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Volume 10, Issue 4 – August 2017

Clinician Connect

revised Aboriginal Health Impact Statement

Guest Editorial

Geraldine Wilson-Matenga, Director, Centre for Aboriginal Health, NSW Ministry of Health

Geraldine Wilson MatengaA key priority of NSW Health is to provide culturally safe and competent health services for Aboriginal people[i]. At the Centre for Aboriginal Health we aim to achieve this by working to support sustainable, equitable and effective healthcare for Aboriginal people.

Unfortunately, significant disparities in health outcomes persist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Cardiovascular conditions make a substantial contribution to the gap in mortality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. Despite this, evidence shows that Aboriginal people are less likely to call an ambulance when having a heart attack, have lower rates of cardiac procedures and are less likely to participate in cardiac rehabilitation.

One of the ways in which we are working to address this is through the NSW Better Cardiac Care for Aboriginal People Project. Over the last two years we have been working with our partners, including the ACI and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, on this project to improve cardiovascular outcomes by increasing access to services, better managing risk factors and improving coordination of care.

One of the resources which we have developed for services to use in interactions with Aboriginal people is the Better Cardiac Care for Aboriginal People video series. These videos follow the story of Aunty Gloria and cover the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of calling 000. The videos also show what happens to Aunty Gloria in the cardiac catheter laboratory and highlight the importance of cardiac rehabilitation. These videos can be accessed at any time from the NSW Health YouTube page, and used to support patient care by demystifying cardiac and chronic disease care pathways and helping Aboriginal people make informed decisions about their health.

A fourth video, Rayboy’s Story, focusses on acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by these conditions[ii]. In October 2015, acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease became notifiable conditions in NSW. A rheumatic heart disease register has also been established to support the long term care of patients. More information about the acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, including the register can found on the NSW Health Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) website.

Closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal people is everyone’s business however many non-Aboriginal people sometimes feel unsure about how they can best contribute to this goal. The Centre for Aboriginal Health has recently released a new Aboriginal Health Impact Statement. This document will assist you in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people by applying an ‘Aboriginal health lens’ to all NSW Health policies, programs and strategies. We encourage all NSW Health staff to be familiar with this document and apply it to your work. The Centre for Aboriginal Health welcomes any feedback on this resource and if required, is available to provide you with guidance in using this resource effectively.

As always, the Centre for Aboriginal Health is here to support the NSW Health system as we collectively take steps to improve the health of the oldest living culture in the world.

[i] NSW Health. NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013-2023. North Sydney: NSW Government; 2012. Available from:

[ii] RHD Australia [internet]. Burden of Disease; 2017. Available from

Chief Executive Comment

Jean-Frederic Levesque

Dr Jean-Frédéric Levesque

Why does clinical care vary?

All around the world, there is increasing attention to variation in clinical care. Multiple studies have looked at the care provided in surgical fields and in the delivery of acute and chronic care and found that there is wide variation in what patients received and in the outcomes of care that they experience. Recent work by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and by the Bureau of Health Information in New South Wales have illustrated that there is variation in care and outcomes for many conditions.

One may ask: why does clinical care vary? In fact, variation is not in itself a bad thing. First and foremost, clinical care has to vary if it is to respond to the patients’ needs and expectations. Increasingly, clinicians and clinical teams are providing care that is patient-centred (focused on the patient as a person) and engages patients in decisions about their care. The best care for one might not be the best care for all and clinicians have to go beyond clinical guidelines to personalise their approach to maximise the benefits for patients.

Second, care constantly evolves and the introduction of new treatment will inevitably take some time to be scaled all across the system. In fact, innovations often come from variation in healthcare delivery through the appropriate processes of clinical research and experimentation but also through local initiatives and discoveries. An innovative healthcare system uses variation to identify new ways to care and evaluate their outcomes to support their introduction in routine care.

Third, healthcare can sometimes vary according to the proficiency of clinicians with regards to specific therapeutics. In many clinical fields, doctors and other professionals may excel in particular aspects or in particular technical procedures. In instances where there are many acceptable and effective ways to care and cure, everyone should use their specific skills for the benefit of patients. Clinicians should particularly do what they are really good at in instances where there are no guidelines or where guidelines allow for multiple approaches.

Whilst these three instances make variation acceptable, if not required, there are however many causes of what is called unwarranted clinical variation. First, care should not be driven by clinicians’ preferences and financial needs. Increasingly, it is recognised that patients are often subjected to discretionary care or care that has low-value. The number of tests, procedures and treatments that are now seen as ineffective but still provided to many patients is increasing.

Second, clinical care should not vary according to the level of training and competency of providers. It is now increasingly recognised that healthcare provided in emergency departments and hospitals, and to a lesser extent in primary care practices, often causes harm. The provision of reliable and resilient care to ensure patients’ safety should not vary according to where you live and is now more than ever seen as a minimum requirement.

Third, variation in clinical care and outcomes should not be due to variation in funding and allocation of resources or in the local delivery systems. Some examples are variation in surgical wait times and surgical outcomes that arise from variation in allocation of resources across hospitals  and variation rates of invasive procedures generated by lack of less aggressive procedures.

Of course healthcare systems are dynamic and change takes time. But it is paramount that we all start to look at variation in clinical care and clinical outcomes trying to decipher when variations is expected and desired and when variation is not expected and unwarranted. Only then can we start to focus on reducing the right variation through quality and safety assurance processes and through quality improvement and clinical innovation programs.

ACI Update

New innovation exchange tools

The Innovation Exchange provides a collaborative place online to share and promote local innovation and improvement projects and resources.

There are now over 300 projects on the Innovation Exchange which showcase the great work that is happening, promote innovations and improvements to health services, and recognise the commitment and expertise of staff working in the NSW Health system.

We have updated the Innovation Exchange toolkit and created a short video to help you collect the relevant information on your project and develop a high-quality summary that will be published on the Innovation Exchange. We recommend you refer to the toolkit as you’re drafting your Innovation Exchange submission, as it provides helpful advice at each stage of the process. If you have any questions along the way, we’re always happy to help.

Cultural Competency

The ACI celebrated NAIDOC week by hosting a number of learning events for staff.

An ‘8 Ways of Learning’ workshop was held in June to introduce ACI staff to the 8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning; a teaching framework that uses Aboriginal learning techniques such as narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on and reflective techniques, use of symbols and metaphors, land-based learning and community links. The workshop was facilitated by Emma Webster, Senior Lecturer Rural Research, University of Sydney and Sharon Taylor, Aboriginal Health Educator, Health and Education Training Institute. Workshop participants were given the opportunity to apply the learning framework to current ACI projects to increase their knowledge, skills and competence.

8 Ways of Learning illustration


In July, ACI staff were invited to attend a workshop to learn about the revised Aboriginal Health Impact Statement (PD2017_004). The workshop included presentations from ACI staff and representatives from the Centre for Aboriginal Health. Participants were then given the opportunity to complete the Impact statement for a number of current ACI programs.

Applying an ‘Aboriginal health lens’ to programs at an early stage aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people by ensuring the health needs of Aboriginal people are carefully considered. It also assists to identify opportunities to improve access to healthcare, achieve equity, develop effective partnerships and conduct meaningful consultations.

Key learnings participants reported included the following:

  • Start early, it’s a living document and you can add to it throughout your process.
  • Get support, talk to someone who’s done it before.
  • Don’t do it alone, work on it in a small group so you get a range of perspectives in the conversation.
  • Exploring undesired impacts and consequences at the start of project is useful.
  • It helped us realise where opportunities are and identify work already underway.
  • Completing the AHIS can really add value to your project.

The ACI has produced a short animation and information sheet to help embed this practice across the organisation and guide staff through the process.

Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network

Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Network (ACCN), which will work to improve the experience and healthcare of Aboriginal people with a chronic disease in NSW. To achieve this, the ACCN will guide and support the process of evidence-based reform in health services by developing, promoting and implementing new initiatives, frameworks and models of care. It will do this by enhancing and supporting the integration of care for Aboriginal communities accessing chronic care services in NSW in accordance with ACI values.

Membership to the ACCN is open to anyone with an interest or expertise in Aboriginal chronic care in NSW. We welcome members from community as well as health and social services, government and non-government organisations, and educational institutions.

The Network will call upon the experiences and skills of members to find opportunities to better respond to the needs and priorities of Aboriginal people with chronic disease.

The current focus of the Network is to promote membership. Over time, an executive group will be established to represent interdisciplinary membership including clinicians, consumers, and managers. Expressions of interest from within the ACCN membership will be called for this Executive group.

Aboriginal artist, Jasmine Sarin has been commissioned to design artwork for the Network. The artwork signifies the complex interrelations of health in our communities. The artwork represents the connection between individual health and health of our communities, culture and spirit.

How to join:

Complete the Join a Network form or contact via email for a membership form.

Aged Health

Aged Health Network

New Co-Chair

Welcome to Debra Donnelly who is the new co-chair of the Aged Health Executive. Debra joins us from SLHD where she is currently the Clinical Manager, Aged Care - Rehabilitation, General Medicine, Chronic and Ambulatory Care and General Practice. She has been part of the Aged Health Executive for the past six years, an active member of the Aged Health Network participating in working groups and projects.

Save the Date

The 5th Aged Health Collaborative Forum - Older people’s care experiences and outcomes: promoting good care is being held on 20 October 2017 at Liverpool Hospital.

Blood and Marrow Transplant Network

Blood and Marrow Transplant Network

Environmental Cleaning Forum

The Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Network held a BMT Environmental Cleaning Forum on the 16 June. This forum was established to bring together likeminded individuals who have been involved in the Environmental Cleaning Project, and/or who share an interest in the importance of hospital cleanliness and the role of hospital cleaners.

Richard Makin, BMT Network & Quality Manager, opened the programwith an in-depth presentation into the ACI’S BMT Environmental Cleaning Project’s past process, achievements, and further recommendations. Joe-Anne Bendall, the Program Manager from the Clinical Excellence Commission’s Healthcare Associated Infections Program, provided an overview of the NSW Environmental Cleaning Policy (PD_2012_061), and insights into the future of the policy after its review later this year. This, alongside Joe-Anne’s collaborative workshop with Iain Crawford (CEC HAI Project Officer), was very well received by the diverse audience that attended the event.

The event successfully brought together a diverse range of stakeholders including clinical governance, nurses and cleaners. This event facilitated networking and discussions surrounding innovative quality improvements, as well as newer technologies available.

Thank you to the amazing presenters Jenny Green (Health Infrastructure), Bill Bassett, Karen Morton (CCLHD), Rob Gordon (SVHN), Ron Marks (SLHD), Gai Fairham (SWSLHD), and Wendy Johnson, Casey Hutchinson and Alyssa Daniel (HNELHD) for sharing their work, ideas and ways of working.

Centre for Healthcare Redesign update

Junior Medical Officer Quality and Safety Forum

The 2017 Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Quality and Safety Forum brought together JMOs and medical students in a one-day workshop. The day provided an opportunity for JMOs to hear from senior medical leaders, who shared their passion and experience in improving care, and from other JMOs who had been supported to start up quality and safety projects and programs within local health districts.

JMOs play a key role in delivering frontline health services around the clock. They can be exposed to challenging clinical situations and care processes, yet often they lack the ability, time and influence to make changes. At the same time, many quality and safety initiatives being implemented within hospitals require JMOs to change their practices, yet they are rarely involved in determining how to do this.

The forum addressed this by:

  • sharing strategies on how to develop a JMO quality and safety committee
  • developing professional networks in order to effect change
  • discussing the benefits to patients, organisations and the JMOs themselves of participating in quality and safety programs.

During the workshop, JMOs learned the fundamentals of clinical audits and identified workplace quality and safety problems, to which they applied several improvement tools to work though solutions to these problems in a structured manner.

The 2017 forum was organised by a number of JMO representatives, supported by Sarah Dalton, ACI Clinical Lead, and the Centre for Healthcare Redesign, along with HETI and CEC representatives.

The evaluations from the day were very positive. At the conclusion of the day JMOs expressed a strong desire to engage more with senior medical staff and LHD leaders in continuing their learning and improvement journey. They also highlighted a need for a mechanism for continued engagement and support which is being planned. Early planning is underway for a further JMO Quality and Safety Awards Showcase in late 2017 which will enable JMOs to share their projects and learning.

Participants at the forum
Participants at the forum
Photo credit: AMSA National Convention 2017

Chronic Care for Aboriginal People update

Chronic Care for Aboriginal People update

Innovations in Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Forum

Over 200 people participated in the Innovations in Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Forum held on June 20 at the Kirribilli Club. This was the first forum hosted by the Chronic Care for Aboriginal People team at ACI. Thirty-nine abstracts were received and 15 were chosen for oral presentations. The majority of these were from local health districts and many included partnerships with primary health networks, Aboriginal community controlled health services, non-government organisations and universities.

Uncle Chikka Madden from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council provided Welcome to Country to acknowledge the Cammeraigal People of the Eora Nation.

MC was Troy Combo, Healthy for Life Site and Programs Manager at Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation in Casino.

The power of patient stories was demonstrated through Elvis’ story from the Pain Management Network. The artwork displayed by the Pain Management Network was very well received and a great addition to the forum. (See Pain Management Network [internal link here] update for more information)

Keynote speaker, Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman, Head, Indigenous & Children’s Group, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, was extremely well received and used recent data to provide a snapshot of the health and social determinants for Aboriginal people in NSW and Australia. These statistics in particular generated discussion amongst the audience.

  • Mental health, injuries, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory diseases attribute to 64% of the total chronic disease burden for Aboriginal people in Australia.
  • A total of 190,227 years are lost due to premature death or living with an illness for Aboriginal Australians.

Dr Al-Yaman commented that addressing social and cultural determinants is critical to closing the gap, together with health initiatives. View the program, film, posters and presentations

Very positive feedback was received from participants and the team looks forward to planning the 2018 forum.

Infographic from Innovations in Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Forum explaining attendee feedback

Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman during her keynote presentation
Photos by: Madeline Johns, ACI

Institute of Trauma and Injury Management Update

NSW Trauma Wins NSW iAward

Recently the NSW Trauma app was submitted to Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) NSW iAwards in the Public & Government sector where it was awarded a Merit Certificate and an entry into the Australian iAwards in August this year.

The NSW Trauma App is the only app in Australasia, to incorporate best-practice standards and geolocational information about trauma centres and addresses two key needs.

  1. The trauma community’s wish for a modern portable, versatile, point-of-care decision-support tool for all things trauma, that assists with standardising trauma care.
  2. NSW Health’s need to improve and maintain quality and safety in healthcare.

The NSW Trauma app ensures clinicians are supported in the care of the trauma patient and are able to manage and meet the needs of the specific traumatically injured patient. This app is developed for all medical, nursing and allied health clinicians of NSW Health, and NSW Ambulance clinicians who care for patients in the first 24-48 hours following their injury.

It overcomes the issue of limited access to clinical resources by using mobile technology that is independent from the public health intranet systems. It is preferred by the increasingly technologically-native workforce, is cost-effective for the government as no additional infrastructure is required, and is free to download by the end users.

In using this app, clinicians have timely access to safe and appropriate trauma treatment choices inclusive of:

  • guidelines from NSWAS and Local Health Districts
  • international trauma calculators , checklists and clinical timestamps
  • NSW Health facility information, resources, and contacts (200 facilities).

A short video was developed to better explain the functions and usability of the app. For more information on this initiative please see the NSW Trauma App website

Emergency Care Institute Update

Manager, Emergency Care Institute Update

New Clinical Director, Emergency Care Institute NSW

Dr Michael GoldingDr Michael Golding has been appointed as the Clinical Director, Emergency Care Institute NSW. Michael has extensive emergency medicine experience working in Australia and abroad. Michael will commence in September 2017 when he completes his sabbatical working as a consultant at Queens Hospital in London. He will continue to work part time as a consultant at Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, where he was the ED Director until 12 months ago.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Associate Professor Sally McCarthy for her leadership of the ECI over the last six years during her two terms as Clinical Director. As inaugural Clinical Director, Sally led the establishment of the ECI in NSW and oversaw the ECI throughout this formative period, achieving strong engagement with emergency care stakeholders and supporting the interests of ED clinicians and consumers across NSW. We wish her well in her future endeavours.


IC NSW Manager

Reducing the risk of vascular air embolism related to central line removal

Intensive Care NSW (ICNSW) and the Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network responded to an increase in Vascular Air Embolism adverse events by engaging with expert clinicians to develop resources to manage risk and increase patient safety.

In 2016 an animation Remove Central Lines Supine was developed by members of both groups with consultation with the Clinical Excellence Commission.

In July 2017 the animation has been added to the front page of the IICNSW webpage, and is embedded with other resources for central venous access devices and vascular air embolism.

The animation takes less than 2 minutes to view, and presents a clear message that central lines are removed supine.

A fact sheet is also available to support clinicians in recognition and management of patients with increased risk of vascular air embolism. Share from the Vimeo page.

Nutrition Network Update

Program Manager

Introducing Kate Fletcher

Kate FletcherTanya Hazlewood is taking extended leave from the end of July 2017 to mid-February 2018. We would like to welcome Kate Fletcher who will be acting as the ACI Nutrition Network Manager.

Kate was highly involved in the development of the ACI Nutrition Standards for Consumers of Mental Health Services in NSW and the Nutrition and Mental Health Toolkit. Kate has previously worked as the Unit Department Head of Dietetics and Nutrition at Auburn Hospital, Allied Health Senior Program Officer at Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) and Senior Dietitian in Hunter New England Local Health District.

Enhancing implementation of ‘My Food Choice’

The ACI Nutrition Network is continuing to work with HealthShare NSW to support the implementation of a new food service delivery model in hospitals across NSW.

The Enhancing ‘My Food Choice’ (MFC) project, led by Melanie Schier, ACI Clinical Advisor, -, aimed to support clinical services during implementation. In collaboration with HealthShare NSW it achieved the following.

  • A baseline survey that determined knowledge, needs and attitudes related to the MFC model.
  • Established a community of interest and hosted forums for clinical staff.
  • Presented to a range groups on the clinical impact of MFC.
  • Assisted in the development of enhancements to the menu management IT system to meet clinical needs.
  • Developed of a short video about MFC, including the roles of the clinicians.

Evaluation results and feedback from these activities demonstrate improvements in knowledge, awareness and timely resolution of MFC implementation issues. The project highlighted the need for ongoing clinical engagement using a variety of methods.

Further information about the MFC is available on the HealthShare NSW intranet Food Services page. (internal NSW Health only link).

My Food Choice Clinical Stakeholder Forum 29 May 2017

Dietitian Assistant Forum 15 May 2017

Photos by: Tanya Hazlewood

NSW Gastrostomy training program pilot

The ACI Nutrition Network is collaborating with the Institute of Academic Surgery and the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Local Health District to develop NSW’s first ongoing training program in gastrostomy care for health professionals.

The training program will consist of eLearning modules and practical face-to-face training. Participants will be required to complete a supervision component within their own workplace.

The training program was piloted in July 2017 with a small group of clinicians including dietitians, nurses, medical students and an ambulance officer. It will be officially launched later in 2017.

It builds on the ACI Gastroenterology and Nutrition Network’s A Clinician’s Guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices

Gastrostomy Training Program Pilot 24-25 July 2017
Phots by: Michelle Harrison and Tanya Hazlewood

Pain Management Network Update

Pain Management Network

The Pain Management Network has been working with Aboriginal communities across NSW over the past two years. The aim of this work is to make information about chronic pain and its management accessible to all Aboriginal people and communities. A broad consultation approach has been adopted seeking input from managers, health workers, Elders and community. This has resulted in a multipronged approach, which includes the development of tools and resources that will be available on the pain management network website, under a new logo that will identify Aboriginal resources.

The logo has been chosen from submissions in a statewide competition. Thirteen pieces of Aboriginal art have been purchased for exhibition and display at appropriate events. Reprints of the 13 pieces have been distributed across Aboriginal Medical Services, Chronic Disease Management Services, pain clinics and other Aboriginal health and community services.

The successful logo artwork, depicting the story of pain, is below and will feature on the website. A series of films will be available through the Steering Committee, telling the story of Aboriginal people from across NSW who have learned to manage pain. Fact sheets and other stories developed by and for Aboriginal people will also be available. We have also commenced health worker training in pain management across a number of LHDs.

A conversation about pain and its management has started in Aboriginal communities with the intention to improve access to evidence-based services.

Danielle Mate Sullivan 2017

Danielle is a proud Kunja woman, who uses her experiences to inspire her art. She was born in Fairfield, a great distance from Brewarrina where her mother came from. The traditional symbols used in her art are enough to tell the story depicted, similar to the way her ancestors have told their stories for thousands of years.

The artwork has various traditional symbols and colours, symbolic of different aspects of a healthy life. The hues of purple used in the artwork represent a sense of calm and minimal stress, with the reds, yellows and oranges representing pain and the flair ups that can occur for someone living with chronic pain. The green and white around the edge of the artwork is symbolic for the healthy life that people strive for.

The artwork contains symbols of bush tucker, healthy eating and exercise. The artwork illustrates the support networks people living with chronic pain form around them, and the black line throughout the artwork symbolises the long, continuous journey people with chronic pain go through.

Patient Reported Measures (PRMs) Program

Manager, Patient Reported Measures (PRMs) Program

Program update

The Patient Reported Measures (PRMs) Program has been running since 2015 as an important enabler of the NSW Health Integrated Care Strategy. The program has aimed to enable patients to provide direct timely feedback about their health related outcomes and experiences to drive improvement and integration of health care across NSW. A formative evaluation of the program has now been completed following wide consultation with a range of stakeholders which included a series of interviews, focus groups and system reviews. The evaluation commenced late February 2017 and has focussed on the design of the program, early implementation and early outcomes. The findings from the evaluation will be shared along with the lessons learnt and you can follow along on the PRMs webpage to keep up to date with the program.

The PRMs Program has also recently released the new online eLearning module Creating Positive Change. This is the 4th educational module in the series and focuses on how Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) can be used to create positive change in quality improvement initiatives. The module takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and includes a range of scenarios to help demonstrate the value that PRMs can provide for a service. The modules are hosted on the ACIs’ e-Learning site, and are free to access. If you have not yet used the e-Learning site, you will be prompted to register your details, set a password, and choose the course of interest.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the Program Manager.

State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) - Network Update

Manager, State Spinal Cord Injury Service

The State Spinal Cord Injury Service is undertaking a project to develop an improved and enhanced model of care for children and adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) in NSW. The diagnostic phase was completed in 2016 and the Diagnostic Report and previous newsletters outlining the background and diagnostic phase of the project are available online.

The aims of the current solution design phaseof the project are to:

  • further develop the model of care
  • source and analyse the data on inpatient and non-inpatient activity by people with a SCI across public health services in NSW
  • identify priorities for improvement.

A workshop was held on 16 June 2017 with over 80 participants including people with SCI, and representatives from all clinical disciplines and senior management involved in health services for people with SCI.

The aims of the workshop were to:

  • provide an overview of key findings in the Diagnostic Report
  • provide an overview of the key features of the proposed SCI model of care
  • gain feedback and refine the proposed model of care
  • consider issues for the implementation of the model of care.

The presentations are available on the Workshop web page. The model of care document is expected to be finalised and available for circulation by the end of 2017.

The project is led by a project team and a Project Executive Planning Committee. This committee reports to the SSCIS Steering Committee, co-chaired by a representative of the chief executives of the two LHDs which host spinal specialist services, Northern Sydney LHD and South Eastern Sydney LHD.

For further information please contact Frances Monypenny, or phone 02 9464 4616.

Selina Rowe, Manager, Spinal Outreach Service, presenting her talk titled 'Life after SCI Rehab - Community Integration Post SCI' at the Model of Care for Spinal Cord Injury Workshop, 16 June 2017
Photo by: Rob Wilkins

Stroke Network

Manager, Stroke Network

Stroke Quality Improvement Partnership  Learning Forum 1

The ACI Stroke and Rehabilitation Networks have commenced a stroke quality improvement partnership (SQIP) to implement evidence based quality improvement projects in stroke care. The aim of the project is to improve patient outcomes, reduce unwarranted variation in clinical practice, improve consistency of care, and reduce the difference between theory and practice.

On the 29 June, the first SQIP had its first Learning Forum. This forum was attended by over forty nominated doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and managers that have committed to be part of the SQIP.

This initial forum developed clinicians’ understanding of how to access local data to inform improvement and drive change, through presentations from Ben Smith, Director of Service Utilisation & Activity Modelling, NSW Ministry of Health, and Claire O’Connor, ACI Rehabilitation Network Manager. This was reinforced with clinical examples by Fiona Ryan, Western NSW LHD and Susan Day, Northern Sydney LHD, as well as an update on the Stroke Foundation’s Clinical Guidelines by Justine Watkins.

Quality improvement methodology was presented by Jessica Drysdale, ACI Implementation Support Manager and Kate Jackson, ACI Stroke Network Manager. Participants developed further understanding and skills using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSAs) cycles, which included investigating the barriers and enablers to changes, prioritisation, and implementation. The SQIP is supported by a website, where clinicians will share learnings across the state.

Kate Lloyd A/Director ACI Acute Care Portfolio opening the Stroke Quality Improvement Partnership Lloyd, A/Director, ACI Acute Care Portfolio opening the Stroke Quality Improvement Partnership (Learning Set 1)

Transition Care

Manager, Transition Care Network

2017 Australian Association for Adolescent Health Conference

The Biannual Australian Association for Adolescent Health Youth Health Conference was held at the University of Technology Sydney, 6-7 July 2017.The conference theme, ‘Youth Health, Research, Policy, Practice: Tying it All Together’, focused on inequality, marginalised groups of young people, innovation in clinical care and programs, translating research into practice and how different sectors work together.

The event featured keynote speeches from Megan Mitchell, the National Children’s Commissioner, Dr Bronwyn Milne, Consultant Paediatrician and Adolescent Health Specialist,, Tim Sharp, Young Australian of the Year nominee and artist, and Keely Johnson, cancer survivor, musician, health advocate and fundraiser - a truly inspirational young person dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer.

Lynne Brodie, Transition Care Network Manager, presented two papers. The first on behalf of the ACI urinary incontinence working group was titled Tying it all together: using co-design to learn from the experiences of children, young people, parents and clinicians to improve the management of urinary incontinence. The second provided an overview of the achievements of the ACI Transition Care Network and the collaboration with Trapeze as part of the NSW Transition Model.

The NSW Minister for Health, Hon. Brad Hazzard, launched the NSW Youth Health Framework 2017-2024 which highlights the overall vision and goals identified by NSW health for young people. View the Framework

Hon Brad Hazzard launching the NSW Youth Health Policy
Hon Brad Hazzard launching the NSW Youth Health Policy

Keynote speaker, National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell
Keynote speaker, National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell

Keynote speaker, National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell
Keynote speaker, National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell

Photos by: L. Brodie

Inaugural Transition Graduation at John Hunter Children’s Hospital

The inaugural Hunter New England Local Health District HNEKidshealth transition graduation ceremony held on 14 June 2017, celebrated the transition of 12 young people to adult health services. Graduates were nominated by their paediatric clinicians and all have had a long association with John Hunter Children’s Hospital or community paediatric health services. The ceremony provided an opportunity to formally acknowledge the young person’s health journey to young adulthood and highlighted transition as a significant life event. Saying goodbye is important for everyone involved including paediatric clinicians who may have treated the young person for many years.

Six-time Paralympian Christie Dawes, provided a motivating speech and the young people were formally presented with a certificate and signature bear for their clinicians to sign. They were entertained by the Captains from Starlight Children’s Foundation and a photo booth was available to capture their special day. The ceremony was coordinated by Angie Myles, ACI Transition Coordinator and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Improving Management of Urinary Incontinence in Children and Young People

For the past year, the ACI Transition Care and Urology Networks have been leading a project to improve the management of urinary incontinence in children and young people. One of the outcomes has been development of a schema which aims to improve clinical outcomes through timely, evidenced based information for primary care clinicians. The Western Sydney HealthPathways Program Team has recently invited clinicians to participate in a working group to develop a pathway based on this schema. Although the pathways are primarily designed for a primary care audience, they are available to all health and human services professionals in the Western Sydney area.

Farewell to Dawn Vernon

Dawn Vernon It is with regret that we farewell Transition Care Coordinator for South Eastern area, Dawn Vernon, who has resigned for a sea change to the Gold Coast. Dawn has been in the role for two years and has established strong links with Trapeze and the LHDs in her area. The position which is now based with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Youth Health Team in the Bright Alliance Building at Randwick, will be advertised in the near future and we wish Dawn every success and happiness in her new role with Queensland Health.