New paediatric director to manage an ‘umbrella’ of care for local kids

Artist impression of the new paediatric ward play area at Blacktown Hospital, opening 2019

A new Director of Paediatrics will oversee an ‘umbrella’ of care for local kids, leading paediatric services across western Sydney, including the commissioning of new services at Blacktown Hospital in 2019.

Dr Brett Gardiner, Director of Medical Services at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals said the role is “incredibly important” to the future of the area.

“In 2017 – 2018, we had more than 19,000 paediatric presentations to the Blacktown and Mount Druitt Emergency Departments, and population growth is driving demand for more services closer to home,” said Dr Gardiner.

“We have new paediatric facilities opening at Blacktown in 2019, and this medical leadership role will ensure services across our area deliver the best possible care to our patients and their families.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for an exceptional medical practitioner to lead and transform paediatric services across western Sydney for the benefit of future generations,” he said.

Dr Gardiner said paediatrics would continue to operate in a network of services with specialist centres such as The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, and the wider Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.

“We’ve designed what we describe as an umbrella of care with Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Auburn, Integrated & Community Health, and the specialist hospitals all acting together, like different sections of an umbrella, to create an integrated service for children and families.

“Working closely together under this umbrella approach will make it easier for our services to coordinate with each other, and for parents and caregivers to manage their child’s care at every stage,” he said.

Dr Gardiner said the opening of the new paediatric unit at Blacktown Hospital is 2019 was a key factor in the creation of the new director role.

“Blacktown Hospital services will include new outpatient clinics, designated paediatric emergency and a new ward with carer zones in every room,” said Dr Gardiner.

The continuum of care includes dedicated children’s zones at Blacktown and Mount Druitt emergency departments, inpatient units at both hospitals, paediatric outreach (POS) and Paediatric Acute Review Clinic (PARC).

“The aim is to have the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” said Dr Gardiner.

Paediatrics NUM Sarah Mulqueeney and Paediatric Integration Services Manager Katherine Barry keep an eye on the construction of the new paediatric unit at
Blacktown

The addition of dedicated paediatric surgical services at Blacktown from 2019 means families will no longer need to travel out of the area for a number of surgical procedures.

Currently, some surgery is performed at Blacktown Hospital, but most paediatric surgery is conducted at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, due to the special needs of children and their families.

“Under the umbrella of care, families in the local Blacktown-Mount Druitt area will have the choice of going to their closest hospital for paediatric emergencies, and to stay within the area for clinics and admissions, and increasing numbers of paediatric surgical procedures,” said Dr Gardiner.

“Children with chronic and complex conditions who previously had to travel to Westmead for care will have increased opportunities to have their care delivered locally.”

High level and tertiary services (such as transplants, heart surgery and most cancer treatment) will be available at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for paediatrics, for Blacktown and for western Sydney, and I’d encourage any qualified practitioners to apply for the role,” said Dr Gardiner.

Applications close 19 October 2018. To apply, visit https://nswhealth.erecruit.com.au/ViewJobAd.aspx?Id=18244

For more information about the expansion of services at Blacktown Hospital, visit http://www.bmdhproject.health.nsw.gov.au/Projects/Blacktown-Paediatrics