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About the award

Partnering with patients, their families and carers has never been more important to ensure that patients and carers have positive experiences and outcomes that matter to them. This award acknowledges projects and programs that reflect meaningful and active collaboration between the patient, their families and carers and the health care team to improve health outcomes.

Projects in this category demonstrate innovation in:

  • empowering patients to take control of their health, be supported in managing their own health conditions, whilst ensuring they are treated with kindness and respect
  • shared decision making; recognising that patients, their families and cares are experts in their care, with values and needs that shape their decision making
  • clinicians planning and delivering care and outcomes that matter in partnership with the patient, their family and carer
  • enhancing access to patient centred care for people living with chronic illness
  • promotion of CORE values in all patient, family and carer interactions
  • engaging consumers, carers, and communities in strategic planning and governance processes.

Finalist – Mobile BreastScreen Assessment Services

Murrumbidgee Local Health District


BreastScreen NSW Greater Southern introduced Remote Mobile Assessment Services on the mobile screening van in August 2022. This project is a first in NSW and uses virtual care to complete follow-up tests for women closer to home.

Each year, approximately 10,000 women over 170,000 square kilometres use mobile screening mammography services on mobile vans in rural, regional, and remote areas. Up to 10% of these women are recalled to an assessment clinic for further tests.

The Remote Mobile Assessment Services used existing infrastructure of the mobile screening van, with the addition of 3D imaging equipment. This program enables access for women to undergo further tests while the van is in their local community. Before its establishment, women had to travel up to 7 hours return to access these facilities.

This program has resulted in:

  • a savings benefits in travel time and out of pocket costs for patients
  • improved client satisfaction
  • timeliness of services
  • staff fulfilment.

Following the success of this pilot, BreastScreen NSW funded ultrasound equipment on the current mobile assessment van. This further improves the consumer experience and expands remote mobile assessment functionality to the other mobile vans in NSW.

Finalist – Transforming Patient Care from Hospital to Home

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District


The Virtual Hospital Ward (VHW) has transformed patient care. The program facilitates the safe discharge of patients who would otherwise have to stay in hospital. This patient-centred service allows patients to get well at home through comprehensive remote monitoring of their symptoms and wellbeing.

The aim of this program is to use a patient-friendly virtual platform to monitor health and wellbeing. This supports acute patients to recover at home and reduce the lengths of stay in hospitals.

Patients admitted to the VHW receive daily clinical care and review by a multidisciplinary team. This includes complete remote monitoring of their clinical observations alongside virtual consultations via a provided tablet and equipment.

Since the roll out of the program, over 900 patients have been admitted to the VHW. This has resulted in releasing more than 3000 bed-days in acute hospital settings. Only 1.4% of patients have required representation to the emergency department.

The VHW is crucial in improving patient flow through the acute hospitals whilst providing an opportunity and choice for patients in their recovery.

Finalist – Behavioural Escalation Support Team for patients and staff

Sydney Local Health District


Work-related violence (WRV) in mental health and emergency departments is well researched. However, there is growing evidence highlighting the prevalence of WRV in acute care settings.

The Behavioural Escalation Support Team (BEST) was implemented at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in November 2022. This team role models care and supports and empowers staff in best practice management of patients at risk of or experiencing an acute behavioural disturbance (ABD).

Since the establishment of BEST, there has been a reduction in Code Black incidents. Staff survey results show an 11% increase in confidence, a 13% increase in skills, and a 6% increase in staff awareness of their role, policies, and practices in providing care to patients exhibiting ABD.

Patient and carer feedback has been positive, with comments like: "It's really good to have a service that thinks about my wellbeing as well as my physical health" and "I have genuinely noticed a difference in my mum since BEST have been involved".

BEST clinicians are a visible and accessible resource for all staff. Collaborating with local teams, BEST clinicians spend meaningful time with each patient, helping to identify and understand their unique support requirements. Scaffolding interventions and interactions around patient needs, BEST clinicians then promote consistent care from the broader team.

Finalist – InTouch Residential Aged Care Facility Pathway

Western Sydney Local Health District


Frail and older people are more likely to experience functional and cognitive decline, iatrogenic illnesses, and infections whilst in hospital. In Western Sydney Local Health District, there are approximately 4,300 emergency department (ED) presentations per year of people living in residential aged care facilities. ED presentations impact a person's health and wellbeing and places a high demand on hospital and NSW Ambulance resources.

inTouch Residential Aged Care Facility Pathway aims to reduce ED presentations. The pathway connects older people at risk of an ED presentation or hospitalisation to community care options in an easily accessible way. It is part of an urgent care system that finds a real-time alternative care pathway. Referrals and care navigation to community services mean care can be delivered in residence with minimal disruption to the patient and their welfare.

The pathway has met its first year goals of reducing ED presentations for this group by 30%. Patients are experiencing better outcomes in residential aged care facilities and the ED.

Expansion of this service predicts a 60% ED avoidance rate. This equates to approximately 216 ED avoidances from residential aged care facilities per month by June 30th, 2024. The inTouch Residential Aged Care Facility Pathway has been granted two years of funding as part of the NSW Urgent Care Services initiative commencing in July 2023.


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