‘Delivering the highest standard of patient centred care’: Introducing the new Westmead Hospital Director of Intensive Care

Westmead Hospital has appointed Dr Hemal Vachharajani as Director of Intensive Care Services (ICS), bringing with her an impressive 20 years’ experience and a significant clinical background from various tertiary Intensive Care Units (ICU) across New South Wales.

Hemal’s appointment as Westmead Hospital Director of ICS is a full circle moment, as she first started her career in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) at Westmead Hospital ICS in 2002 as a Junior Registrar, when she successfully completed her ICU training.

From here, she obtained a fellowship from the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) and went on to work as a Junior Consultant at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), Prince of Wales (POW) Hospital and Concord Hospital before returning to Westmead Hospital in 2017.

In addition to her newly appointed role as Director of Intensive Care, Hemal also holds other significant roles across the district, including Senior Staff Specialist, Clinical Lead for Organ and Tissue donation for WSLHD and she has been a supervisor of training for the College of Intensive Care Medicine for the past five years.

With such extensive experience across intensive care medicine The Pulse interviewed Hemal about what continues to interest her in the high-pressure field of ICS and she passionately explained her drive, saying:

“Intensive Care is my passion, and the drive to pursue this field comes from the opportunity to manage critically ill patients with complex medical conditions that requires a deep sense of understanding of multiple organ systems, and the ability to make rapid, high-stake decisions in a timely manner which would have a significant impact on patient outcomes.

“Delivering high-level care requires teamwork and collaboration which is unique to working in ICU and is the cornerstone of delivering excellent patient centred care.

“Being an Intensivist has helped me build resilience and become more adaptable to handle rapidly changing dynamic situations.”

Hemal has a strong vision for what she wants to achieve as Director of Intensive Care.

I hope to create a vibrant and cohesive environment where teamwork, respect, collaboration, and integration are at the forefront, cultivating a culture of openness, transparency, and effective communication, ensuring every member of our team feels valued and empowered to contribute to our shared goal of providing exceptional patient centered care.

Dr Hemal Vachharajani

The ICS is a team of highly driven and motivated clinicians who strongly believe in teamwork, collaboration and integration both within the ICU and with other teams in the hospital and across western Sydney.

We care about the wellbeing and welfare of all our staff and have worked hard to create and maintain a positive, encouraging and well supported work environment for all staff such that they enjoy coming to work at Westmead Hospital ICS.

Dr Hemal Vachharajani

Admission to ICS can vary from an elective admission after major surgery or an emergency admission requiring organ support such as after a car accident, severe pneumonia or other infection, and many other medical conditions that may cause critical illness.

Every patient admitted to Westmead Hospital ICS is seen daily by an ICS Specialist and an update is provided to the patient and/or their family regularly.

I am extremely proud to be a part of Westmead Hospital and WSLHD. To work as an integral part of Westmead Hospital collaborating and functioning as a part of Western Sydney LHD and Intensive Care NSW services.

Dr Hemal Vachharajani

Hemal brings to this role a profound devotion and dedication to the field of intensive care, providing vital support and expertise to staff across WSLHD and the entire western Sydney community.

It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as the Director of Westmead Intensive Care Service to lead and work alongside such a talented and compassionate team dedicated to delivering the highest standard of patient centred care to our community. I am incredibly humbled to be in this role in the unit that trained me to be the Intensivist and the person I am today and is a second home to me.

Dr Hemal Vachharajan