• search
  • Menu
  • -->

    2020 Quality Awards Winners

    Each year, WSLHD hosts the Quality Awards as an opportunity to harness the creative and innovative ideas of staff, who are committed to making a difference to patient care and health outcomes. The benefits of the Quality Award projects extend to patients, carers and their families, as well as to staff and the community.

    Some of the winning projects will now be submitted to the NSW Health Innovation Awards and the NSW Premier's Awards.

    Congratulations to all!!

    Watch the Quality Awards ceremony

    If you missed tuning in live, the ceremony is available to view on the WSLHD Facebook page here.



    Category 1: Transforming Patient Experience

    Just Ask It

    Historic institutionalised racism in hospitals has had a lasting impact on Aboriginal people, including increased distrust of the healthcare system. Auburn Hospital aimed to increase the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients by creating a more culturally welcoming environment and training frontline staff to ‘ask the question’ about Aboriginal identification. The result was a 62% increase in the number of patients identifying as Aboriginal upon presentation to the emergency department.

    Category 2: Delivering Integrated Care

    Pathways to Community Living Initiative

    This program supports people with severe and persistent mental illnesses who have had stays in hospital of 12 months or more. Clinicians work with the consumer and their family or carer to find the best option for community-based living. PCLI has facilitated a total of 110 transitions back to community living since it commenced in WSLHD in January 2016, equating to a combined length of stay of over 555 years discharged from mental health inpatient units.

    Category 3: Patient Safety First
    and Board Chair Award

    Keeping clozapine patients safe during COVID-19 Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all mental health patients, particularly those who are on clozapine for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Blacktown Clozapine clinic used an innovative combination of telehealth, partnering with primary care, and on-site dispensing and home delivery of clozapine to keep patients safe and manage their anxiety. All 160 patients remained mentally stable with no hospital admissions or relapses due to COVID-related stress or anxiety, and mental health clinicians formed better partnerships with primary care providers.

    Category 4: Keeping People Healthy

    COVID Streetfighters

    Homeless people are a vulnerable population at increased risk of both COVID-19 and influenza, with lower access to primary and preventative health care. The Youth Health team established a flu vaccine outreach service that also presented the opportunity to screen for COVID-19 symptoms and share important health information. The results by June included more than 500 people vaccinated, more than 1500 people screened for COVID-19 and 69 symptomatic people tested, and more than 150 communications delivered.

    Category 5: Supporting Our Teams
    and Chief Executive Award

    Workplace Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond

    In response to COVID-19 the People & Culture team needed to quickly redesign and sustain services to provide for our entire workforce’s needs around being informed, supported, focused and valued. Exceptional collaboration, flexibility and creative problem solving was needed as the department work with the unions and other internal and external partners. Some of the new initiatives and outcomes include Workplace Wellness mobile teams and centres, a call centre, a range of childcare services, and assistance with COVID staff clinics.

    Category 6: A Safe and Healthy Workplace

    Contain the Contagion! A Clinician Mission to Eradicate Transmission

    Community health nurses visit patients at home, which presented a transmission risk during COVID-19. Integrated & Community Health quickly created a video outlining the correct process including pre-visit screening, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene, and cleaning or disposal of equipment. 93% of nurses reported increased feelings of safety, support and ability and 95% reported improved knowledge of PPE use in a community setting.

    Category 7: Innovation and Research

    PPE Predict

    COVID-19 created unprecedented need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals around the world to keep staff safe while treating patients. The project team utilised mathematical predictive modelling to not only keep track of stock, but also predict need based on the type of patients in the hospital – known as the ‘burn rate’. The model is being used to inform PPE requirements as the District returns to full clinical services, and has the potential to be applied at a state level.

    Category 8: Education and Training

    Flipping COVID Facedown

    International evidence from treating COVID-19 showed benefits to prone positioning – lying patients facedown – but physiotherapy staff at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals did not feel confident performing this uncommon and difficult procedure in intensive care. The project team ran a 30-minute education session followed by a 60-minute training session, teaching staff about the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and giving them the immediate opportunity to apply their new skills. 90% of therapists reported feeling more confident and 100% said they were more likely to assist with prone lying procedures in ICU.

    Peoples Choice Award

    Newborn Education and Skills Training

    Staff surveys revealed Auburn Hospital nurses and midwives wanted more education on core newborn care skills, and further opportunities to learn and practice specialised newborn care skills. A workshop was developed and run in collaboration with Westmead Hospital NICU, utilising case scenarios and simulation-based education to rehearse specific clinical skills and challenges to better consolidate learning. Participants reported an increase in confidence, knowledge and skills, and better understanding of equipment and procedures.

    Employee of the Year

    Nurse Employee of the Year:
    Pradeepa Selvaraj, Clinical Nurse Educator at Blacktown Hospital

    Pradeepa makes sure patient safety is a number one priority and she ensures that all efforts are put in place to achieve this.

    Corporate Services Employee of the Year:
    Rory Dunlop, Cleaner at Blacktown Hospital

    Rory takes a high level of pride in his work and has displayed qualities that are to be commended with his engagement of staff and patients.

    Doctor Employee of the Year:
    Dr Alpha Tung, Head of Anaesthesia Department at Auburn Hospital

    Dr Tung has been essential in assisting the executives in developing a COVID-19 response for Auburn Hospital.

    Allied Health Employee of the Year:
    Samantha Tate, A/head of Podiatry at Westmead Hospital

    Samantha has worked tirelessly to address a number of risks, both clinical and enterprise in nature.

    Watch the Quality Awards ceremony

    If you missed tuning in live, the ceremony is available to view on the WSLHD Facebook page here.

    Want to find out about our programs?

    See more