Grow the community

Have you been part of a program that is elevating the human experience in the NSW public health system?

We invite you to tell us about Patient or Staff Experience programs that you have been involved in.

Email us to let us know about your program:

Elevating the human experience brings together the many patient experience programs and initiatives that are already in action at a local level as well as those which have been rolled out state-wide.

On this page

Emergency department patient experience program

The Emergency Department Patient Experience Program - a recipient of a NSW Premier's Award - aims to create an environment that makes patients, families and carers feel welcomed, safe, look after and empowered.

RPA virtual hospital

The RPA Virtual Hospital or rpavirtual is a new way of connecting with patients. Using digital technology, it provides a 24/7 personalised service and allows care to be delivered at home rather than in hospital.

Youth engagement program: Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

A successful working partnership with them can benefit everyone involved, as demonstrated by Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and their youth engagement program.Oscar van Niekerk and Jess Hardy

Jess Hardy and Oscar van Niekerk both volunteer as Youth Council members and Peer Leaders of the Chronic Illness Peer Support (ChIPS) programat Sydney Children's Hospitals Network. They use their lived experience with chronic illness to advise on what matters to patients and to support young people currently undergoing treatment.

“No one understands a sick child like another sick child,” says Jess. “I’ve never felt less alone than I do at ChIPS. Joining was a turning point in my relationship with my illness, socially and emotionally.”

With 82 members across the network, ChIPS is run by young people for young people. It allows young people aged 12-25 with chronic health conditions to connect and share. It includes a closed Facebook group where members design and engage in content including videos, surveys, resources and memes. Other activities include a games night, psychosocial wellbeing sessions, introductory groups and a leadership program.

Both Jess and Oscar have welcomed the opportunities they have had as a result of their partnership with Sydney Children's Hospitals Network. Jess has spoken at the Health Leadership Forum, the Quality and Innovation Awards and addressed 400 medical students at the University of Sydney.

Meanwhile Oscar (winner of the 2020 NSW Youth Volunteer of the Year award for the Blue Mountains region) has been busy migrating ChIPS activities online, discussing the first use of podcasts at SCHN and will start an internship at SCHN later this year.

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network Managers Daniela Feuerlicht (Youth and Diversity) and Lauren McGrath (Patient and Family Engagement) believe that the Youth Council, the ChIPS program and the Youth Leadership program have been a win-win for everyone.

“The Youth Leadership Program helps these young people build confidence and life skills and the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network Quality and Safety Committee gets invaluable insights into what matters to our patients – we couldn’t do it without them.”

SEED Program: growing wellbeing innovation from bushfire trauma

The SEED Program started at Milton Ulladulla Hospital to address the impact of the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires on staff who played a critical role in supporting the community, despite their own exhaustion and personal traumas.

Standing for Stability, Encompassing, Endurance and Direction, the SEED Program took a whole-of-hospital approach and considered the wellbeing of staff to be a priority in the recovery of the community as a whole.

Supported by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Chief Executive, Margot Mains, and Executive Director Clinical Operations, Margaret Martin, the SEED Program Lead Padmini Pai worked in close collaboration with Stuart Emslie, Operations Manager/Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services.

Padmini initiated focus group discussions where staff named the program and decided what they needed to assist with their self-recovery and to build their resilience. This resulted in tailor-made support and empowered staff to actively guide their post-traumatic growth and healing.

Quiet Room, a space with a chair and a tree decoration on the wallKey initiatives included a Quiet Room (pictured) for reflection and time out, a free weekly coffee at a local cafe to check in on another colleague’s wellbeing, weekly 24/7 Wellness sessions to discuss wellness and self-care and Wellness Warrior training for staff to provide peer support to their colleagues.

“SEED has grown into way more than a bushfire support program,” says Padmini. “It has embedded the issue of staff wellbeing into everyday business and supports staff to provide the important care our community needs.

The Coffee Buddy initiative has become a staff recognition system and supports local business. Our weekly 24/7 wellness sessions continue in popularity and Wellness Warriors now support new staff members and companion return-to-work staff through their initial months.”

Padmini and Stuart have been instrumental in transforming the SEED Program into a solid platform to promote staff wellness across the whole local health district. Participating hospitals have chosen to honour their Milton Ulladulla colleagues by retaining the SEED name in their own programs.

These are now rolling out as SEEDing Change in Bulli District Hospital, SEEDing Connection in David Berry Hospital, SEEDing Growth in Coledale District Hospital, and SEEDing Strength in The Wollongong Hospital.

Schwartz Rounds®

Schwartz Rounds® is an internationally recognised health and wellbeing program that gives healthcare staff from a range of areas an opportunity to meet and reflect on the social and emotional experiences associated with their work.

Gathering of Kindness

A smile, a hello, a please or thank you, are those small acts of kindness that make a big difference to the experience of our staff, our patients and their families, across NSW Health.

Kindness and compassion are key to elevating the human experience for everyone. NSW Health's Gathering of Kindness is celebrated annually during November, using World Kindness Day to continue a conversation about kindness compassion.

NSW Health has a strong and proud history of providing safe and kind care to patients, families, carers and volunteers. Help us to continue to build and nurture a culture of kindness across NSW Health. #KindnessWorksHere

We officially began celebrating World Kindness Day in 2019 when the #KindnessWorksHere campaign was launched. In 2020, it evolved to the Gathering of Kindness.

The Kindness Exchange is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on NSW Health staff and volunteers who have shown our patients, their families, and carers simple acts of kindness or compassion every day.

Don't wait, nominate a NSW Health staff member or volunteer who showed a moment of kindness or compassion. If you can, try and keep this a surprise for the person you are nominating.

Human Experience Week 

Elevating the Human Experience NSW Health has a long and proud history of celebrating Patient Experience Week, hosting events annually since 2013. In 2021, NSW Health launched Elevating the Human Experience - A Guide to Action.

Last year, NSW we celebrated The Power of Storytelling, and NSW Health was announced as the winner of The Beryl Institute's global Organisational Innovation Award for Human Experience.

This year we are responded to your feedback and moved from Patient Experience Week to Human Experience Week. This change highlighted that the experiences of our patients, their families and carers cannot be separated from the experiences of our caregivers (staff and volunteers). 

The 2023 theme for Human Experience Week was All of Us: the Power of Community, and the importance of Love, Belonging and Healing elevating human experiences.

We would love to hear what matters to you, please share your stories.

Current as at: Friday 2 June 2023
Contact page owner: Patient Experience