Oct 30
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Oberon

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Oberon on Thursday 5 November 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Oberon. WNSWLHD has tested more than 7,923 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at Robert Hooper Community Centre Car Park, 13 Tallys Lane, Oberon (entry Fleming Street and exit Ross Street).

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



Oct 30
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Lightning Ridge

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Lightning Ridge on Wednesday 4 November 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Lightning Ridge. WNSWLHD has tested more than 7,923 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at outside the Bowling Club, Morilla Street, Lightning Ridge.

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



Oct 27
Murals making a difference at Dubbo


Through the generosity of two Dubbo businesses, two walls of the Medical Imaging Department at the Dubbo Health Service are alive with colour. 

As part of the redevelopment of the Dubbo Health Service, the Medical Imaging Department was upgraded and expanded. 

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSLWHD) General Manager of Imaging Services, James Harvey said, “In March as COVID hit we opened the new Medical Imaging Department in Dubbo Hospital, this included two brand new, state of the art CT scanning machines among other new additions”.

“For some patients having a CT scan can be a daunting and stressful experience. To help patients feel more comfortable one of our radiographers, Tamika Mepham suggested we make the department more patient friendly, which is how we came to the two murals, so with a bit of hard work from Nathan Webeck, Assistant Chief Radiographer and the team at Dubbo they made it happen. 

“The murals were made possible thanks to Regional Australia Bank and Regand Park Early Childhood Education Centre, both based in Dubbo. 

One of the murals was designed and painted by local Dubbo Artist Nathan Peckham. The mural “Wilay” provides a calming and inviting environment and provides a great distraction for patients when entering the scanning rooms. 

Ben Luck from Regional Australia Bank, said “The mural is so impressive. It’s great that we are able to help support a local artist and our local hospital. I hope it will provide patients with a smile or something to think about while they’re here”. 

Artist Nathan Peckham said, “The possum represents the totem for the descendents of the people of the Wiradjuri nation, and the design of the background depicts the gathering of families and the close bonds held both within those families as well as the important connection between families.

The traditional version of our art used predominantly earthy colours, however we have to remember that the mediums our ancestors painted with, were derived from the plants and soil pigments that were readily available at the time. As the mediums have evolved, so has the art. So, while this is very much a contemporary piece, the ties to its traditional beginnings are still evident. Part of the story then becomes our ability to evolve, whilst still holding dear to the traditions of our ancestors.

It's a privilege to see my art used in such a meaningful way on such a scale, and I hope that it can help raise the spirits of all patients who need scans for years to come.”
 
Just down the hall you will be able to spot an African safari mural, sponsored by Regand Park Early Childhood Education Centre. Owner, Justine Richards said “we strive so hard to have a positive impact on our little people day in and day out, and this was another way we could do that for the wider community.”

Centre Director Gai-Maree Matthews added “being here and seeing it myself I believe even the adults will get some enjoyment out of it too. We find it really rewarding that we can be a part of something that will provide a level of comfort for people in what is sometimes a stressful time”, Ms Matthews said. 

The picture is part of the “Savannah Smile” series by Howard Robinson, who was also very generous in donating his artwork for the mural. 

Dubbo Assistant Chief Radiographer, Nathan Webeck said, “We are extremely grateful to Regional Australia Bank, Regand Park Early Childhood Education Centre and our fantastic artists who made this all possible.”

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Regional Australia Bank mural “Wilay”

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Regand Park Early Childhood Education Centre,  African safari mural​

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. 

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Christine Hannus ​- Volunteer of the Year 


Oct 23
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Parkes

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Parkes on Tuesday 27 October 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Parkes. WNSWLHD has tested more than 6,798 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at the Parkes Showground, entry via Victoria Street, Parkes. 

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



Oct 23
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Bathurst

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Bathurst from Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October 2020 from 10.00am to 4.00pm and Saturday 31 October 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm. 


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Bathurst. WNSWLHD has tested more than 6,798 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at the Bathurst Hockey Grounds Car Park, Lions Club Drive, Kelso. 

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



Oct 23
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Grawin

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Grawin on Wednesday 28 October 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Grawin. WNSWLHD has tested more than 6,798 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at the Pub in the Scrub car park. 

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



Oct 21
New midwifery service for pregnant mums in the Wellington region

​The Western NSW LHD is excited to announce the commencement of a Community Based Midwife within Wellington Community Health.

Wellington Health Service Manager, Sally Loughnan, is delighted to introduce, Natalie McLean.

“Natalie has commenced two days a week, Tuesday and Wednesday's and brings a world of experience in pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.

“All women within Wellington and surrounding communities are able to access Natalie for their pregnancy care. This includes care throughout the pregnancy, booking into the hospital where they will birth, which is usually Dubbo, and care following the birth of their baby. Providing these services in Wellington reduces the needs for mothers, families and babies to travel."

Natalie works in partnership with the antenatal clinic at Dubbo Health Service, allowing for all women within these communities to have all or part of their care through the midwife, increasing the options available to them.

“Natalie's appointment has allowed us to reintroduce this service locally for women in Wellington and our surrounding communities, which is great news", Sally said.   

If you would like to see Natalie for free pregnancy and postnatal care in Wellington, please contact Wellington Community Health on 68455500.


Nat mclean.jpg


Oct 19
Donations making a difference

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has received a generous donation from Kidzfix, a not for profit organisation established to support sick and disadvantaged children in Australia. 

WNSWLHD Integrated Child, Young People & Family Wellness Manager, Luke Marks said, “The donation from Kidzfix have been used to purchase an ASQ TRAK kit, a developmental screening tool specifically developed for Aboriginal children, for every Community Health Centre in the WNSWLHD”.

“The kits will be a valuable resource for Child and Family Health Nurses who provide regular developmental health checks for children aged 0-5 years.

“What happens in the first 2000 days of life has been shown to have an impact throughout life. It provides our best opportunity to tackle the health inequities that we know persist across our communities, particularly for Aboriginal people. Early intervention in early life can have both short-term and lifelong benefits”. Luke said. 

A challenge in assessing the development of Aboriginal children has been the absence of a culturally appropriate structured developmental screening tool that Child and Family Health Nurses in NSW are able to use.

The ASQ TRAK is a more culturally appropriate tool for Aboriginal children that has been developed by the University of Melbourne. It is now being used in Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia in health services and education settings but the tool is currently not used by Child and Family Health Nurses in NSW.

Official handovers from local Kidzfix Rally entrants have been organised for Dubbo, Mudgee and Dunedoo.

“We are very grateful to Kidzfix and the participants for raising this money and donating it to the WNSWLHD”. Luke said. 



Oct 16
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Bourke

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) drive-through COVID-19 testing will be revisiting Bourke on Tuesday 20 October 2020 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.


“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Bourke. WNSWLHD has tested more than 7,555 people over the past four weeks,” said Director of Public Health, Priscilla Stanley.

“We need to keep testing people, so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.

“COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities. 

“The testing service will be set up at Darling Park, Sturt Street, Bourke. 

“The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend. 

“It’s a drive through service so you won’t have to leave your car. Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose. 

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results,” said Ms Stanley. 

COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease. Those symptoms include: fever, a sore or ‘scratchy’ throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and muscle aches. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it’s important that we increase our testing. While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill. 

“Right now, our message is very simple – if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested. 

“Speak to your doctor – it’s always best to call ahead. The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come in other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.

“If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.”



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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!