Executive Messages

September 2020

COVID-19 Staff Update, 9 September 

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

It is so important that we continue to provide great care to the people of Western Sydney. To be able to do this we need to keep COVID-19 out of our facilities. To manage the risk of COVID-19 we need to maintain our vigilance to our safety precautions.

 

These precautions include but are not limited to:

  • Wear a mask when in public and patient care areas of our facilities

  • Don’t congregate in groups in staff areas and tea rooms

  • Wipe down surfaces in meeting rooms and tea rooms after use

  • Limit movement through our facilities

  • Work from home if you can so productively and consider implementing your A/B team rosters   

  • Don’t come to work if you are unwell and seek testing immediately  

 

A fact sheet will be released this week providing some additional tips and advice for managers and staff on how to keep safe while in our facilities.

 

We will be increasing the presence of COVID marshals across our facilities. If you aren’t wearing a mask a COVID marshal may approach you.

 

The appropriate use of PPE is imperative to keep staff safe. This is not a replacement for other measures like practising good hand hygiene and physical distancing.

 

NSW Health has issued an alert for another Western Sydney venue. People who attended Albion Hotel, Parramatta Beer Garden and Pavilion, on Saturday 5 September between 8.15pm - 11.15pm for at least an hour are considered a close contact.

 

For the most up-to-date health advice visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates.

 

Nine new COVID-19 cases were identified in NSW yesterday. Seven COVID-19 cases are in home isolation in WSLHD and two remain in ICU in Westmead Hospital.

 

Our proposed new organisation structure is open for staff consultation. The consultation period will be open until 25 September 2020. For more information on the structure please visit the intranet page here. Please share your feedback by emailing WSLHD-Restructure@health.nsw.gov.au.

 

Kindest regards,

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 8 September 

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

NSW Health has issued an alert for the Oatlands Golf Club on Friday, 4 September, 6:30-8:45pm. Anyone who attended the Bavarian Night Dinner in the Bistro on Bettington main dining room is considered to be a close contact and is being directed to get tested and isolate for 14 days. They must stay isolated for the entire period, even if a negative test result is received.

 

Continue to regularly review the NSW Health website for all COVID-19 case locations and advice: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates.

 

I want to provide further clarification around our visitor policy. Only one patient is allowed to visit a patient in our hospital at any one time. Our reduced visiting hours are 10:00am - 12:00pm and 5:00pm - 7:00pm.

 

Nearly 500 people were tested at the Bella Vista COVID clinic yesterday. The Castle Hill Showground testing clinic will remain closed until Friday with Bella Vista continuing to provide a no referral service until it is back up and running.

 

NSW Health has provided additional guidance for healthcare workers who have a household member who is isolating due to close contact with a COVID-19 case. If the staff member is not able to isolate themselves from this person in their household (e.g. where the close contact is a child or a dependent person), the staff member will also be required to self-isolate and not attend work during their household member’s isolation period. Please speak with HR if you require any further clarification around this.

 

Eight people are in home isolation in WSLHD and being monitored by our team. Two people are in ICU in Westmead Hospital.  

 

On entry to our facilities on Thursday, all staff and visitors will be receiving a special R U OK? wristband at our screening stations to help show support and awareness of this important day. I encourage you to visit our intranet page here to learn more about R U OK? and how to start a conversation with those around you.   

 

Kindest regards,

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 7 September

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

Congratulations to the WSLHD aged care taskforce who has completed stage 1 of the outbreak prevention program with risk assessments undertaken with all local residential aged care facilities. Thank you to the team members who have diligently partnered with local facilities to undertake this substantial piece of work. The team will be preparing their overall recommendations this week and then individual action plans for each facility will follow.

 

I request that all staff continue to ensure our reduced visiting hours are followed. Exceptions only exist for areas like palliative care, birthing, ICU and neonatal ICU. The guidelines for visitors and caregivers can be viewed here.  

 

I appreciate it can be difficult to deal with community members who don’t respect the visitor guidelines, however they have been put in place to protect our staff and patients. If you need support please reach out to the COVID Marshals and security team.

 

Over 25,000 phone interpreting sessions have been provided by our team to return travellers in quarantine hotels over the last five months. Demand for our interpreting service is again high. In the last week our team fielded on average 200 calls a day.

 

The number of local residents being tested at our screening clinics is one of the highest in the state. Of the COVID-19 tests performed in our district 80,000 of them have been with people who live in WSLHD.

 

With summer approaching we are reviewing testing clinics operations to plan for the impact of warm weather and ensure staff are protected.

 

Two patients remain in Westmead Hospital in ICU. We have six active COVID-19 cases in home isolation being monitored by our Community Health team.    

 

This week is Multicultural Health Week with the campaign this year focusing on the safe use of medicines within multicultural communities. This is an important message for our district which has one of the most diverse cultural communities in Sydney.

 

Ensuring our culturally and linguistically communities have access to appropriate information has been a key part of our COVID-19 response. Thank you to the Multicultural Health and Translation Service teams who have created a wealth of resources including testing information developed in partnership with local influencers from the Arabic and Chinese communities. These videos can be viewed here and here.

 

Kind regards,                                             

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

R U OK? A conversation could change a life

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

WSLHD will be hosting a number of activities to mark R U OK?, a national day of action to prevent suicide on 10 September.

 

Start a conversation with those around you and make sure your colleagues, friends and families are okay.

 

Take part in the activities happening across our District this Thursday and learn how you can help others.

 

For more information visit the R U OK? intranet page.

 

For tips on what to say after R U OK? download the conversation guide here.

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 4 September

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

The Castle Hill Showground testing clinic will temporarily relocate next week (7 September to 11 September) due to work being conducted on the site by the local council. To ensure testing remains available to the local community, we will again partner with the Bella Vista site at 12-14 Lexington Drive to provide a no referral service.

 

NSW Health has issued updated workforce advice on health care workers who are excluded from the workplace for isolation. Where a health care worker has someone in their household who is a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, the worker does not need to self-isolate but cannot attend for work until the household member’s first COVID-19 test relating to the close contact exposure comes back negative. See full workforce advice attached.

 

Due to this updated advice, on entry to our hospitals, screening staff will now be asking staff if anyone in their household is currently self-isolating due to close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

 

The CEC has updated its Guidance for Visiting Patients in Healthcare Facilities. While this advice is already being implemented across our facilities, I encourage you to familiarise yourself with the guidance.

 

Seven COVID-19 patients are in home isolation in our district and two are in ICU at Westmead Hospital.

 

Wishing all the Dads out there a happy Father’s Day this weekend. For those who are gathering together with your families, please stay COVID safe.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

Clinical Network Structure

9/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

I am pleased to announce that a proposed new organisation structure is now open to consultation from all staff and unions. This proposed structure builds on the Clinical Networks that have been in development since the beginning of the year.

 

In early 2020 the Clinical Network structure was circulated to department heads across the district and discussed at Town Hall meetings at all facility sites. Feedback received through this process informed the final Clinical Network structure and this was reviewed by the WSLHD Clinical Council and the WSLHD Clinical Networks Structural Consultation group which is made up of representatives from across the district.  

 

The outcome of this extensive consultation resulted in nine district wide Clinical Networks being recommended. To operationalise the Clinical Networks a new structure that realigns facilities and services was also proposed.

 

I am now releasing the proposed structure that aligns to the new Clinical Networks to all staff, so that anyone who would like to provide comment or feedback can do so. Please share your feedback by emailing WSLHD-Restructure@health.nsw.gov.au. The consultation period will be open until 25 September 2020.

 

A consistent executive structure is envisioned for all of the facilities and services, bringing some key decision making back under the leadership of general managers. To support this key change some district wide services, such as finance, human resources and clinical governance will also devolve some resources, embedding them locally within each facility and service, enhancing the capacity for general managers to locally manage some elements of these critical functions.

 

The intent of this change in structure is to embed safety, quality and innovation into our day-to-day operations and to support the development of clinical specialities, while allowing each facility/service to remain focused on the operational aspects of world class healthcare delivery for our Western Sydney community.

 

This is an exciting next phase for our district that will allow us to make best use of valuable resources to improve the services we offer to the residents of Western Sydney. In doing this we anticipate that workforce and culture will also be positively impacted through enhanced job satisfaction and other intrinsic rewards of working in today’s complex healthcare environment.

 

Thank you to those who have provided their valuable input so far. I look forward to hearing views from our wider workforce and key stakeholders.

 

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 3 September

9/9/22

 

Dear colleagues,

 

The WSLHD aged care taskforce has now visited over 90% of local facilities to provide COVID-19 support. Once all risk assessments have been completed the Taskforce will provide recommendations to each facility to inform their COVID plans.

 

Twelve new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours in NSW. In WSHLD two patients are in ICU at Westmead Hospital. People with COVID-19 in our community and being monitored at home is now at seven.

 

Early this week testing demand at our community clinics was high in response to a COVID case attending a local school. While rates are now are averaging out, we continue to urge people to come forward for a test if unwell, particularly those living or working around Granville and Merrylands.

  

The COVID-19 SMS Results Service pilot is underway. We have been working with the Ministry of Health and NSW Health Pathology to trial a new automated registration system, with a QR code, to fast-track COVID-19 test results to patients. 

Kind regards,                                             

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

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