Feb 28
New service for Coolah
A new midwifery service is starting in Coolah, providing antenatal and postnatal care to local mothers and families in March 2020.

The new service will operate regularly providing services from the Coolah Multi Purpose Service. Care for women will be provided through the Rural Maternity Service and Dubbo Antenatal Clinic.

This service will work in partnership with other Health Service’s and provide support for women who chose to birth outside of Dubbo.

Coolah Multipurpose Service will remain a non-birthing facility through this change in service.  

Women wanting to see the Rural Maternity Service in Coolah for their care can contact the Outreach Midwife on 0437 031 519, or contact the Coolah Multipurpose Service to organise an appointment.   



Feb 28
New service for Dunedoo
​A new midwifery service is starting in Dunedoo, providing antenatal and postnatal care to local mothers and families in March 2020.

The new service will operate regularly providing services from the Dunedoo Multi Purpose service. Care for women will be provided through the Rural Maternity Service and Dubbo Antenatal Clinic.

This service will work in partnership with other Health Service’s and provide support for women who chose to birth outside of Dubbo.

Dunedoo Multipurpose Service will remain a non-birthing facility through this change in service.  

Women wanting to see the Rural Maternity Service in Dunedoo for their care can contact the Outreach Midwife on 0437 031 519, or contact the Dunedoo Multipurpose Service to organise an appointment.   


Feb 27
Emergency skills workshop road tripping around the region
​The Emergency Medicine Education & Training Team (EMET), have recently completed a three day road trip to provide Education and Training to a number of different Health Services in Western NSW LHD, including Coolah, Gulgong, Mudgee, Rylstone and Wellington. 

They hosted 6 Education Sessions, to the medical staff/rural GPs/nursing staff. The emergency skills workshop aims to upskill staff and provides a practical day of training by Dubbo Health Service Emergency Department staff.

Over 95 staff from across the Western NSW LHD (WNSWLHD) attended the EMET program day, focussing on Coronavirus, Safe Assessment Rooms, and NSW Health Guideline for Mandatory Notifications about Registered Health Practitioners and the Pathway for Assessment of Suspected Acute Heart Failure. 

Director of Critical Services for Dubbo Health Service Emergency Department Dr Randall Greenberg, said, “The days are full on, these smaller facilities are so grateful that we can tend to their health service to provide this education and training”. 

“Mudgee Health Service provided an excellent turnout. This session was held at the Mudgee Golf Club, and had over 40 Health Care Professionals in attendance. This kind of turnout is something we do not expect, but it was an exceptional Education Session. ” Dr Greenberg said.

Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET), has now be up and running successful for the 3rd year in a row, and visits over 30 sites within Western NSW, and 6 sites in the Far West. 


Background
Dubbo Health Service has received funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health and support from the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, to run an EMET program. 


Feb 25
Canowindra taking a look at chronic illnesses

​Canowindra residents are being encouraged to come along to a session on chronic illness.

Canowindra Community Nurse, Jenny Beggs, said, “Chronic illness is a health condition that is persistent or is long lasting in its effects".

​“Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can come as a shock and it can be a confronting time. We want to make it easier for people to understand their conditions and improve their outcomes".

A number of guest speakers will be presenting on the night including: Canowindra GP, Dr Ros Bullock, who will be speaking about overall health and maintenance.  Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) Physiotherapist, Ash Wright, who will be discussing the importance of exercise and being active. WNSWLHD Dietitian, Rebecca Peters, will be talking about the importance of a healthy diet and eating to maintain good health and weight. RAMHP Coordinator, Di Gill will be discussing mental health and coping and accepting a diagnosis of chronic illness and lifestyle change and Canowindra Pharmacist, Vicki Grant will be speaking about medications the correct uses and when it should be taken.

“We will be covering a wide range of issues and will be able to answer all the questions about chronic illness.

“We want to ensure the Canowindra community have a good understanding of chronic illness and that they're not alone and we are here to help.

“We urge everyone to come along for a free information night." Jenny said. 

 

Event details

Date - Thursday 5th March

Time - 5.00pm - 6:30pm.

Where - Community Health Centre, Ryall Street Canowindra NSW

RSVP – by 2/3/2020 for catering purposes, Phone: 63644350​


Feb 25
International Women’s Day at Buninyong

NSW Women’s Week starts on Monday 2 March, culminating with International Women’s Day Sunday 8 March. 

The International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual, reminding us all that we’re responsible for our own actions and thoughts – each and every day.

Local Facilitator of Buninyong School as Community Centre, Lorna Brennan, said “International Women’s Day is a reminder that gender equality isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s everyone’s responsibility”. 

“Being more aware of how we talk and act can have a huge positive impact, especially on the young girls and boys who will be our future leaders. When our communities, organisations and businesses are gender-equal, we are all healthier, wealthier, and happier”.

Celebrated around the world, International Women’s Day is just as relevant in our local communities. In Dubbo, Western NSW Local Health District Women’s Health along with Mission Australia, Connecting Community Services (formerly Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre), Dubbo West School as Community Centre, Uniting, and Live Better are supporting Buninyong Schools as Community Centre to host an event to recognise and celebrate women. As International Women’s Day falls on a weekend, the event at Buninyong School Hall will be held on Wednesday 4 March, from 10:30 am, with a light lunch to follow.
 
The event will have guest speakers, including local volunteering hero Jen Cowley OAM, a presentation by the Buninyong year 6 girls, and other activities. This is an opportunity to meet new people and network, and chat about how the small actions they take can make a positive difference to the lives of women and girls everywhere.
 
Western NSW Local Health District, Women’s Health Nurse, Joanne Phillips wants to encourage women to be empowered to put their health first. “Despite the challenges we’re experiencing with drought, women in our communities are strong and resilient. But often are so busy caring for their loved ones that they forget they are a priority as well”. Joanne said. 
 
“Women’s Week and International Women’s Day is a fantastic reminder to take the time to do something to look after their own health and wellbeing”. 

“Your GP is the best point of contact, and booking in for a general health check-up is a great place to start. Women’s Health Nurses are also available to help you take care of yourself so you can care for the ones you love”. Joanne concluded.
 
If your last Pap test was more than two years ago, or if you’ve never been screened, you should book a Cervical Screening Test with your local Women’s Health Nurse or GP.

Feb 19
Nursing and midwifery graduates join Western NSW hospitals

More than 100 new nurses and midwives will begin working in Western NSW Local Health District hospitals this year as part of their annual new graduate intake. 

WNSWLHD Nursing and Midwifery Transition and Workforce Manager, Jackie Corliss, said the recruits are part of the NSW Government’s record $2.8 billion investment to boost frontline health workers by 8300, including 5,000 nurses and midwives, over four years.

“The graduate program is fantastic as it offers support and learning opportunities for new graduate nurses and midwives,” Ms Corliss said.

Across the state, about 2,600 graduates will launch their careers at 130 public health facilities this year – an increase of 58 per cent since 2011.

In WNSWLHD the nurses and midwives will join hospitals at Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Coolah, Condobolin, Narromine, Peak Hill, Gilgandra, Gulargambone, Coonamble, Walgett, Blayney, Cowra, Forbes, Rylstone, Parkes, Baradine, Collarenebri, Grenfell, Warren, and Mudgee.

“The new graduates will work in all clinical areas including surgical, medical and paediatrics,” Ms Corliss said.

“We commit a significant amount of time and effort to support and educate our newly registered nurses and midwives. This program helps them consolidate the nursing skills and knowledge they've learnt at university and to become confident nurses.

“The program also helps new graduate nurses and midwifes develop clinical competence to deliver the best nursing care to our communities.”

WNSWLHD graduates from February 2020 cohort will work in the following hospitals:
  • Bathurst Health Service –11 registered nurses
  • Orange Health Service –17 registered nurses, 1 registered midwives
  • Dubbo Health Service – 28 registered nurses, 2 registered midwives
  • Bloomfield Hospital – 14 registered nurses
  • Metro/ Rural Exchange Program – 5 registered nurses, 2 registered midwives
  • Mental Health Exchange Program – 4 registered nurses
  • Southern Cluster – 6 registered nurses
  • Northern Cluster – 4 registered nurses
  • Central Cluster – 8 registered nurses.

For more information see the NSW Health website​.

Feb 17
Orange Health Council wants more members
​The Orange community is being urged to join the Orange Health Council. 

Orange Health Council Chair, Robert Fabry said “People with an interest in local health services are being asked to nominate to join the Orange Health Council”. 

“Health Council members play a key role in planning and delivering health services in Orange and the surrounding communities. 

“The Health Council works with managers and clinical staff to identify the health needs of their community from a consumer perspective” Mr Fabry said.

The Orange Health Council is currently recruiting to a number of positions. 

“Our Health Council has a strong community voice and we’re encouraging people of all ages and from all backgrounds to nominate so we can continue to represent everyone’s interests. We would like to particularly encourage young people and Aboriginal community members to apply.
 
"We provide planning advice to the health service based on our local knowledge. Members are committed to giving the community a voice on issues that affect the health and wellbeing of the local community. 

“At a minimum, membership requires attendance at monthly meetings of the Health Council, but there are plenty of opportunities for wider participation in committees and workshops associated with areas of personal interest,” Mr Fabry said. 

Application kits can be obtained by contacting Ashleigh Whybrow at Orange Hospital on (02) 6369 3700 or via email Ashleigh.Whybrow@health.nsw.gov.au 
 
Applicants close on Friday 7 March 2020.

Feb 14
It’s your chance to have a say
​The Western NSW Local Heath District (WNSWLHD) is calling for people who have an interest in health to join its register of health consumer representatives.  

WNSWLHD Community Engagement Manager, Illona Dunn said, “The register will provide the WNSWLHD with a pool of people interested to be on an organizational committee or to simply provide comment to matters such service plans, policy documents, publications, quality and safety programs”.

“We are looking for people who are passionate about improving health service quality and safety and who are willing to use their experience to represent the needs of all of our communities”

Whilst on the register people will be given opportunity to apply to be on specific organizational committees as a health consumer representative when a vacancy occurs.  

For more information people can email WNSWLHD-Volunteers@health.nsw.gov.au for an information and registration pack or contact Illona Dunn on 6378 6274



Feb 13
Flooding and Mosquitoes
​Western NSW Local Health District is warning the public to take care against mosquito-borne viruses following recent heavy rains and associated flooding. 

This increase in rain and flooding may result in an increase in mosquito breeding, particularly where there is pooled water.

Whilst being bitten is irritating, mosquitoes can carry disease such as Ross River, Barmah Forest Fever and Murray Valley Encephalitis.

These infections can cause symptoms ranging from tiredness, rash, fever, and sore or swollen joints. Symptoms usually resolve within several days but some people may experience symptoms for weeks or even months. Infection with Murray Valley Encephalitis can cause more severe symptoms such as encephalitis.

At this point in time, there has been no increase in the number of reported cases of mosquito-borne viruses. It is however important that steps are taken to eliminate the risk of mosquitoes breeding around the home. 


Western NSW Local Health District Public Health Manager Priscilla Stanley advises residents and visitors to take preventative action to avoid being bitten. Ms Stanley suggests people should protect themselves by:
  • Screening all windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside;
  • If you live in an unscreened house or are camping, sleep under a mosquito net;
  • Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. If going outside at these times, take precautions such as using a repellent and/or wearing a loose fitting long sleeved shirt and trousers. If you find the repellent you are using does not work, try an alternative preferably containing DEET;
  • When mosquitoes are present inside the room, use spray, especially behind furniture and dark places;
  • Air conditioning, fans and mosquito coils are also effective in protecting yourself from mosquitoes;
  • If you have a septic tank on your property and it was inundated with flood water, you will need to have it professionally pumped out;
  • Ensure there are no containers around your property that store water; ensure mesh is in place on septic vents.


Feb 06
ORANGE AND PARKES IMPROVES PALLIATIVE CARE EXPERIENCE
​Patients, families and carers will soon benefit from refurbishments to the Orange Health Service and Parkes Hospital, thanks to a $245,000 boost from the NSW Government. 

The funding will be used to improve existing hospital-based services across the District.

Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Mr Scott McLachlan said the refurbishments in Orange and Parkes will help bring comfort to people at the end of life. 

“In Orange, the funding will help to create more home-like communal areas in the hospital where patients and their families spend time together. 

“The hospital will also use the funding to purchase specialised chairs which assist palliative care patients to more comfortably move out of their bedroom area.

In Parkes, the funding will be used to create a larger and more private space for palliative care patients and their families and improvements are also planned for a courtyard area near the inpatient unit. The Aboriginal Health Worker in Palliative Care will work with the local health service team to create culturally appropriate and comfortable spaces. 

“For many people, our hospitals are the best possible place to be cared for in their last days of life, so it’s important we provide comfortable and private spaces and facilities for both patients and their families. 

“Providing good palliative care is a priority for us, and we are working with partner organisations to develop services both in the community and in our hospitals”. Mr McLachlan said. 

Parkes and Orange hospitals are two of 34 palliative care facilities across the state to be refurbished over the next two years, with planning underway for additional projects from 2021. 

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

This funding is part of the $10.1 billion the NSW Government is investing in health infrastructure over the next four years to upgrade and build 29 hospital and health facilities.

The NSW Government’s 2019-20 Budget commitment also includes recruitment of 100 new palliative care nurses, more Aboriginal Health Workers, and support for digital health to improve access to palliative care. This is in addition to the $100 million palliative care package announced in the 2017-18 Budget.


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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!