From advances in patient experience to new dedicated Aboriginal health services for women, the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) annual Best of the West Quality Awards has honoured another year of transformative care for the western Sydney community.
Held at Commbank Stadium in the heart of Parramatta, the evening marked a celebration of clinical excellence and innovation from clinicians, academics and care teams.
More than 100 submissions were put forward for this year’s awards from a diverse range of staff and services in WSLHD. Awards winners were nominated by peers and management from a selection of finalists.
The evening, hosted by Network 10 reporter, Daniel Doody, is the calendar event of the year for the District, which comprises Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Auburn, Cumberland and Westmead hospitals. NSW Health Secretary, Susan Pearce, was also in attendance.
WSLHD Chief Executive, Graeme Loy, said the exemplary work produced in western Sydney is a testament to the passion and dedication of the staff.
“I am so proud to showcase the special projects and ideas that our people have developed in the last year. We are leading the way on an international scale with the research produced here in western Sydney, and this event is a great way to honour all of the hard work it takes to get such spectacular results,” he said.
“Our people are not only delivering world-class care, but thinking critically about how we can make an even bigger impact on our western Sydney community.
“We are pursuing ideas which are impacting the quality of care that our patients receive and committing resources to the accessibility of our services for our diverse population.
Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners for another outstanding year.”
WSLHD Executive Director – Clinical Governance, Peter Hockey, echoed these sentiments.
“I have been extremely impressed with the calibre of submissions, which made choosing the winners harder than anticipated, but really highlights the extent to which WSLHD staff are committed to innovation and quality improvement initiatives,” he said.
Categories for the awards celebrated on the night included:
|Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare Award |
Winner: Protecting our future Aboriginal population
The team implemented a new approach to care to enhance equity of access, and reduction in the burden of disease for our current population. As a result, 100% of Aboriginal families at Westmead Hospital in 2023 are offered a culturally sensitive perinatal care. Quit smoking rates during pregnancy increased from 28% to 43% and the inclusion of non-Aboriginal pregnant women with an Aboriginal baby increased the intergenerational impact by 20%.
|Patient Safety First Award |
Winner: Detecting Dental Disease in Children from Intra-Oral Photographs
Instead of a face-to-face dental assessment, intra-oral photographs captured on smartphones is used to make clinical diagnosis. Results show a good concordance between photographic assessment and visual examination. This is the first time Paediatric Dental trialled this method.
|People and Culture Award |
Winner: FLASH – Fostering Leadership Across Systems in Health
This program is a seven-month evidence based initiative built by clinical educators for clinicians. This includes a full day interprofessional education (IPE) workshop on Change Management.
|Education and Training Award |
Winner: Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE)
This one-hour virtual reality experiential dementia training program helps staff feel more confident when caring for patients with dementia. Training was offered to 660 clinicians across WSLHD, with 334 attending the training. The VR component allows clinicians to virtually get out of bed and navigate to the toilet whilst experiencing sensory disturbance, disorientation and frustration.
|Keeping People Healthy Award |
Winner: Catch-up School Vaccination Project 2022
This project aimed to deliver 15,000 extra vaccines to high school children across 2022, restoring vaccination rates to pre-pandemic targets. A total of 13,145 vaccines were administered, which was an increase of 71% of HPV dose, 19% dTpa and 18% MecACWY vaccine update.
|Health Research and Innovation Award |
Winner: Mu-Catheter for Treatment of High Blood Pressure
This project saw the development of Mu, a microwave emitting catheter for renal denervation (RDN) to inactivate hyperactive kidney nerves that drive high blood pressure and a method to confirm successful denervation at the procedure. Through broad collaboration and partnerships, medical device innovation and development is possible within LHDs, driven by clinical need and with potential immense health benefits through commercialisation.
|Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award |
Winner: Use, treat and escalate
This project saw the creation of the ABCs Mental Health Observation Chart to provide nursing staff with a relevant comprehensive assessment for patients presenting to ED with mental health issues. This assists with identification, intervention and the value of nursing assessment. This program has seen a 30% reduction in time taken for a mental health review in ED across a six-month period.
|Transforming Patient Experience Award |
Winner: inTouch Residential Aged Care Facility Pathway
This program creates alternative community care pathways for older people residing in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) across WSLHD. As of March 2023, the service has received 3131 referrals of residents living in 71 RACFs across all local government areas within WSLHD boundaries. This has achieved over 981 ED avoidances in 12 months. Overall, the Emergency Department avoidance rate is 31% for this period. Winner: Providing Mental Health Support to the Homeless Population in Western Sydney This program provides mental health support to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless. This has resulted in a reduction in hospitalisations, more engagement and consumers have secured accommodation and employment.
|Integrated Value Based Care Award |
Winner: Preventing Fractures at Westmead Hospital: Putting Patients First
This service has identified over 400 patients requiring osteoporosis screening, and developed home-based treatment options and personalised management plans.
|Health Care Quality Committee (HCQC) Chair’s Award for Commitment to Quality Improvement Award |
Winner: Reducing Postpartum Haemorrhage
This program aims to reduce postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and improve patient outcomes by evaluating staff awareness of the policy and required actions through education and change management. Since this initiative began, data collected for PPH showed incidences greater that 1500mls fell from 107 in 2020 to 23 in 2023. The implementation of education, simulations and medication management, the team is reducing maternal morbidity and improving patient outcomes.
|People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Health Professionals Bank |
Winner: Little Smiles Program, Day Surgery Unit, Westmead Hospital
|Collaborative Team of the Year Award |
Winner: WSLHD Drug Services
|Young Leader of the Year Award |
Winner: Hayley Lidbury, Quality and Accreditation Manager, Clinical Governance
|Bright sparQ Award |
Winner: Luke Chalkley, Asset Maintenance Manager, Mount Druitt Hospital
|Volunteer of the Year Award |
Winner: Matthew Jaenke, WSLHD Consumer Representative, Drug Health Services
|WSLHD Board Chair’s Award |
Winner: Improving Access to Community Paediatrics for Families, Child and Family Health, Integrated and Community Health & Department of Paediatrics & Neonatology Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals
|Chief Executive’s Exceptional Contribution Award |
Winner: Peter Smith, Senior Anaesthetist, Westmead Hospital