From the introduction of over-night carer zones to group treatment sessions to ease congested waiting lists, Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is at the forefront of medical innovation in NSW.
To recognise such achievements, patients and staff vote for their favourite piece of medical practice across 10 categories in the annual WSLHD Quality Awards.
The inventive ideas and programs introduced by WSLHD staff are showcased at special events at each hospital in the health district throughout the voting process. Showcases provide an opportunity for staff to harness the creative energy of their colleagues and create the best outcomes for patients.
This year’s voting kicked off on Monday and Mount Druitt Hospital before moving on to Blacktown Hospital the following day.
One of 2016’s most successful ideas, carer zones were introduced as part of the stage one of the revamp of Blacktown Hospital opened this year.
An Australian first initiative, the hospital’s 40 carer zones provide a self-contained space for family members to stay overnight with loved ones.
Judith Lababedi, a former nurse at Blacktown Hospital, said she has seen both sides of life as a carer. She has spent most of her retirement caring for her husband who suffers from several chronic health conditions.
Ms Lababedi was involved in a group which championed the idea of carer zones during the consultation phase.
“Someone said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable space to stay overnight?’ That was where the idea was born,” she said.
“In between August 2014 and August 2015, 400 people had stayed overnight at Blacktown Hospital in difficult circumstances.”
Ms Lababedi said the majority of people who stayed overnight with loved ones were pensioners. She said initiatives including reduced parking fees for those occupying carer zones were making a difference to patients’ peace of mind.
“It is especially important in a place like Blacktown which is so culturally diverse, as patients might need help with translation. Families can also assist in some tasks if they wish which relieves some of the strain on staff.
“It gives patients some comfort and reduces stress which puts patients in a position to get better sooner.”
To vote, visit the 2016 WSLHD Quality Awards website.