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About the award

Providing world-class clinical care where patient safety comes first is a key priority for NSW Health. We have a shared vision that patient safety is everyone's responsibility. This award acknowledges a commitment to putting patient safety first every day.

Projects within this category will display patient safety by:

  • leading quality improvement to ensure safer patient care
  • delivering innovative approaches to improving patient safety
  • engaging patients in approaches to improve patient safety
  • demonstrating leadership or role modelling behaviour that puts patient safety first.
  • delivering safe, high-quality reliable care for patients in hospital and other settings.

Joint winner – Towards Zero Suicide in Custody

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network


Towards Zero Suicides in Custody (TZSC) supports the state-wide suicide prevention health initiative. The program is tailored to be effective and accessible for people in adult corrective settings.

The adult prison population face high rates of self-harm and attempted suicide. One in four deaths in custody are unnatural (suicide or self-inflicted causes). In addition, patients generally have little contact with health services in the community.

Towards Zero Suicides in Custody was created to address this need. The program includes layered interventions to create a suicide prevention safety net.

Implementation began in mid-2022 and the program is underpinned by five key themes. These themes are then broken down into 14 separate interventions that targets patients, staff, and stakeholders.

One intervention, the Suicide Prevention Outreach Team, has received over 100 referrals since February 2023. This supports safety planning with at-risk patients. In collaboration with Healing Works, they have created a video series, 'Supporting Mob in Custody'. This series appropriately targets families and carers with an incarcerated loved one and supporting their mental health.

This sophisticated approach to suicide prevention, increases the accessibility of health services and effectively targets at risk-patients.

Joint winner – Multidisciplinary Concussion Service

Northern Sydney Local Health District


Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) is providing Australia-first multidisciplinary concussion service. This service works with the community to provide vital education about concussion. They also run a specialised multidisciplinary clinic to help patients with post-concussion symptoms return safely to school, study, work and sport.

Concussion, a brain injury, is underdiagnosed and can result in missed schooling, worsening symptoms, anxiety, depression, and readmission, if not managed appropriately.

The hospital staff, worked closely with local schools, GPs and sports clubs. They identified a vital need for more education and support around concussion. As a result, the team created an educational video. This video has been adopted for use by the NSW Education Department and New Zealand schools.

They drew on international evidence and established the Concussion Clinic in early 2022. The clinic is made up of a neurologist (paediatric/adult), neuropsychologist and clinical nurse consultant. The multidisciplinary team take a holistic approach to review and manage patients' post-concussive symptoms over 2-4 visits.

In its first year, the weekly clinic treated 51 patients, attracting positive feedback and improving health outcomes. The clinic has been fully booked for the past three months. They have also launched a new telephone service to provide concussion advice to people across Australia.

Finalist – Maternal Transfer Redesign Initiative

NSW Ministry of Health


Ensuring that pregnant women and their babies receive the right care in the right place at the right time is critical to the wellbeing of women, their babies and families. As a result, some women need to be transferred for a higher level of care during their pregnancy.

NSW Ministry of Health identified an opportunity to improve the maternal transfer process. This included improved pathways of escalation, transfer and experience for women, their families and clinicians when higher-level care is required.

A scoping study identified inconsistent processes, inadequate access to specialist advice and support, and some unnecessary transfers.

The Maternal Transfer Redesign initiative is a co-designed and collaborative project. This includes collaboration with obstetric and midwifery clinicians across maternity services in NSW and ACT, NSW Ambulance and key stakeholders in partner agencies. The program has occurred over a four-year period.

The initiative has resulted in:

  • a reduction of clinical variation,
  • improved decision making, and
  • more women being cared for closer to home.

The Maternal Transfer Redesign Initiative has truly improved the experience for women and clinicians without compromising safety during their pregnancy.

Current as at: Tuesday 24 October 2023
Contact page owner: NSW Health