Health in Focus Newsletter
Health in Focus

June 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of the NSW Health e-bulletin, Health in Focus. This quarterly update features the latest news from the largest public health system in Australia.

If you have any suggestions, comments or ideas for future editions, please email us.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to colleagues and others who may be interested, and encourage them to subscribe online.

New campaign urges travellers heading overseas to get measles jab

woman on holiday with baby

NSW Health has rolled out an urgent campaign in response to the increase in measles cases across the state. Several recent cases are linked to overseas visitors and residents returning from countries where measles is more common.
 
The campaign ‘Bring back memories not measles!' aims to raise awareness among people travelling overseas about the ongoing risks of measles and encourage full vaccination prior to travel.

Read more about measles

Winter flu campaign launched

Don't spread flu poster with photo of a hand with faces drawn on it

On 1 May, NSW Health launched its 2019 Winter Flu campaign to encourage people to get a flu shot and combat the spread of the flu virus by practising healthy respiratory hygiene habits.

In 2017, more than 650 people died from flu-related complications and at least 43 people died in 2018.

This year's campaign targets at-risk target groups who are considered at greater risk of severe flu and hospitalisation.

The NSW Government will spend $22.75 million on immunisation programs in 2018-19 including $2.6 million towards free flu shots for children up to five years of age.

Read more about the Winter flu campaign

National Sorry Day

Uncle Lester Maher and Elizabeth Koff, Secretary NSW Health

National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year to acknowledge and recognise survivors of the Stolen Generations. To commemorate this important day, NSW Health held events across the state, including one on Friday 24 May where the Ministry of Health was hosted by Northern Sydney Local Health District.

Those in attendance, including Elizabeth Koff, Secretary NSW Health, were privileged to hear Uncle Lester Maher, the Vice Chair of the Board for Kinchela Boys Home share his powerful and heart-wrenching personal experience of being forcibly removed from his family as a child.

National Sorry Day raises awareness of the history and continued effect of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their families, communities and culture – and is a reminder that response to trauma is central to NSW Health's work towards Closing the Gap.

Read more about National Sorry Day

Nurses and midwives celebrated across the state

male and female nurse smiling

Nurses are the single largest workforce group within NSW Health and the backbone of the NSW health system, making a real difference to the care and the experience of patients and their families and carers.

Midwives work in partnership with women and their families to provide the best possible outcomes, empowering them to be genuine partners in their care and improving their pregnancy, birth, and post-natal experiences.

NSW Health celebrated and acknowledged these important professions on International Day of the Midwife (5 May) and International Nurses Day (12 May).

As part of these celebrations, videos were released of midwives telling us what their job means to them and nurses explaining the satisfaction they get from helping others.

Read more about International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day

Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards

Photo of mother holding a newborn next to a nurse

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards. The Awards acknowledge the contribution and dedication of nurses and midwives across the state.

These Awards have become an integral part in the statewide nursing and midwifery calendar culminating in an awards ceremony where finalists and winners come together to celebrate their achievements with family, friends and colleagues.

This year features a new category, The Excellence in Nursing or Midwifery Management Award and as in previous years the Consumer Appreciation Award is open to nomination from members of the public who wish to acknowledge and recognise nurses and midwives who have demonstrated outstanding patient care.

Read more about the Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards

NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013–2023: Mid-term evaluation released

Youth Health Forum

The NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013–2023 aims to improve the health and health care experiences of Aboriginal people. 

A mid-term evaluation of the Plan found that it is guiding an array of work, including whole-of-system initiatives, statewide policies and guidelines, large-scale programs and services, and local programs that offer local solutions.

System performance relating to Aboriginal health has improved in some domains and is stable in others. Evaluation results will build on achievements and refocus efforts over the remaining five years of the Plan.

Read more about the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan

NSW Health moves towards value based healthcare

NSW Health's vision is to be a sustainable health system that delivers outcomes that matter to patients, is personalised, invests in wellness and is digitally enabled.

As the largest health system in Australia, NSW Health is moving towards value based healthcare centred on what matters most to patients.

Video: Value based healthcare - Elizabeth Koff


Value based healthcare in NSW means continually striving to deliver care that improves:

  • health outcomes that matter to patients and the community
  • experiences of receiving care
  • experiences of providing care
  • effectiveness and efficiency of care

The Leading Better Value Care program is one approach that supports NSW Health's shift to value.

Read more about Value based healthcare

Wollongong nurse, Professor Kate Curtis, wins Nurse of the Year

Professor Kate Curtis

Congratulations to Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Nurse and clinical researcher, Professor Kate Curtis, who was awarded the HESTA 2019 Australian Nurse of the Year for her tireless work in advocating to improve emergency hospital care across Australia and internationally, particularly for injured children.

Professor Curtis is an internationally renowned emergency and trauma nurse and clinical researcher, whose studies into injury prevention and treatment has improved clinical practice both in Australia and around the world.

Read more about the Professor Kate Curtis, Nurse of the Year

NSW Health welcomes child safe standards

Nurse with child
Proposals in the Office of the Children's Guardian's Regulating child safe organisations in NSW discussion paper have been supported by NSW Health.

NSW Health's response to the discussion paper was informed by feedback from across the health system and includes suggestions for how the child safe standards can be applied to ensure children are safe in health services.

The Office of the Children's Guardian will prepare a public report following their review of the feedback they received from NSW Health and other stakeholders from child-related work across NSW.

NSW Health is committed to child safe culture and practice, and looks forward to working closely with the Office of the Children's Guardian on the regulation of child safe standards in NSW.
Read more about the child safe standards
 

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