When 2020 came to a close, we thought it was a year never to be repeated. 2021 may have proved those predictions wrong but our health heroes stepped up again, this time to an even greater challenge.
This year’s edition of Lifeblood captures our biggest moments of 2021 – each photo a shining example of our health heroes making a difference.
The unknowns of a global pandemic rivalled with the dedication and sacrifice of our District; proof of what we were capable of in the most difficult of circumstances.
Western Sydney was the epicentre of the Delta outbreak – a more devastating and virulent strain of the virus, and subsequent pressure on our health system like we have never seen before. Our incredible staff tackled COVID-19 – through testing, treating and vaccination.
Public squares became testing clinics, our hospitals transformed both wards and their models of care, and places – from community halls to concert arenas – became vaccination centres.
In the face of the most difficult circumstances, the western Sydney community proved the doubters wrong – they stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and were vaccinated in astonishing numbers to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our entire community.
Frontline workers from across western Sydney worked exceptionally hard to vaccinate Sydneysiders against a virus that has claimed so many lives around the world. Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre, the biggest vaccination in the state, delivered over 360,000 doses. Our vaccination outreach program helped vaccinate vulnerable and priority populations at churches, temples, homeless shelters and even meat processing facilities.
At the same time, our resilience and versatility came to the fore in as we improved services, increased our commitment to research, looked after our staff, and planned for the future of healthcare.
We opened the Central Acute Services Building along with revitalised facilities at Cumberland Hospital and the new Merrylands HealthOne community health centre. Westmead Health Precinct’s Cultural Gathering Place was unveiled to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and the community alike.
At the heart of our District’s work is care. We are always there for the community when they need us most. While our work may not stop, we can take the time to stop and reflect on those who have made our District as successful as we are.
2021 has truly been a year like no other and while we can’t predict what 2022 will be like, we know Western Sydney Local Health District and its health heroes can manage, confront, and overcome any challenge we might be faced with.