Western Sydney Health Forum
Last night we hosted the 2020 Western Sydney Health Forum, an opportunity to hear directly from our community and answer questions about the care and services we provide.
Hundreds of people tuned in to the live stream. If you weren’t able to watch the annual public meeting live, you can access the recording here.
The meeting was also a chance to reflect on the year that was. For most of us in health this year has been like no other. From bushfires to COVID-19, Western Sydney Local Health District has been at the centre of these life changing moments tireless supporting our community.
We cared for the first COVID-19 patient in NSW, responded to outbreaks with multiple testing sites and provided interpreting and mental health support for quarantined travellers.
Our accomplishments however don’t just stop at COVID-19. As COVID-19 became part of our everyday, we continued to deliver high quality care, research and education.
I am enormously proud of the strength of passion, care for patients and commitment to each other that is the normal for all of our staff. You are the heart and soul of everything we do and I feel privileged to lead this great district.
To celebrate and remember all of the highlights we have produced the Year in Review.
I encourage you to take a read through and catch up on what your colleagues across the district have been up to this year.
Thank you again to all of our staff for your resilience and adaptability but most of all your passion and commitment to our patients and each other.
Final Clinical Network Structure
I am pleased to share our new organisational structure that aligns to the nine district wide Clinical Networks.
Our district wide Clinical Networks will 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 new structure brings consistency to the executive level in our facilities and services and embeds safety, quality and innovation into our day-to-day operations.
Under our new structure some resources from district wide services, such as finance, human resources and clinical governance will now sit under the leadership of General Managers.
Auburn Hospital, Oral Health and Drug Health will also be separated from Westmead Hospital as stand-alone facilities lead by a General Manager and executive team.
Work to establish this new structure began in early 2020 with the initial development of the networks and consultation undertaken with staff, the WSLHD Clinical Council and the WSLHD Clinical Networks Structural Consultation group to endorse the speciality streams.
To realign facilities and services to the new Clinical Networks, a proposed operational structure was opened for consultation in September 2020. Over 180 submissions were received from staff and regular meetings held with the unions and key stakeholder groups.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit comments and feedback helping to ensure the robustness of this process. These submissions were critical in shaping our final structure.
Implementation of our new structure will begin from 7 December, with affected staff notified and recruitment to commence for new positions. For more information on what’s next please visit the intranet page here.
This is an exciting next phase for our district. I look forward to working with everyone to build a better service for the people of Western Sydney while enhancing career and development opportunities for our talented and committed staff.
COVID-19 Staff Update, 25 November
Our testing clinics remain busy this week. Between 1,000 and 1,500 tests have been completed each day.
NSW Government has announced that from 1 December further restrictions will be eased relating to people gathering at home, in outdoor public spaces, and some venues. Read more here.
The Public Health Order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home (where it is reasonably practicable to do so) will also be repealed from 14 December. Staff currently working from home should speak with their manager about the arrangements they have in place. All new applications for flexible working should be submitted via the form in SARA. Our flexible working policy is currently being updated and will be issued shortly providing more information for staff.
The QR code patient registration system has been up and running for two weeks now at the COVID-19 testing clinic at Blacktown Hospital. Aiming to streamline patient registrations and turnaround times of results, Blacktown’s adoption follows the successful pilot at Westmead Hospital.
No new cases of locally acquired COVID-19 have been identified in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Our team is monitoring eight people who are close contacts of COVID cases.
Checking in at venues you attend is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Service NSW app now has a COVID Safe Check-in feature so you can scan in without having to fill out forms. With many businesses using this app, I’d encourage you to download the app today.
Don’t forget to tune into the 2020 Western Sydney Health Forum tonight. Streaming live from the District’s Facebook and YouTube page from 7.30pm. Reporting on the 2019/20 financial year, an expert panel will also be on hand to answer questions from our community.
COVID-19 Staff Update, 23 November
NSW recorded no new cases of locally acquired COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. There are also no COVID-19 patients in home isolation or any close contacts being monitored in WSLHD.
The Ministry of Health has issued updated workforce advice to reflect the opening of the NSW / Victoria border, information on staff travel to / from South Australia and Queensland. Full details available here.
Updated advice is also available for event planning. Non-essential meetings or conferences of workforce especially critical workforce such as healthcare professionals should be limited and corporate events cannot exceed 300 people per event, or one person per 4 square metres of space indoors (whichever is less). Read more here.
Lastly please see the frequently asked questions (page 9) in the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Response and Escalation Framework for more information on mask use and the attached poster.
COVID-19 Staff Update, 20 November
A reminder that NSW Health services have now moved to green alert. An important aspect related to the risk level moving to green, is the corresponding use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This transition means most staff do not need to wear a surgical mask when within 1.5 metres of a patient or when in public areas of our facilities. Mask use is still required for some circumstances. Read more here.
Patient and visitors to our facilities will only need to wear a mask when in the emergency department or when coming to get a COVID-19 test.
Screening procedures on entry to our facilities will remain in place. Screening staff will continue to assess possible exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms and check your temperature. This is an important measure to help keep COVID-19 out of our facilities.
We hit a significant milestone this week with over 300,000 COVID-19 tests now completed to date in Western Sydney. Testing has picked up over the last week. We did another 1,000 tests yesterday with 270 of those at the new clinic in Kellyville.
As you head into the weekend please continue to exercise caution. It is great to see no community transmission continue across NSW but ongoing commitment is required from all of us to maintain this result. I encourage everyone to practise good hygiene, maintain physical distance and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.
The NSW Government has outlined details for COVID-safe festive events and eased restrictions for outdoor religious services, singing and carols and concerts. Full details here.