Executive Messages

September 2020

COVID-19 Staff Update, 2 September 

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

NSW Health has issued an alert for following venues or public transport in Western Sydney. These include:

  • Metro Fuel Greystanes on 27 August, 3.15-3.35pm

  • Big Bun, 260 Pitt Street Merrylands, 27 August, 3.30-4pm

  • Stockland Merrylands on 29 August between 9-11am 

  • Bus 810, 28 August departed St Paul’s Catholic College Greystanes 3.04pm, arrived 3.28pm Macquarie Rd opposite Boothtown Reserve Greystanes 

 

Anyone who attended the above places is considered a casual contact of a case and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop. After testing, you must remain in isolation until a negative test result is received. For full advice on testing and isolation linked to case locations visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates

 

With COVID-19 patient numbers currently low our ICU team is reviewing processes around clinical management, patient workflows and infection control to keep staff safe and further improve care. While good outcomes have been achieved across these areas to date there are always learnings and improvements that can be made. 

 

We are looking at how to improve connection and support for the families of COVID patients. We recognise that the experience is particularly difficult for families who are unable to visit their loved ones who are in our hospital with COVID-19. The ICU team is reviewing its interface with allied health in particular social work.

 

Voting for the 2020 Quality Awards People’s Choice Award is now open. Staff and the community can vote for their favourite project to receive an award on the night. The People’s Choice award will be one of 11 awards handed out on Wednesday 23 September at the ceremony broadcast live from 7pm on WSLHD’s Facebook and YouTube channels. To vote for the People Choice Award winner, click here.

 

Kindest regards,

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

Appointment - General Manager, Integrated Care & Community Health

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

I am pleased to announce that Ms Jasmin Ellis has been appointed to the position of General Manager, Integrated Care & Community Health, Western Sydney LHD commencing 7 September 2020.

 

Jasmin joins us from the Ministry of Health where she has most recently been based in the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) where she contributed significantly to the development of the state-wide operational response model for COVID-19 including mandatory hotel quarantine, hotel and maritime exemptions processes, and state-wide COVID clinics.

 

Prior to SHEOC, Jasmin’s passion and contemporary approach to continual improvement led her to taking up the role of Director, Office of the Deputy Secretary Patient Experience and System Performance for the past four years. During this time Jasmin undertook pieces of work both in state-wide planning and operational areas working closely with the Deputy Secretary and Ministry Executive team as well as the Department of Premier and Cabinet on the Premier’s Priorities.  These priorities have focused on ensuring patients get optimal access to the care they need both in acute and community settings. Jasmin was involved in assisting Districts and Networks meet these priorities during her time seconded into the role of Executive Director, System Management Branch.

 

Jasmin will be located at Integrated Care & Community Health offices at Blacktown and can be contacted by emailing Jasmin.Ellis@health.nsw.gov.au or WSLHD-GMIntegratedCommunityHealth@health.nsw.gov.au

 

Please join me in welcoming Jasmin to the District.

 

I would also like to thank Luke Elias for stepping in to the General Manager role and doing an excellent job during a very challenging time. 

 

Kind regards,                                             

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 1 September

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

Visits and risk assessments have now happened with over 50% of local residential aged care facilities in WSLHD around COVID-19. Feedback continues to be positive. 

 

Our community clinics tested over 1,600 people yesterday with 500 people through the Merrylands Park clinic. Over 210,000 tests have now been completed in our district. 

 

Two doctors have been deployed to support Albury Hospital ED and a further four identified to provide support in the coming days. Thank you to doctors who have volunteered to help. 

 

Seven COVID-19 cases are in home isolation in our district. One patient is in ICU in Westmead.

 

This is Friday is Jersey Day. Show your support for organ donation and wear your favourite sporting jersey to work. Please ensure any jersey’s worn in clinical areas meet infection control requirements. 

 

I look forward to bumping into many of you across the district as I look to being present at facilities on a rotating basis.

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 31 August

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

NSW Health is strongly advising people who live or work in the Greater Sydney metropolitan area and Central Coast to refrain from visiting aged care facilities until 12 September. This is a precautionary step to prevent COVID-19 cases in aged care facilities in NSW. 

 

Our testing blitz campaign continues this week across our district with a particular focus on the local government areas of The Hills, Merrylands and Parramatta. Across NSW daily testing rates have reduced compared to previous reporting periods. With COVID-19 still circulating in the community, people are being urged to come forward for testing if they are experiencing symptoms. An updated list of Western Sydney testing clinic locations and times can be downloaded here. Please share with your networks. 

 

Twelve COVID-19 patients are in home isolation and currently being managed by our Community Health team. One patient in Westmead Hospital is in ICU. 

 

As the COVID-19 situation changes our screening station procedures have been modified. On entry to our facilities people are now being asked about their symptoms, recent travel to COVID-19 case location areas and the purpose of their visit to the hospital. If people are attending our facilities for a COVID-19 test they will receive a chequered wristband. 

 

Masks are required to be worn by all staff once they have passed through the screening stations. These should be worn when moving through the facilities and when in any area accessed by the public like cafeterias and patient care areas. 

 

Don’t forget to check in on your colleagues and ask them if they are okay. Make the most of the available support services if you need help. Our Workplace Wellness team is here to assist, along with the COVID staff hotline (1800 344 733) and Employee Assistance Program.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 28 August 

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

Seven staff have been identified for deployment to the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) to support weekend activity. Thank you to these staff members for offering support.     

 

Visits have been conducted with a third of the local residential aged care facilitieswith the Taskforce on track to finish by the end of next week. Our risk assessment tool has also been shared with other LHDs to support local preparedness. 

 

Over 200,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed in our LHD since the beginning of the pandemic. Our testing blitz continues with capacity across our clinics expanding to meet increasing community needs. We have also partnered with a number of community organisations and RSLs to share clinic information and urge people to come forward for testing.  

 

The WSLHD mask fit testing plan has been developed in collaboration with the Clinical Excellence Commission and is being submitted to the Ministry of Health.

 

All staff are required to wear a mask when in places within our facilities that can be accessed by the public, such as patient care areas, corridors and cafeterias. A mask should be worn once you come through the screening stations. 

 

Ten COVID-19 patients are in home isolation and currently being managed by our Community Health team. Two patients are in Westmead Hospital in ICU. 

 

COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. Please get tested at the first sign of symptoms. Get behind our #TestTheWest campaign by encouraging your family and friends to do the same.

 

Kind regards,

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 27 August

2/9/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

WSLHD staff are being called on to support border communities to bolster workforces impacted by border closures. Thank you to the staff who are responding to these requests for support. 

 

Weekend testing options have been expanded with drive through clinics now available in every local government area in our district. The clinics at Western Sydney University, Auburn Boorea St, Emerton Leisure Centre and Blacktown Showground are now operating 7 days a week. The testing clinic at Castle Hill Showground also reopened to the community today.

 

Over 1,000 video interpreting sessions have been delivered by our Healthcare Interpreter Service during this pandemic. The service has improved access and equity for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse/Deaf patients.

 

Six more residential aged care facilities were visited today by our Taskforce. Feedback continues to be positive with good engagement from the facilities.  

 

A public health alert has been issued for bus routes in Blacktown, Rouse Hill and Mount Druitt on 20, 21 and 24 August following a trainee bus driver testing positive for COVID-19. For detailed information on the bus routes, times and public health advice please click here. 

 

Ten COVID-19 patients are in home isolation and currently being managed by our Community Health team. Two patients are in Westmead Hospital in ICU. 

 

If you have a COVID-19 question ask it at our knowledge hub, visit the COVID-19 staff website or call the staff assist line on 1800 344 733.

 

 

Kind regards,                                             

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

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