Executive Messages

May 2020

COVID-19 Staff Update, 20 May

21/5/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

On 13 March 2020, I established an executive governance structure in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. With our organisation’s focus shifting towards the resumption of our services I am now leading the work on WSLHD’s COVID-19 exit strategy. The WSLHD Executive Director of Operations, Robynne Cooke, will now take carriage of the daily operational management for COVID-19 including chairing our executive meeting, while​ Amanda Green maintains overall responsibility for our response to the pandemic and will continue to report through to me.

A key item in our pandemic exit strategy is the resumption of 75 per cent of our elective surgery cases by 30 June. This decision is reflected in the guidelines set by the National Cabinet and will include the prioritisation of clinical urgency and overdue patients, maintaining adequate supplies of PPE and medicines and peri-operative screening.

 

Last night our joint Medical Staff Councils endorsed the progression of our Clinical Network Restructure. This was on hold, however with the current calm in activity the opportunity presented itself to progress with this work. The new structures will now be finalised and made available to industrial groups for consultation.

Commissioning work continues on the new Central Acute Services Building and we are working with our Westmead Health Precinct partners to develop a plan to occupy the new facility as per our originally planned function, providing services for Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital and the University of Sydney. We will continue to keep you updated on this exciting project.

  

Kind regards

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 19 May

21/5/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

We’ve boosted COVID-19 testing capacity for our community, with a drive-through clinic set to open at Stocklands Merrylands from next week. The clinic will be available to the public from Monday to Friday. We will continue to explore more opportunities and locations to make testing even more accessible in our region.  

 

We are rapidly ramping up the provision of elective surgery at our hospitals to pre-COVID-19 levels, with PPE stock, safety and capacity factored into our planning.

 

Breast screening has now recommenced at Auburn Hospital as part of a statewide strategy being led by Cancer Institute NSW.

 

You will soon see new signage across our facilities indicating the number of people allowed in our lifts to protect patients, staff and visitors. Thank you to everyone observing physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Kind regards

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 18 May

21/5/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

Visitor restrictions across NSW hospitals will continue which includes the limit of one visitor at a time per patient to keep our facilities as safe as possible from COVID-19. Please talk to your manager if you are experiencing any issues with our patients or visitors, or call our Staff COVID-19 Assist hotline (1800 344 733) for advice and information.

 

One of our most essential priorities is providing quality and safe clinical care in all areas of our organisation. While we have been focussed on COVID-19 we have seen an increase in critical incidents in other parts of our hospitals and have seen a re-emergence of pressure injuries. I ask all staff to work together to ensure clinical safety always remains at the front of our minds and to flag any quality or safety gaps with your manager immediately, particularly as we transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

If you’ve been thinking about taking a break from work and have annual leave available to you, I encourage you to take some time off before the busy winter season is upon us. If you have excess leave (more than 30 days), please develop a leave plan with your manager.

 

Anybody with any respiratory symptoms (however mild) or fever should get tested immediately. This is important if you live in or have travelled to The Hills and Penrith council areas, as these have been identified as priority areas for increased testing and surveillance. Be proactive and help us stamp out any community transmission of COVID-19.

 

Kind regards

 

Graeme Loy

 

Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update, 15 May

21/5/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

 

Restrictions are easing across NSW today, including allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people and some dining options at cafes, pubs and restaurants. We currently have no COVID-positive patients in our hospitals and minimal numbers of people receiving care in the community. This is a positive but we need to ensure we don’t become complacent. Please continue to practice good hand hygiene and physical distancing while out and about so we can keep each other and our patients safe.

 

Integrated and Community Health and Population Health continue to play an important role in the response to COVID-19. Yesterday afternoon and late into last night there was a large scale effort in contact tracing and finding temporary accommodation for close contacts of the latest confirmed case. These activities continue to support the district and the state in ensuring numbers of positive cases remain low.

 

Our Horizon Group met again today and discussed suggestions for how we deliver services in the post-COVID environment, harnessing the flexibility and innovation we have employed during this time. A clinical and executive lead will progress these ideas and develop tangible actions and outputs to transform our delivery as an organisation. This will also link in with the culture work we are picking up and progressing – noting we will all need to work collaboratively to ensure this work achieves its potential.

 

Regards

 

Graeme Loy

 

WSLHD Chief Executive

COVID-19 Staff Update,14 May

21/5/20

 

Dear colleagues,

 

We are continuing to pave the way towards a business as usual approach at our services and are now working closely with our oral health services to identify which clinical procedures could resume, while aligning with NSW Health recommendations.

 

COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways, which is why our local experts are developing a plan that will ensure people of our community have sufficient access to the mental health assistance.

 

COVID-19 research is being prioritised around the country. There will be calls for research projects in the areas of diagnostics, prevention, treatment, public and population health and mental health and wellbeing. If you’d like more information, I encourage you to visit the Office for Health and Medical Research website.

 

Keeping staff safe from the spread of COVID-19 is the highest priority. There are new Clinical Excellence Commission videos showing the steps for the safe application of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. The videos are available on My Health Learning.

 

If you have any questions about COVID-19 matters at WSLHD, call our Staff COVID-19 Assist line on 1800 344 733 and our friendly team will be help you.

 

Regards

 

Graeme Loy

 

WSLHD Chief Executive

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