COVID-19 Staff Update, 28 October
Traces of COVID-19 virus have been detected in sewage at a treatment plant at Glenfield yesterday and Quakers Hill today. NSW Health is concerned there could be other active cases in these communities and surrounding areas.
A number of testing clinics are available for the community in the Quakers Hill area including drive-through clinics in Blacktown at the Showground and on Grafton Street and a clinic at Seven Hills. Opening times and specific locations of these and all clinics can be found on the NSW Health website.
Testing numbers were up slightly yesterday across our community clinics with 580 tests completed. People who are experiencing even the mildest of symptoms are being urged to come forward for testing.
The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) has released a number of new guidance documents that we encourage staff to read including a risk assessment framework for group community sessions/meetings. To view the recently released documents visit the CEC website here.
Two COVID positive patients are in home isolation in WSLHD. One new case of locally transmitted COVID-19, linked to a known source, was reported in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
COVID-19 Staff Update, 27 October
Two new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 have been identified in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. These cases have been linked to the Oran Park community cluster and serve as a reminder that COVID-19 is still circulating in the community.
We continue to support local community sporting organisations to be COVID safe. Working with the Baulkham Hills Shire Netball Association, our team has produced a video capturing how the organisation is keeping players, umpires, volunteers and spectators safe from COVID-19. The video can be viewed here.
NSW has marked three million tests since the beginning of the pandemic. Testing clinics in Western Sydney remain open with operating hours unchanged. We are closely monitoring activity and ensuring sufficient capacity to meet community demand.
To keep COVID-19 out of our facilities screening continues on entry to our facilities. Screening staff are required to undertake a symptoms and temperature check and assess possible exposure. Questions will be asked about your recent travel, whether you have been to any COVID-19 case locations, if you have anyone at home who is isolating or had contact with a COVID-19 case.
Up to 15 people are now able to visit the Westmead Chapel at the same time following a service recommencement review. When the service was forced to pause physical gatherings, the chaplaincy team had to make changes to how they work and introduced a text message service. SMS-a-Chaplain ensured the team was able to continue to reach out and provide support in a COVID-safe way. Read more about their innovative approach here.
Updates to District Executive
Friday 26th October was Robynne Cooke’s last day as the Executive Director Operations for WSLHD and we wish her well with her move to Victoria and future endeavours.
It is my intent to recruit to this role and strengthen the strategic responsibilities however while we recruit we will need to change some responsibilities within the District Executive to cover this portfolio. Effective immediately and until this position is filled:
Dr Emma McCahon will move to the role of Executive Director of Operations, this will include all clinical aspects of the portfolio.
Prof Peter Hockey will cover the Executive Director of Medical Services position.
The corporate responsibilities of the Executive Director of Operations portfolio will transfer to the Office of the Chief Executive and be managed by Ms Tiffany Sly.
If you have any queries in regards to these changes please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of the Executive Director of Operations WSLHD-OfficeoftheEDO@health.nsw.gov.au.
Save the date - NSQHS Standards Assessment - Westmead Hospital
The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) has confirmed that the date for Westmead Hospital to undertake NSQHS Standards Assessment is 15 -19 March 2021.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Westmead and Auburn Hospitals
Working With Children Check (WWCC) Renewal – Reminder
Thank you to everyone who has been diligently renewing their WWCC. We have received a large number of renewals over the last few weeks.
This is a reminder for others whose WWCC is due to expire. Please renew now to ensure it does not expire before your renewal application is processed.
The six-month extension provided by the Children’s Guardian earlier this year has now finished and therefore a number of staff will be due to renew their WWCC.
Staff should receive an email from the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) three months prior to the expiration of the WWCC prompting renewal. If you want to check your expiry date please visit the OCG website. Your WWCC can be renewed three months before expiry.
How to renew your WWCC
Visit the OCG website.
Step 1: For Renewals – Select the Renew your WWCC number tab. Find your new expiry date using the find my Number Form. Once you have your WWCC Number and expiry date review and/or complete the Online Form. You will be sent an application number by email.
Step 2: Take your email receipt and the necessary proof if identity documents to a Service NSW Centre.
Step 3: You will receive an email once the process has been completed. If you are granted clearance, you will receive a WWCC number. Give this number to your employer. For WSLHD employees forward this email to WSLHD-WWCC@health.nsw.gov.au.
Paid workers will pay a fee of $80. For volunteers, the Check is free.
Information on proof of identity requirements are available from the OCG site.
If you have any queries please contact your local Human Resources Business Partner team.
Director People and Culture
COVID-19 Staff Update, 23 October
Demand for our interpreting service is increasing. Our team conducted on average 210 sessions a day last week with returned travellers in Sydney’s quarantine hotels. The Healthcare Interpreter Service has provided close to 35,000 phone interpreting sessions to people in quarantine hotels since the start of the pandemic.
NSW Health has provided some advice on work meetings and events. Virtual options should continue to be provided for all meetings. If meetings are in-person please ensure physical distancing is respected at all times. Limit functions for non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforce. For more information including COVID-19 Safety Plans for corporate events please visit the NSW Health website.
COVID safety inspections with businesses and community organisations continue across our district. The Public Health Unit has completed 489 inspections with sporting organisations, gyms, recreation centres and beauty premises. Follow up was required with 74% of these to provide education, advice and guidance.
There were no new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Six COVID positive patients are in home isolation in our district and are being looked after by our Community Health team.
Good luck to all our Penrith Panthers supporters out there and hoping for a win this grand final weekend. Celebrate safely by practising physical distancing and good hand hygiene and please ensure you are checking into any venues you are attending. Stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 case locations at the NSW Health website.
COVID-19 Staff Update, 22 October
This year has been particularly tough for many and we recognise the importance of finding time to relax and celebrate with your colleagues. We encourage staff to identify ways to safely celebrate with each other this festive season with Christmas parties. We request that extra caution is exercised and that measures such as physical distancing and allowable attendee numbers are respected. We also ask staff to be mindful about having groups of highly specialised workers attend functions at the same date/ time as this could impact on service provision in the event the location in question becomes a NSW COVID-19 case location. Further advice will be shared in the coming weeks.
Over 270,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed across testing sites in WSLHD since the beginning of the pandemic. Our testing sites remain equipped to support community demand.
Ensuring an aligned community response to COVID-19 remains key to protecting our community. Our links with local aged care facilities remain strong. We continue to receive positive feedback from facilities on the support provided by the WSLHD taskforce and the recommendations made to help them improve their systems and preparedness.
Nine COVID-19 positive patients are in home isolation in WSLHD. One new case of locally transmitted COVID-19 was identified in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
A reminder that our COVID Staff Assist line is available to take your calls on 1800 344 733. If you need information or support reach out to the team, ask a question at our knowledge hub, or visit the COVID staff website.