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About the award

The Secretary’s Award recognises initiatives that support NSW Health’s vision for a sustainable health system to deliver outcomes that matter to patients, is personalised, invests in wellness and is digitally enabled.

The move to value is being accelerated through local initiatives and state-wide programs including Leading Better Value Care (LBVC), Integrated Care and Commissioning for Better Value.

Nominations for this category will need to demonstrate they are improving the different aspects of value:

  • health outcomes that matter to patients 
  • the experience of receiving care 
  • the experience of providing care 
  • the effectiveness and efficiency of care.

The award acknowledges innovative projects and programs which promote:

  • building new and innovative partnerships between the public, private and/or non-government sectors to ensure access to the best possible health care for all residents of NSW 
  • partnering with community-based organisations to provide services for patients in the community 
  • defining business models for purchasing services and creating sustainable incentives for both purchaser and provider leading to improved patient outcomes, productivity and efficiencies 
  • creating formal links between primary, community and hospital services to deliver health care that meets the needs of patients over time and delivers the best possible health outcomes 
  • care provided in appropriate, cost effective settings that are close to home, keeping people well and out of hospital wherever possible 
  • seamless transitions between hospital, primary, community, residential and aged care settings 
  • innovative funding models, governance arrangements, and information technology solutions that support a sustainable, integrated system of care 
  • engaging consumers and clinicians to develop person-centred models of care that are efficient, effective and sustainable, and promote individual responsibility for health 
  • partnerships which demonstrate and promote CORE values through the provision of integrated care across organisations in partnership with clinicians, patients and their families and carers.

Winner - NSW Health Pathology: Pathogen Genomics


Transcript - Winner - NSW Health Pathology's Pathogen Genomic

Finalist - HealthShare NSW: Whole of Government approach to Personal Protective Equipment


Transcript - Whole of Government approach to Personal Protective Equipment

In response to COVID-19, HSNSW Procurement and Supply Chain Operations joined representatives from seven other NSW Government agencies in March 2020 as part of a newly formed Premier’s Procurement Group. Concurrently, a Whole of Government Warehouse operation was established to manage the distribution and storage of large volumes of PPE.

It quickly became evident that the clinical product knowledge, supplier relationships and health-related warehousing and logistics expertise of the HSNSW team would be invaluable in leading the central WGW operation covering eight critical PPE categories – including eyewear, gloves, gowns, masks and sanitiser.

By August 2020, HSNSW had established a small team of five overseeing the largest medical stockpile in Australia (at its peak growing to 22 warehouses) to a very high degree of accuracy. Total PPE spend increased significantly during this period - from $30M per annum pre-COVID to $1.3B since March 2020.

Their important work has meant that, at any time over the last 18 months, NSW Health has been able to track supplies, provide reports on product availability and calculate the value of stock on hand to guide the Premier and the State Emergency Operations Centre on the NSW pandemic response.

Finalist - Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District: Allied Health working together to avoid unnecessary hospital admission


Transcript - Allied health working together to avoid unnecessary hospital admission

In 2019, there was limited access to acute at-home allied health services for elderly patients who presented to ED with a medical episode and at risk of admission to hospital, in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. This resulted in increased hospital admissions in this patient group. The aim of the project was to develop agreed selection criteria, appropriate for referral to an allied health out-reach team and avoid admission in 80% of accepted patients over six months.

In the second half of 2020, a dedicated Allied health Quick Access Response Team (QuART) was initiated to provide at home allied health services for elderly patients (>65 years) to allow discharge from ED with the aim of avoiding admission.

A novel trans-professional model of allied health care was developed for the six allied health disciplines involved in the team, resulting in collaborative patient-centered care, improved patient satisfaction, reduced average bed/days and cost savings.

206 patients were accepted into the program over the period of the pilot. The initiative resulted in 92% discharged safely with some requiring referral for follow-up allied health services.

Most referrals (60%) related to admission avoidance (patients referred to the program from ED), 27% to facilitation of early discharge, and 13% to other referrals, including from community services.

Finalist - NSW Health Pathology: Pathogen Genomics


Transcript - NSW Health Pathology's Pathogen Genomics

A multidisciplinary team of elite clinical scientists, translational researchers and clinicians at NSW Health Pathology’s Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead, have been vital in the fight against COVID-19.

Working around the clock, using cutting edge technology and scientific expertise, NSW Health Pathology’s Pathogen Genomics Team has delivered world class breakthroughs:

  • Growing the live virus from patient samples to enable development of reliable, accurate diagnostic testing.
  • Genomic sequencing of the virus to manage outbreaks from new clusters of infections and minimise spread.
  • Pioneering serology testing to help determine the extent of infection in the community; estimate the date of exposure and infectious period in confirmed cases; make retrospective diagnoses in individuals who had recovered from infection prior to testing; and guide the public health response to the outbreak.

These breakthroughs occurred in quick succession, in under three months after the first reported case in NSW in January 2020.

The team’s extraordinary efforts provided the cornerstones of detection and management of the disease in NSW and beyond, helping save thousands of lives and preventing further outbreaks. Their research and innovation breakthroughs continue to play a crucial role in the management and minimisation of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta outbreak.

Honourable Mention - South Eastern Sydney Local Health District: Cross Cultural Workers in Maternity and Child & Family Health Services

The Cross Cultural Worker (CCW) Service is an initiative unique to SESLHD. The innovative Service grew out of increasing numbers of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds accessing maternity care late in pregnancy, higher rates of mental health issues, caesarean section, low birthweight, and admission to newborn care.

The CCW Service supports women and families from migrant and refugee backgrounds to navigate maternity, child and family health (CAFH), and community-based services, enabling early and ongoing engagement across the first 2000 days of life: the continuum of pregnancy up to a child being 5 years old. The effectiveness and acceptability of the model is evaluated from the perspective of women, their partner, service providers, and impact on maternal and infant health outcomes.

The findings strongly align to the Integrated Value Based Care Award, highlighting a high degree of satisfaction with the model of care.

Women reported a positive impact on their maternity experience (95%), increased understanding of pregnancy, birth, and parenting (100%), and would recommend the Service to family and friends (97%).

Service providers perceived the Service to be critical to improving women's experience and satisfaction with care, reducing barriers to access, with the potential to improve perinatal outcomes.

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