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

Feb 17
WNSWLHD welcomes Brenshaw Medical to Coolah
Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) would like to welcome Brenshaw Medical to the Coolah region.

WNSWLHD Rural Health Director of Medical Services, Dr Shannon Nott, said “Brenshaw Medical started operating in Coolah this week.

“This will provide the Coolah region with confidence knowing Brenshaw Medical will be coming to Coolah and working with the Multipurpose Service. 

“Brenshaw Medical knows the community and are experienced in working in rural health care. They already have practices in Condobolin and Gilgandra.

“They are also familiar with WNSWLHD practices which assists with a smooth transition. We look forward to our successful working relationship". Dr Nott said.

The WNSWLHD will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government's Primary Healthcare Network, Council and other local organisations to develop opportunities to attract more general practice services to the District

Feb 16
Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Bathurst

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) and Laverty Pathology will be providing a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in the lead up and post the Bathurst 500 event. 

It will be operating every day from Monday 22 February to Friday 5 March 2021. It will be open from 9.00am to 12.00pm. 

“There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Bathurst. WNSWLHD has tested more than 5,977 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.

“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,” said Matthew Brumby, General Manager Laverty Pathology.  

“The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 24 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message. 

“People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results.

“If the demand for testing increases, we will also be able to increase our services”, said Matthew.

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.” Ms Stanley said. 

Feb 15
Rural Doctors in Orange for specialist training

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has held the first Obstetric Workshop, as part of NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program, delivered by the Health and Education and Training Institute (HETI).

The two day workshop was held at Orange Health Service, for doctors enrolled to do their Advanced Skills Training to become Rural Generalist Obstetricians in NSW.

State-wide Director of Training NSW Rural Generalist and GP Procedural Training Programs (NSWRGTP), Dr Louise Baker said, “Some people spend Valentine’s Day delivering roses, these six doctors spent the weekend learning how to deliver babies”.

“There were six doctors trained over the weekend including three from across the Western NSW Local Health District from Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo. The three others travelled from Moruya Queanbeyan, and Tweed Heads. 

The training covered delivering a baby, managing common obstetric emergencies and caring for a newborn in the event they need resuscitation

The doctors were supported by a team of trainers, including local Rural Generalist Obstetricians, Dr Kelly Bradley, Rural Director of Training NSWRGTP, Teena Downton and State-wide Director of Training NSW Rural Generalist and GP Procedural Training Programs (NSWRGTP), Dr Louise Baker.

“The Doctors were supported by staff from Orange Base Hospital included Specialist Obstetrician and Head of Department, Dr Ronald Vaughan, Specialist Paediatricians, Dr Allan Kerrigan, Anna Elder and Midwife and Simulation Lab Coordinator, Michelle Johnston.

“The training team was also supported by John Flynn Scholar medical student, Melanie Bird.

“This weekend of education and training has given the doctors an opportunity to hit the ground running in Obstetrics care. In twelve months’ time it will lead to more Rural Generalist Obstetricians working in rural NSW, “said Dr Baker. 

Feb 11
Welcome to new Rylstone Health Council members

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) would like to welcome its newest members to the Rylstone Health Council.

The WNSWLHD is committed to community consultation and participation. The local Health Council plays a vital role in providing information on the health needs of the Community.

Rylstone Health Service Manager, Susan Gawthorn said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome new members James Johnson, Virginia Doig, Marion Crossman and Joel Fuller to the health council. 

“They will join existing members Robyn Oaks, Berenice Board and Barbara Eordogh.

“The Rylstone Health Council provides advice to the health service on the needs of the Community. The council covers communities around the Kandos and Rylstone region.

 “All the members are keen to hear from the Community and we encourage members of the public to contact the health council with any feedback or suggestions,” said Ms Gawthorn.

The email contacts for the Rylstone Health Council are:
Marion Crossman - m.crossmanrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com 
Virginia Doig - v.doigrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com
Berenice Board - b.boardrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com 
Joel Fuller - j.fullerrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com
James Johnson - j.johnsonrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com 
Robyn Oakes - r.oakesrylstonehealthcouncil@gmail.com 

For more information about Rylstone Health Council, you can email Rylstone Health Service Manager at Susan.Gawthorne@health.nsw.gov.au

Feb 11
Nursing and midwifery graduates join Western NSW hospitals

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

WNSWLHD Nursing and Midwifery Transition and Workforce Manager, Jackie Corliss, extended a warm welcome to the new nursing and midwifery recruits.

“We’re so excited to have 104 new recruits joining us. We wish them well as they embark on this unique and rewarding career.

"The recruits will be based across the District, including ten mental health nurses located at Bloomfield Hospital,” said Ms Corliss.

More than 54,000 nurses and midwives currently work in the NSW public health system, an increase of 24.7 per cent since 2011.

The NSW Government has invested in a record total 8,300 frontline health staff over four years, including an additional 5,000 nurses and midwives, including mental health and palliative care nurses. 

WNSWLHD graduates from February 2021 cohort will work in the following hospitals:

Bathurst Health Service – 12 nurses
Orange Health Service –16 nurses, 1 registered midwife
Dubbo Health Service – 28 nurses, 2 registered midwives
Bloomfield Campus – 10 registered nurses
Metro/ Rural Exchange Program –  4 registered nurses, 2 registered midwives
Southern Cluster – 11 registered nurses
Northern Cluster – 7 registered nurses
Central Cluster – 11 registered nurses.

Jan 29
Unique opportunity to be involved in the WNSWLHD Board

The NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Brad Hazzard is inviting applications from persons interested in becoming a member of the Western NSW Local Health District Board. 

WNSWLHD Board Chair Scott Griffiths said, “We have a number of vacancies opening up on the Western NSW LHD Board due to the retirement of a number of members including myself, and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in health to consider putting yourself forward by completing an expression of interest”.

Mr Griffiths stated that “this is a skills-based Board and members are required to actively contribute to the effective governance WNSWLHD, which provides a broad range of health services to the residents and visitors across our region”. 

Mr Griffiths said, “The Board is responsible for overseeing an effective governance and risk management framework for the district, setting its strategic directions, ensuring high standards of professional and ethical conduct are maintained, involve providers and the community in decisions that affect them, monitoring the service delivery and financial performance of the district against its targets and holding the chief executive accountable for their performance”. 

WNSWLHD Chief Executive, Mr Scott McLachlan said “our local Board plays an important role within the Local Health District. Individuals wishing to apply should demonstrate the capacity to represent the interest of consumers of health services and the local community”. 

Persons completing an expression of interest must indicate any affiliations with universities, clinical schools or research centres, as well as skills and experience in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Corporate governance
  • Health manager/health administration
  • Business/financial management/public administration
  • Clinical practice/provision of health services to patients 
  • Expertise, knowledge or experience in relation to Aboriginal health
  • Understanding of local community issues
  • Understanding of or experience in primary health care. 

To apply or find out more head to the NSW Health website​ 

Expressions of interest close on Sunday 28 February 2021.

Jan 27
WNSWLHD project recognised on national stage

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has showcased the SOS (Signs of Strangulation) Project at the National, Stop Domestic Violence Conference. 

Danielle Allen and Julieanne Potts, presented their project; Improving Responses for Victims of Domestic Violence Presenting with Non-Fatal Strangulation at Orange Emergency Department. 

WNSWLHD Executive Director Integrated Care Julie Cooper said, “This project started as part of the Clinical Leadership Program, but has turned into something so much bigger”. 

“Danielle and Julieanne were finalist in the for the WNSWLHD Living Quality & Safety Awards 2020- Secretary’s Award- Integrated Value Based Care Award and have now shared their findings and research on the National stage”. 

The project included the development of a vital medical alert resource card to provide to victims of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV); S.O.S (Signs of Strangulation) card. 

“The S.O.S card is now being used by the majority of NSW Local Health District’s and other service providers including other government and non-government services who assist victims of Domestic and Family Violence”. Julie said. 

“During the project implementation at Orange Health Service Emergency Department, we saw a vast improvement in service provision, the development of education and resources and new processes and guidelines for responding to victims of Domestic and Family Violence. 

“As a result and success of the project we have updated the way staff respond to victims of domestic and family violence presenting with Non-Fatal Strangulation. It is being rolled out across all facilities in the WNSWLHD by the PARVAN (Prevention and Response to Violence, Abuse and Neglect) team.

“I am extremely proud that we have turned this into a whole of Local Health District (LHD) response. The safety and health of our patients in every part of the WNSWLHD is important. The WNSWLHD stands against any form of domestic and family violence. 

“The commitment to creating positive change for our LHD by Danielle and Julieanne is inspiring”. Julie said. 
Danielle and Julianne are part of the Western NSW Local Health District PARVAN team with the Integrated Care Directorate. Danielle is a Safer Pathways Co-ordinator for Domestic Violence and Julianne is the Senior Clinical Lead for the Sexual Assault Service.

Julieanne Potts_Danielle Allen DV conference.jpg

Jan 22
Baby it’s time
​Birthing with the Lachlan Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) will start booking in expectant mothers from 21st January2021, with many mothers then able to choose to give birth at either Parkes or Forbes Hospitals under the care of a midwife.

Acting Lachlan Health Service Manager, Jenni McGee said, “Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) provides a mother with a midwife who cares for them during pregnancy, birth journey and afterwards. The MGP midwives work together in a small group.

“MGP is for women with a low risk pregnancy, and no medical conditions. Midwives are trained specialists in normal pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. They also have support from specialist GP obstetricians if required during pregnancy. 

“When pregnant women call the central intake line on 6861 2439, they will get to speak to our maternity team about the choices available, and which may be the right option for them. This is ultimately a decision based on both a risk assessment and the mother’s choice.

“Where the pregnancy is low risk, mums can now choose to birth at either Parkes or Forbes Hospital through the MGP. They will have a primary midwife working with them throughout their pregnancy which really helps develop understanding and trust. 

“Two midwives will attend the birth and the primary midwife will visit mum and baby at home for up to six weeks after the birth.

“If there are any developments during the pregnancy that changes the risk assessment, the midwife will work with mum and her other healthcare providers to make arrangements to give birth at Forbes, where obstetric and anaesthetic services are available. It may be necessary depending on the risks for the birth to occur at another hospital, in the district but this is less likely. 

The Lachlan Maternity Service will also commence Maternity Antenatal/Postnatal Program (MAPP) clinics from 1 February 2021. 

MAPP provides a mum with a midwife who cares for them before the birth and afterwards at home. The woman’s labour and birth may occur at Forbes, Orange, Dubbo or other hospitals depending on the woman and her baby’s needs. . 

“MAPP is for all women who wish to have shared care with a midwife and a GP obstetrician or specialist obstetrician and is designed for women with health conditions and who may have more complex pregnancies.

 “We are very excited for the women in Lachlan and the wider region because they will have a choice of several different models of care. We know the difference it will make for women to be able to give birth to their babies close to home”. Jenni said. 

The new website has been launched and can be found here.

Jan 21
New program designed for rural and remote nurses

Nurses in rural and remote locations in the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) are benefiting from a new program designed to support them work at the highest possible level.

RG-NET, or the Rural Generalist - Nurse Education Team, will work with hundreds of rural and remote nurses across the District, helping them refine and advance their clinical assessment and management skills.

WNSWLHD Northern Sector General Manager, Brian Bonham said, “Our rural and remote nurses are very skilled. They have a unique job to do and it’s becoming more specialised as the health needs, expectations and general health landscape changes”. 

“RG-NET aims to up-skill our nurses with theory and practical clinical skills to be able to perform a range of assessments when caring for patients in rural and remote sites. 

“It is important that when our nurses are working with virtual services like the Virtual Rural Generalist Service (VRGS) and vCare, or the local GP, that they can perform practical clinical assessments in relation to a patient’s condition and be able to communicate this effectively with the medical services to expedite the care of the patient.

The RG-NET education team commenced rollout of the program to the towns of Nyngan, Cobar, Warren, Condobolin, Dunedoo, Coolah, Narromine, Grenfell, Blayney, Gulgong, Rylstone, and Molong. The remaining rural and remote facilities within the District will have the program rolled out to them over the next six months. 

RG-NET works with nurses to give them theory and practical experience to refine their clinical skills in a number of different assessment areas including; respiratory, abdominal, neurological, cardiovascular, obstetric & gynaecological, ENT and eye, mental health, drug and alcohol, geriatric nursing, palliative care, and simple acute wound closure and limb immobilisation. 

“We recognise the very important role our nurses play, especially in our rural and remote communities. 

“The RG-NET program is designed to provide them with the support and clinical expertise they need.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be rolling out this program across the WNSWLHD. This will be a part of our WNSWLHD footprint. 

“It is also an exciting opportunity for our nurses in rural and remote locations providing a new form of professional development and mentoring”. Brian said. 
RGNET training.jpeg

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