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Clinician Connect

Updates from our clinical networks

23 Feb 2021 Reading time approximately


Read the latest updates on the people involved and progress made across the ACI’s clinical networks, institutes and taskforces.

The Cardiac Network has supported the development of a simple consumer heart failure resource called Your Quick Guide to Heart Failure Wellbeing. It has been developed for people living with chronic heart failure and is provided in the format of an A5 fridge magnet so that the information is easy to access in the everyday home environment. The magnet supports patient self-management in the community and details how to stay well, how to recognise worsening of symptoms early and when to seek help from a health professional.

Feedback was provided by the special interest group at the Consumer Health Forum of Australia, Vision Australia, the Aboriginal Healthy Hearts team at Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD and 40 consumers who participated in focus groups at Ryde, Dubbo, Tweed and Lismore.

The magnet has been distributed to local health districts in NSW; has been translated into a range of community languages; and will be available to download from the ACI website. An Aboriginal artist has been engaged to provide a culturally-appropriate version of the magnet to support Aboriginal people with heart failure.

Find out more about the Cardiac Network.

  • The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement (ACE) Program provides a suite of tools and resources to assist drug and alcohol clinicians to screen for, identify and respond to cognitive impairment in clients seeking treatment for substance use and addiction. This world-first program is nearing completion and we look forward to sharing more about the program in March.
  • Suzie Hudson, Clinical Director at the Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (NADA), has stepped into the role of co-chair for the ACI Drug and Alcohol Network for six months, replacing Tonina Harvey. Tonina has taken on extra duties at the Ministry of Health, Centre for Alcohol and other Drugs, and Suzie will be acting co-chair for this period. Suzie is a strong and passionate advocate for consumers and represents the alcohol and other drugs non-government sector. We thank her for stepping in and bringing her passion and dedication to the position.
  • We welcome Adrian Tait as a new consumer representative to the Drug and Alcohol Network. Adrian comes with lived experience, knowledge from study in the area and practical experience from volunteer and support work in the community. Adrian brings a passion for wanting to contribute to improving care for those experiencing harm as a result of their alcohol and drug use.

Find out more about the Drug and Alcohol Network.

  • The ECI has been busy supporting the COVID-19 Emergency Care Community of Practice. We are also using the COVID-19 response as a catalyst to review the role of ECI in improving emergency care across NSW. Please contact us to express your interest in being involved.
  • In October, the ECI launched the Emergency Procedures App, which has been accessed by more than 4,100 users from 67 countries. Emergency care clinicians can access almost 100 evidence-based medical procedures via the web-based app at http://emergencyprocedures.medapps.com.au
  • Michael Golding has departed the ECI as Clinical Director, and we would like to acknowledge his great achievements in supporting rural and regional emergency care, and driving many clinical resources, including the Pathway for Acute Coronary Syndrome Assessment.
  • We welcome Dr Trevor Chan as our new Clinical Director, immediate past director of St George Hospital ED and NSW Faculty Chair for the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM).
  • Timothy Cooper has finished up as Network Manager of the ECI to further his education and career in medicine. The role is currently open for recruitment.
  • The ECI is pleased to welcome Emergency Medicine Advanced Trainees back to the team in 2021. Completing an ACEM accredited training term, the Advanced Trainees bring valuable clinical skills to the team while also having the opportunity to learn skills in medical administration, quality improvement, innovation and resource development.

Find out more about the Emergency Care Institute.

Find out more about Intensive Care NSW.

ITIM has published its annual data report from the NSW Trauma Registry for the 2019–20 financial year. In that year, there were more than 22,000 admissions for traumatic injuries in NSW, of which more than 3,800 were considered major trauma and admitted to a trauma service.

This report describes how the NSW trauma system responded to major trauma patients, from the time of injury and provision of pre-hospital services, through to in-hospital services provided at a NSW trauma service.

The findings from the report assists ITIM to determine whether the NSW trauma system is functioning effectively; ensuring that the right patient arrived at the right hospital in a timely matter.

Find out more about ITIM.

  • The new Maternity and Neonatal Network is getting up and running, with the team at ACI including Amanda Justice, network manager; Melanie Lewis, project officer; Joanne Sheils, project officer; and Holly Goodwin, project support officer.
  • We have already welcomed some members, but we would like more people to be involved! Find out more about the network and please email us if you are interested in joining the network.
  • We are starting to reach out to stakeholders to commence discussions about their aspirations for innovation in the areas of maternity and neonatal healthcare in NSW, which is an exciting time for our new network.
  • We will soon bring together working groups to focus on key pieces of work and will keep you updated on how to become involved.

Find out more about the Maternity and Neonatal Network.

  • Professor Michael Nicholas is stepping down from his role as co-chair of the Pain Management Network; however, is remaining an active member of the network executive team. We would like to congratulate and thank Professor Nicholas for his contribution to the improvement of the NSW Health system through this role. His involvement with the network began in 2010 and he has been co-chair for the last six years. In this time, his significant achievements include:
    • advocacy, development and adoption of the electronic persistent pain outcomes collaborative tool
    • being intrinsically involved in the development of the NSW Pain Plan and implementation of the model of care
    • provision of expert subject matter material for the Pain Management Network web pages
    • supporting the education and training of multicultural, Aboriginal and primary care health professionals.
  • We welcome Fiona Hodson from CNC Pain Management, Hunter Integrated Pain Service, as our new co-chair. Fiona has been an active member of the Network since 2010 and involved in numerous sub-committees and projects, including President of the Australian Pain Society, 2017–2019. Fiona has previously worked for the ACI as a project officer, developing the Pain Management website and clinician/consumer resources, and has held other acting roles within the ACI, including Acting Pain Network Manager. We look forward to working with Fiona and co-chair Associate Professor Paul Wrigley, to set the strategic direction for the Pain Management Network in 2021.

Find out more about the Pain Management Network.

  • The refreshed Friendly Faces Helping Hands website was launched in October 2020 as part of the Improving the Rural Patient Journey Initiative. The website is the ‘go to’ place for rural families to access practical support and information when healthcare is required a long way from home, kin and country. It contains information on services surrounding 31 major metropolitan and rural referral hospitals to help rural patients and their families navigate city services.
  • The 8th Rural Innovation Changing Healthcare (RICH) Forum will be held on 24 March 2021. The theme of this year’s event is Rural Health Bounding Forwards to showcase how rural health service providers, consumers, communities and other sectors have embraced hope, strength and connectivity moving forward from the hardships imposed by the drought, bushfires and COVID-19 over the last few years.

    Keynote speaker Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, will set the scene sharing his experiences and lessons learned from the devastating Black Summer bushfires in his new role with Resilience NSW, established to oversee emergency management, service delivery and disaster recovery. Register to attend.
  • We currently have two vacant positions on the Rural Health Network Executive for a term of office for up to five years: Aboriginal consumer representative and Aboriginal medical service representative. Expressions of interest can be forwarded to the Network Manager Jenny Preece.

Find out more about the Rural Health Network.

    Vale Sharryn Byers

    In late 2019, neuroscience surgical nursing lost a valued leader and great friend in Sharryn Byers.

    Sharryn developed a great passion for neuroscience surgical nursing, learning and teaching. Through Sharryn’s investigative mind and determination to provide best practice, she developed a love of research and presented many times at the Australasian Neuroscience Nurses Association (ANNA) conferences, presenting prize papers on more than one occasion. Sharryn held many executive posts with both ANNA and the Neurosurgical Network at ACI and was the chairperson for the Neurosurgical Nurses Professional Development Scholarship Committee (NNPDSC) until her untimely passing.

    In the weeks prior to Sharryn’s passing, she was able to stay at home with the help of family, friends and colleagues and she was very grateful for all the care and love she was shown. Sharryn’s battle with cancer was a long and brave journey. Sharryn fought on her own terms and always told us that she would know when it was time to leave. She died on 19 November 2019 in her much-loved Nepean Hospital where she was employed as the CNC for Neurosurgery for the past 10 years surrounded by her family and with the full knowledge that she had achieved all she could and had lived an amazing life.

    Sharryn was a passionate neuroscience nurse to the very end and will be greatly missed by the NNPDSC and the ACI team.

    Find out more about the Surgery Services Taskforce.

  • Christine Parker, Nurse Unit Manager of the Concord Burn Unit, has left to live in Scotland. She has been a member of the SBIS executive since 2004. She has held the co-chair’s position during this time and most recently was the chair of the SBIS Clinical Practice Review Committee. We thank Christine for her dedication and passion over the years to burns care across NSW, Australia and our region.
  • We would like to welcome Renee Giovenco as a new consumer representative to SBIS. Renee comes with the lived experience surviving a severe burn injury when she was a young child. She brings a passion for wanting to contribute to burn care and fellow burn survivors.

Find out more on the Statewide Burn Injury Service.

  • The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Transition Working Group was established in October 2019 and has members from paediatric and adult gastroenterology/IBD services. The group is being led by Dr Astrid-Jane Williams from the Liverpool Hospital IBD Service.

    The group are currently finalising surveys to capture clinician and consumer experiences and to map current IBD services across NSW. With this information, work will commence on the transition checklist and education sessions. If you wish to be involved in the surveys or other aspects of the project, please contact Rachael Havrlant.
  • The ACI Transition Care Service is a statewide care coordination service responsible for supporting young people (aged between 14–25 years) with chronic illness/disability as they move from children’s health services to adult health services. The service has a manager, three transition care coordinators based at Randwick, Westmead and Newcastle and three (part-time) support workers. The coordinators can assist young people from across NSW. For further information, please visit the website and share with interested colleagues.
  • In October 2019, a working group was established to drive the Transition Indicators Project. This aims to identify outcome and experience measures for young people transitioning from paediatric to adult health services.
  • The group has conducted a rapid evidence check on organisational models for transition and the report is in its final stages. Our next step is to participate in roundtable events with clinicians and consumers to gather their perspectives on developing meaningful and useful outcome indicators.
  • The working group will work closely with other projects and groups who are also exploring outcomes measures for transition. If you are interested in this project and would like more information, please contact Rachael Havrlant.
  • Find out more about the Transition Care Network.

Keep up to date on the latest activities across our networks, and get involved in key projects that help drive improvements in healthcare.

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