Feb 26
WNSWLHD’s First Radiology Registrars
​The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is extremely excited to welcome it’s first Radiology Registrars. 

The three new Trainee radiologists from Westmead, Canberra and Hobart Hospitals, will be based in Medical Imaging Departments at Orange and Dubbo. 

WNSWLHD General Manager of Medical Imaging, Steve Adams said, “This is a fantastic achievement for the Western NSW Local Health District”. 

“It has been a collaboration of a number of people across the Local Health District, NSW Health, the College of Radiology and the registrar’s principle training hospitals.  Alfred Medical Imaging (AMI), the principle radiology provider for Western NSW has also been instrumental in developing a robust training program and bringing us to this point.  The highly specialised radiologists from AMI and their vast experience in training radiology registrars will ensure that these trainees benefit greatly from their time with us.”

Depending on their training needs the registrars will be in Orange or Dubbo for between 3 to 12 months at a time. 

“The Western NSW LHD can offer these doctors training in aspects of radiology that they may never see in larger metropolitan hospitals.  However we are hoping that, when they complete their training, their exposure to the collegial nature of our rural medical communities and the great lifestyle experience will attract some of them to come back to live in our district and work for Western NSW LHD.” Steve said.


Feb 26
WNSWLHD Radiographer to speak at Denmark Conference
​Bathurst Senior CT Radiographer Peter Traise is off to Denmark to speak at the biennial Nordic Congress of Radiology this year in Copenhagen.

Peter has been working with a dedicated team across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) stroke teams in implementing the RAPID software for stroke treatment​ 

“My role has been to oversee the rollout of RAPID, the automated CT stroke analysis software which has been an essential part of being able to determine the eligibility of patients for clot extraction at RPAH”. 

“This work has been a collaborative effort between Medical Imaging and the stroke teams.  It has involved changing the management of CT scans for acute ischaemic stroke patients and streamlining the imaging protocols.  This has enabled clinicians to change the stroke pathways resulting in great health outcomes for some patients”. Peter said.  

In 2015 Peter worked in Odense at the Odense University Hospital in Denmark as a CT research radiographer/educator and has maintained those professional links. 

Peter’s presentation at the conference is going to be on the establishment and incorporation of the RAPID system into the WNSWLHD acute stroke management. 

WNSWLHD General Manager of Medical Imaging, Steve Adams said, “This is a fantastic opportunity not only for Peter but it also showcases the WNSWLHD and the world class care our staff are providing to patients in Western NSW”. 

Dr Geoffrey Parker (WNSWLHD Honorary Medical Officer) stated “In acute ischaemic strokes (when parts of the brain suffer from lack of blood supply), many patients can be saved from permanent dependency by quick action to remove or dissolve a blood clot in a major artery.  

“The high-quality imaging combined with RAPID software now in routine operation at Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo Hospitals allows patients (sometimes even up to 24 hours after onset) to be promptly selected for emergency air evacuation to Sydney for clot extraction, which may save their lives or allow functional recovery.  It is no longer the case that living in a regional area means patients are ineligible for advanced treatment.  The staff at all three hospitals have enthusiastically embraced this innovation and work collaboratively across multiple departments to deliver excellent patient care.”​


Feb 18
Local school helping students make a healthy choice
​Orange Public School is making the healthy choice the easy choice for students after officially becoming a Healthy School Canteen which meets the NSW Food and Drink Criteria.

Orange Public School’s canteen menu includes more fresh and healthy food choices to provide students with the essential nutrients they need to learn and grow every day. 

The healthy menu includes fresh salads and wraps, veggie sticks and dip as well as plenty of healthy hot food options. 

Orange Public School P&C committee member, Sarah Jeffery said, “The students have responded positively to the healthy food options”. 

“With the help of Sarah McKay, a Health Promotion Officer from the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), we introduced healthy snacks and product swaps by incorporating trials so the change was subtle and we encouraged feedback. 

“We’ve kept the school community updated along the way through newsletters, and our canteen Facebook page. Our school community has supported the changes, from staff to our families through ordering or helping out at the canteen” she said.  

Orange Public School received assistance from the WNSWLHD Health Promotion Team to introduce the Food and Drink Criteria into their school canteen. 

Sarah Jeffery said. “Health Promotion assisted the canteen to make changes by helping classify packaged foods, find product swaps as well provide ideas to promote the healthy food options available to students”.  

“The final step involved an independent canteen menu check which confirms the canteen meets the Food and Drink Criteria and has successfully become a Healthy School Canteen”.  

The Healthy School Canteen Strategy is supporting the Premier’s priority to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by 5% by 2025. 

NSW public school canteens are transitioning to the new guidelines over a three-year period with all canteens expected to meet criteria by December 2019. 

If your school is needing assistance to transition to the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy and complete a menu check, please contact Sarah McKay on 02 6369 8071 or email WNSWLHD-HCI@health.nsw.gov.au.  

Further information on the strategy is available at the NSW Healthy School Canteens website .
Feb 18
Record number of new graduate nurse and midwives in WNSWLHD
​Newly graduated nurses and midwives will be officially welcomed to the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD).

The 107 new graduate Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives are part of the 2019 Transition to Practice Program.

The nurses and midwives are from all over the state and the local area, and will work in a variety of Health Services and Multipurpose Services across the District.

The Transition to Professional Practice Program provides ongoing education and support and facilitates professional practice behaviors for new nurses and midwives to help build their skills and confidence to support them transition from being a student to an advanced beginner nurse.

Nursing & Midwifery Transition and Workforce Manager, Jackie Corliss, said, “The program is fantastic as it offers support and opportunities for learning for new graduate nurses and midwives”.

“As a Local Health District, we commit a significant amount of time and effort to support and educate our newly registered nurses and midwives. This program really helps them consolidate the nursing skills and knowledge they've learnt at university and helps them become confident nurses," Ms Corliss, said.

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

“We want to provide a positive and quality experience so the nurses and midwives are encouraged to continue working with us beyond their transition year. Supporting and retaining these nurses has significant benefits to both our local facilities and our communities."

“By gaining experience in working in both a regional or rural hospital, the graduate nurses and midwives can experience the differences. Nurses who work in our rural communities get great broad clinical experience which helps their career development," Ms Corliss said.

“New graduate nurses coming from Sydney get a taste of living and working in the country, and we hope they want to stay here for longer."


Feb 12
Expressions of Interest called for Bathurst end-of-life services
​The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has released a request for expressions of interest to provide public inpatient palliative end-of-life care outside Bathurst Base Hospital.

“The local community want to know that people at the end of their life, their families and friends are supported in the most comfortable way possible,” said Scott McLachlan, Chief Executive of WNSWLHD.

“Under the Expressions of Interest the WNSWLHD will be able to consider all possible options for the provision of publicly funded inpatient palliative end-of-life care service.

“This service will be outside of the Bathurst Hospital and will offer a more home-like environment for inpatient palliative end-of-life care,” said Mr McLachlan.

“The EOI will be open for eight weeks to ensure everyone has the opportunity to respond.”

“Through this process, we are looking to partner with an organisation which can provide up to four inpatient Palliative end-of-life beds. The EOI process will ensure that the appropriate funding, clinical and logistics arrangements are in place for the service to operate efficiently, and to meet the expectations of the health service and its patients.

“Initial arrangements will be for 12-months so we can review how the model is operating for patients, their families and the service providers.”.

The EOI documentation is expected to be made available on the WNSWLHD website within the next week. 
Feb 07
Electronic Medication Management live at Bathurst

Bathurst Hospital is the first in the Central West to go live with a new safer, more effective electronic system to manage medication.

The rollout of Electronic Medication Management (eMeds) is part of the ongoing digital transformation of NSW Health.

Executive Director of Operations at Bathurst Hospital, Mark Spittal, said the eMeds system provides access to patient information and clinical decision support in real time.

“eMeds is a modern way of improving how we manage medications in our hospitals.  Gone are the days of trying to read difficult handwriting or the chance there is a mistake made transcribing the right dose or drug," Mr Spittal said.

Bathurst Hospital's General Manager, Cathy Marshall, said the eMeds team has been busy preparing to go live with the new system.

"We can't wait for the benefits of going electronic to flow for patients and staff. I want to thank the eMeds team for their hard work in making the transition to the new system as smooth as possible for everyone," Ms Marshall said.

The use of eMeds in our hospitals increases patient safety by:

  • reducing medication error rates
  • improving the accuracy and visibility of medication information
  • improving communication with patients about their medication.

The rollout of the new technology will continue across more than 30 hospitals in the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD). 

The NSW Government's initial investment of $170.3 million has seen eMeds rolled out in 38 metropolitan health facilities. It has now been implemented at 72 sites and more than 30 million medications have been administered and recorded in NSW Health electronic medical record.

$87.6 million is now being spent to complete the roll out of eMeds across NSW.

Feb 06
Canowindra Dementia Carer’s Support Group
​Canowindra Health Service is dedicated to helping everyone in our community. 

Sometimes this means supporting people who are well and healthy, or those who are looking after someone else. 

Canowindra Community Health staff are offering support for carers of people living with memory loss.

Canowindra Primary Community Health Social Worker, Karen Ladlow said, “Caring for someone with memory loss can be a lonely and difficult experience which can leave people feeling isolated or helpless, but as the saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’”. 

It is well known that by talking to others who share a similar experience, people feel less alone, and more able to cope on those really hard days, and with the everyday. 

“This group offers education, time out, support and information for Carers of people with memory loss. A carer can be a family member, a friend or neighbour, or anyone involved in the lives of people with Memory Loss”.

The group will be held at the Canowindra Community Health Centre in Ryall Street, from 10:00am to 12:00pm on the second Tuesday of every month starting 
12th February 2019 & wrap up in November 2019.

Carers need to register by calling the Canowindra Community Health Centre on 6340 3300. 

Morning tea will be supplied for a gold coin donation. 

Canowindra Community Nurse, Ann Jones said, “If you’re still not sure or have worries you think don’t quite fit this group, ring the Canowindra Community Health Centre and ask to speak to the Social Worker, available Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday each week. I am here to help”.  

If people need in home respite for their person in order to attend, to call the Commonwealth Carers Respite Centre on 1800 052 222. 
Feb 04
Gulgong Women’s Health Clinic

​Women in Gulgong it's your turn to put your health first. 

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) provides a free and confidential Women's Health Service.

WNSWLHD Women's Health Nurse, Wendy Smyth said, “Our clinics focus on early detection, illness prevention and health screening".

“The service is run by trained Women's Health Nurses that can assist females from puberty to menopause and beyond. The clinics are free in a safe and relaxed environment".

The services include everything from comprehensive women's health checks include a health history, basic physical examination, routine screening, lifestyle advice and referrals to appropriate services.

“We really want women in the Gulgong district to know you do not need a referral to use our service all you have to do is book a free appointment by contacting the Community Health Centre or local Women's Health Nurse".

“We will be running a Women's Health Clinic, on Wednesday 13, February at the Gulgong MPS. We urged women of all ages to book in, even if it's a general health check-up. You can make an appointment by calling 6374 3400". Wendy said. 

Feb 01
Coonabarabran Primary and Community Health here to help you
The phone numbers for Coonabarabran Primary and Community Health have changed but the service has not. 
The Coonabarabran community is being encouraged to use the number of services on offer. 
Coonabarabran Health Service Manager, Susan Berry said, “We want to see more members of the community come and use our services”. 

The available services include:
 
  • Aboriginal Health 
  • Community Nurses
  • ​Community Midwife 
  • Child and Family health Nurse 
  • Chronic Care Nurse 
  • Speech Therapy
  • Exercise Group
  • Cancer Support Equipment Service 
  • Smoking Cessation Support 
  • ​Aged Care referral for in home services
  • Palliative care in the home
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling 
 
That’s not all, there is also a range of visiting health services. 
  • ​Oncologist Cancer specialist
  • Dentistry
  • Diabetes Education 
  • Dietician 
  • Glaucoma Testing 
  • Hearing Checks 
  • Hearing Australia
  • Kidney Specialist 
  • Mental Health Counselling Services 
  • Paediatric Specialist
  • Sexual Assault Counselling
  • Sight Checks and optometrist
  • Women’s Health Nurse 

Primary and Community Health Nurse Unit Manager, Bonnie McGlashan said, “We also want to remind the community that our phone numbers have changed to make an appointment with any of our services please call, 6849 1650”. 


Jan 30
New WI-FI Service Keeps Patients Connected
​Dubbo patients, visitors and staff are benefiting from a new Wi-Fi service rolled out at Dubbo Health Service, thanks to a partnership with eHealth NSW.
 
The Wi-Fi system allows patients and visitors to stay connected with friends and family, access entertainment, and manage their everyday lives, wherever they are in the hospitals.
 
Already more than 700 users have logged into the service since it went live in December.

Dubbo Health Service General Manager, Debbie Bickerton said, “Access to Wi-Fi has enhanced the care we can provide in the unit and made such a difference to patients and visitors”. 

“Many of our patients are here for a large portion of their day while they receive chemotherapy treatment. Internet access means they can pass the time quickly browsing the web, connecting on social media or watching movies via streaming services.

“It also provides a great distraction from their cancer treatment and they can do normal things like pay bills, shop online or keep up with work.”
 
Supported by Superloop, the Wi-Fi system has a free and paid service, with the premium option being better for activities that require faster download speeds such as online gaming or watching Netflix.

“Access to Wi-Fi is everywhere these days, from coffee shops to cruise ships. So why not have the Internet in hospitals?” said Jason Matthews, Conference, Collaboration and Wireless Program Manager for eHealth NSW, a specialist government agency that delivers information and communications technology solutions across the public health system.

Thanks to a $20-million injection from the State Government funds for Wi-Fi in hospitals and eHealth NSW’s work on building the Health Wide Area Network (HWAN), a state-wide roll-out of the patient Wi-Fi solution is close.

 “We are working to create clearly defined operational and cost models to make a state-wide roll-out a reality,” said Mr Matthews.
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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!