotherapy, allows some patients requiring low-risk chemotherapy to use telehealth to video link in with Dubbo to see their oncologist and have their treatment co-supervised by oncology nurses.

Coonabarabran Health Service Manager, Susan Berry, said the service is an exciting development for the community.

“Low risk chemotherapy patients that have been invited into the program by Doctor Honeyball from Dubbo will be the first to access the new service,” said Ms Berry.

“Initially it is expected that 100-150 chemotherapy treatments per year will be given in Coonabarabran using Remote Video-Assisted Chemotherapy.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this service to the community because it means that people won’t have to travel hours for treatment. This includes the local Aboriginal community many of who now won’t have to travel out of country for this service.

“Local community nurses have been trained in oncology nursing and will work with oncology nurses via telehealth to administer the service.”

Dr Florian Honeyball, medical oncologist based in Dubbo, said that the trial was developed to improve equity of access for Coonabarabran and surrounding communities.

“The Remote Video-Assisted Chemotherapy program in Coonabarabran has been designed not just for the townsfolk, but for those living in surrounding areas such as Binnaway, Baradine, Coolah and Gwabegar – if someone has a preference for treatment in Coonabarabran and the chemotherapy is appropriate for the trial, they will be accommodated,” he said.

“The trial will run in Coonabarabran for one year. Following this, safety and efficiency data will be presented at national and international oncology meetings for scrutiny by other oncologists. If the data suggests that this is an effective way to deliver chemotherapy, we will look to expand the model to other sites across the local health district.”

The new service has been adapted from a Queensland model.

Oct 05
Western wows at Wagga

​More than 10 health professionals from Western NSW Local Health District recently shared their expertise by presenting at the 2017 NSW Rural Health and Research Congress in Wagga Wagga.

The theme of the Congress Our Future — World Class Rural Health focused on the delivery of excellent rural health services into the future through research and collaboration.

Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive, Scott McLachlan, said that showcasing local initiatives promotes the district as a hub for research.

"Highlighting some of our key projects and initiatives is an opportunity to show that we are continually improving and evolving our services," says Mr McLachlan.

"We are responsive to the needs of our communities and are working towards becoming a world-class, connected service, showing that rural does not mean second best."

Keynote speaker, Dr Louis Christie, Palliative Care Service Medical Officer from Western NSW Local Health District, spoke about developing a planning framework to identify opportunities for palliative and end of life care in central western NSW.

During the conference, District Manager Midwifery and Paediatric Strategies for Western NSW Local Health District, Alison Loudon, and Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Tammy O'Connor won the judges choice award in the poster competition with their information on improving antenatal and postnatal care in the bush.

Blayney Health Service Manager, Kathleen Hillier and Nurse Manager at Blayney, Deborah Higgs, won the popular choice poster award with their information on improving care in rural Multipurpose Services.

Other presenters and topics included:

- Michelle Baird, Chronic and Complex Care Nurse Practitioner at Dubbo Health Service spoke about the Patient experiences of COPD self-management in a rural setting.

- Karen Lloyd, Stepping on Coordinator for Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts spoke about working together: a collaborative falls prevention program.

- Daniel Belshaw, Coordinator Epidemiology, Research and Evaluation, Western NSW Local Health District spoke about Mapping the health and health needs of Western NSW

- Danielle Allen, Social Worker, Cowra Community Health spoke about Respect-Ed: preventing relationship violence

- Monica Murray, Project Manager, Integrated Care, Western NSW Local Health District spoke about Aboriginal Health Practitioners role in a rural opioid substitution treatment program.

- Jenny Griffiths, Health Service Manager, Nyngan Health Service, Western NSW Local Health District spoke about using telehealth to bridge the rural gap: a dietetics example.

- Karen Burn, Enrolled Nurse, Grenfell Multipurpose Health Service spoke about "Walk and Talk": weekend walks with MPS residents, a small act achieving large impacts.

Oct 04
Share the journey this Mental Health Month

​This Mental Health Month the Western NSW Local Health District is calling on people with experiences of mental health, drug and alcohol issues to share their journey with staff and consumers to help improve services.


If you have had an experience with mental health or drug and alcohol issues, or have supported a person that has, opportunities currently exist for positions on various Mental Health Drug & Alcohol committees who work with staff and have a say in how services are run.


District Consumer and Carer Coordinator at Western NSW Local Health District, Julie Cunningham, says that people who have Mental Health or Drug and Alcohol experience can provide the service with valuable insight into what can be done to better support people in their recovery based on their own experience.


"At Western NSW Local Health District we understand that we can achieve better outcomes when we all work together," says Mrs Cunningham.


"This Mental Health Month we are recruiting people with experience of Mental Health or Drug and Alcohol issues to contribute as consultants to our health service."


If you are interested in being involved contact Julie Cunningham at Julie.Cunningham@health.nsw.gov.au or on 0428 029 648 or Jennifer Coote at Jennifer.Coote@health.nsw.gov.au or on 0409 334 191.

Mental Health Month runs throughout October. For more information go to: http://mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au/

 


Media enquiries: Emily Mitchell, Media Manager, Western NSW Local health District via Emily.mitchell1@health.nsw.gov.au

Sep 25
Claim the date for Dunedoo MPS open day

​If you would like to get to know what life is like at the residential aged care wing of Dunedoo Multipurpose Service (MPS) then mark Wednesday October 11, 3.00pm – 5.00pm in your diary for their open day.

Mark Dent, Dunedoo Health Council Chair is inviting all members of the community to come along, take a tour and enjoy some afternoon tea.

"We have a great facility with the latest technology and we would like to showcase this to our community" said Mr Dent.

"Members of the Dunedoo Health Council and staff will be available to answer your questions on what happens at the MPS."

There will be information packs about Residential Aged Care and staff available to talk to you about what is on offer for respite care.

For further information contact Christine Warwicker, Health Service Manager on 6370 3000.


Media contact: Illona Dunn, Illona.Dunn@health.nsw.gov.au, 02 6378 6274

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