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North West Hospital and Health Service celebrates year of action
The introduction of innovative services to improve patient and staff outcomes and provide greater health outcomes for our First Nations people have been standout achievements for North West Hospital and Health Service (North West HHS), according to Health Service Chief Executive Craig Carey.
Mr Carey said the North West HHS had ended the 2020-2021 financial year with some excellent outcomes including:
- Hospital in The Home service in Mount Isa - providing home-based acute care without the need for patients to come into hospital.
- Virtual care program on Mornington Island to support chronic disease management through technology.
- Redesign of theatre services and development of improvement protocols and procedures.
- Continued delivery of Making Tracks program – providing programs in the areas of chronic disease, sexual health, discharge against medical advice, Healthy Piccaninnies and the North Queensland STI Action Plan.
- The commencement of community consultation for the development of the Health Equity Strategy.
- The introduction of new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services with the ability to offer MRI under general anaesthesia, delivering enormous benefits to patients, their families and staff.
- The launch of Sustainable Health Improvement Pathways in 2020 to identify ways to improve patient and staff experiences using public feedback to provide the best possible service to patients and the community.
- The unveiling of the Family Healing Rooms, providing a culturally appropriate space where Indigenous patients and their families can meet, rest, or engage with specialist hospital staff.
The Health Service’s Annual Report for 2020- 2021 was tabled in Queensland Parliament on 13 December 2021.
Mr Carey said staff had devoted a large portion of the year to developing and implementing an outreach vaccination program involving 13 remote and Indigenous communities, with community and stakeholder engagement underpinning the program.
“Our staff have been required to undertake a significant refocus of services to ensure our COVID-19 response and vaccine program delivery remained a priority to safeguard our vulnerable communities throughout the ongoing pandemic,” Mr Carey said.
“I express my sincere gratitude to all of our North West community members and stakeholders for their continued support throughout this program.
“Their understanding and patience of the disruption of usual services while we implemented arrangements to prevent and minimise the spread of COVID-19 has made it possible for us to deliver the programs safely and responsibly while protecting our communities.”
Despite the refocus of services, Mr Carey said the health service proudly exceeded a number of healthcare standard targets in providing services to patients and saw an overall increase in patient satisfaction across the region.
“We exceeded our targets for emergency department length of stay, in all categories, and we saw a 60 per cent increase in patient satisfaction from the previous year, as evidenced by the number of positive patient feedback reports received,” Mr Carey said.
Mr Carey said the North West Hospital and Health Service would be focusing on the following key objectives for the 2021-2022 year:
- Increasing our workforce diversity with a commitment to greater representation of First Nations people within our workforce as part of our pathways to inclusion North West HHS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2019 - 2026.
- Increasing use of communication technologies, such as Telehealth, Teledental, Telepharmacy and TeleCare as well as, where possible, providing more acute care closer to home.
- Further development of governance processes for local research-related activities and clinical and health education initiatives in relation to strategic direction and priorities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the workforce and in the services provided by the HHS.
- Further support improvements in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by way of monitoring key data and encouraging further partnership working with key stakeholders.
- Encouraging wider implementation of best practice use of appropriate tests treatments and procedures, such as those informed by the Choosing Wisely program.
- Further development and implementation of ‘closing the loop’ meetings, which involves sharing the learnings and recommendations for the health service to prevent future reoccurrence of the same or similar clinical incidents from reoccurring.
- Continuation of monitoring and managing the service impact of COVID-19.
“I encourage all North West residents to have a look at the annual report, which will be available on our website, to familiarise themselves with our operations,” Mr Carey said.
- The North West Hospital and Health Service 2020-2021 annual report can be found at: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/tabled-papers/online-tabled-papers
- The annual report also is available on the North West HHS website at: https://www.northwest.health.qld.gov.au/about-us/corporate-documents-and-publications/