Far West LHD Health Innovation Awards winners for 2019

The Far West LHD Health Innovations Awards was held today with the major accolade going to a project aimed at ensuring all NSW residents, their families and carers have access to and receive the best possible end of life and palliative care.

The Far West Palliative Approach Framework won the 2019 Far West LHD Health Innovation Award – Eagle (Large Project) Category. The project was presented by St Sarah Wenham, Specialist Palliative Care Physician.

The Hawk (Small Project) Category was won by ‘Increasing the use of ENOCC system to prevent hospitalisation’. This project was presented by Carrie Barlow and Sue Cooper, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Dareton Primary Health.

The Agency for Clinical Innovation Award was won by ‘From little things big things grow – collection of stories’. This was presented by Eureka Van De Merwe, former Essentials of Care Coordinator and Janet Masters, Safety Culture Coordinator. The award was presented by Jenny Preece, Network Manager from the ACI.

The People’s Choice was shared by two projects and awarded to ‘Far West Palliative Approach Framework’ and ‘From little things big things grow – collection of stories’.

The FWLHD Health Innovation Awards recognise the excellent work of clinicians, staff and service partners to improve patient safety, clinical quality and health system performance across the Local Health District.

“On behalf of the health service, I wish to congratulate all the award winners, the finalists and all the nominees,” said Ms Dale Sutton, Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery/Director Clinical Governance, Far West LHD.

The winning projects and all those nominated demonstrate a commitment from our staff to improve the ways services are delivered, said Ms Sutton.

“The awards acknowledge and highlight the great innovative work that is being done across the LHD, all with the purpose of helping to ensure great health outcomes for our consumers.”

All the finalists will be entered into the NSW Health Awards to be held in Sydney later this year.

Synopsis of the Award winning projects:

Eagle Award: The Far West NSW Palliative Approach Framework.

The vision and priorities of the NSW Health End of Life and Palliative Care Framework 2019-2024 is that ‘all NSW residents, their families and carers have access to and receive the best possible end of life and palliative care, based on their individual needs and preferences.  This care should:

  • Be person centred
  • Recognise and support families and carers
  • Be provided by skilled and competent care providers
  • Be well-coordinated and integrated
  • Be accessible and equitable.’

There are approximately 270 expected deaths annually in the Far West LHD.  Of these, 52% are known to and cared for by the Specialist Palliative Care (SPC) Service, of which 98% received individualised care in line with their assessed needs and expressed preferences.  Whilst not every dying person has needs requiring SPC input, the access to, quality of and outcomes of the palliative and end of life care provided by non-specialist services to the remaining 48% patients dying in the Far West LHD is unknown.

Improvements have been achieved in clinical outcomes for patients, workforce skills and communication between aged care facilities, general practice and specialist palliative care services. A web resource centre has also been developed and launched.

Hawk Award: Increasing the use of ENOCC (Early Notification of Complex Care) system to prevent hospitalisation.

The ENOCC (Early Notification of Complex Care) referral system was developed by the Dareton Health team several years ago to alert us of NSW people currently in the Victorian based Mildura Hospital.  It has been a highly successful part of cross border discharge planning and avoiding unplanned readmissions.  We were still missing people that could potentially be prevented from being hospitalised and began to look at ways we could capture people before they needed hospital.

We looked to Ambulance services for assistance. Early data from the roll out to the Ambulance services is positive and we have been able to pick up and case-manage those residents who have previously used the ambulance service in non-emergency cases, and ensure that they had services on the ground so they do not need to tie up ambulances for non-emergencies. Feedback from the Ambulance services has been positive and we see this improving further as the system is embedded into the Ambulance culture.

ACI Award: Growing person centred care through the collection of patient, carer and staff stories

Prior to 2015 there was no patient or staff story collection in Far West LHD that was presented at a Board or Senior Executive Level. Whilst there were other methods of capturing patient and staff experiences, this was quantitative and did not allow the exploration of themes of care (for patients and carers) or experiences of employment within Far West LHD (staff).

In 2015 we commenced the collection of patient and carer stories in Far West LHD to increase our understanding of their experience of their health care and look for opportunities to improve service delivery. A total of 54 participant stories have been collected since April 2015. The number of story collectors increased and a video has been developed called Karen’s story to aid staff development and learning within Far West LHD. The new graduate nursing program has also been reviewed and updated as a result of story collection.



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