Four SCHN finalists at NSW Health Awards

Excellence from Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network staff will be recognised at the 2022 NSW Health Awards, with four finalists announced in as many categories.

Congratulations to teams from the Kids Cancer Centre, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Emergency Department at CHW, and staff behind The Last Days of Life: Paediatric and Neonatal Toolkit. These teams are among 36 finalists from 171 state-wide health entities.

NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce said the Awards, now in its 24th year, recognise innovative and sustainable health programs that deliver better patient outcomes and invests in the wellness of the NSW community.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to all the finalists for their outstanding work delivering these innovative projects which are improving the overall health and wellbeing of people in NSW,” Ms Pearce said.

“This year, the Awards are focusing on projects that deliver on our vision of a sustainable health system that meets the needs of our patients, community and workforce into the future.”


The Kids Cancer Centre has been named a finalist for the Keeping People Healthy (COVID-19) Award for their project Co-designing a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Pilot for the Kids Cancer Centre Community.

A pilot COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) clinic was established using a rapid model for improvement cycles and co-design principle. Co-designed with parents and carers, this was the first COVID-19 RAT clinic established in a paediatric healthcare facility in Australia that enabled patients, parents, and carers to be tested on site on the day they were due to receive their therapy.

As a result, testing was conducted on 100 per cent of KCC patients and families.

"With the input from children and young people and their families living with cancer, we were able to design a rapid antigen COVID-19 Clinic and we were able to implement it within four days," Dr Felicity Wright, Innovation Manager at KCC said.

"We were also able to demonstrate that we reduced their concern with coming into hospital. This is no mean feat for a parent living with a child, living with cancer in the middle of a pandemic."

The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is in the running for the Patient Safety First Award for their project Reducing the risk of cardiac arrest in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

A Cardiac Arrest Risk Assessment Tool (CARAT) was developed by a multidisciplinary team and over 12 months, there was a 75 per cent reduction in cardiac arrest events in cardiac patients admitted to PICU.

"This has actually been able to empower the team that's helping to look after the patients to improve the assessment at the bed space, and also improve the outcomes for infants and children in NSW," Dr Andrea Christoff, Medical Director of PICU, said.

"As a finalist, we feel privileged to be able to represent SCHN, to advocate for patients safety for children, their families, and NSW."


In the People and Culture Award category, the emergency department at CHW has been nominated for their development and implementation of PEMPOWERHOUR.

PEMPOWERHOUR is an educational program which is characterised by structured, time-protected lessons and a co-designed curriculum leveraging the wealth of knowledge from interprofessional experts in the ED.

The program was successfully trialled for one year between February 2021 – 2022. All trainees found the curriculum accessible, beneficial for their professional development, and felt their learning needs were valued.

It is now a permanent learning platform within CHW implemented without fiscal costs to the ED.

"The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the program fosters a learning and educational culture within the Emergency Department. We are very proud to create a generation of new doctors who are so passionate about education," Dr Shefali Jani, Medical Director of ED, said.


The Last Days of Life: Paediatric and Neonatal Toolkit has been recognised as a finalist for the Transforming Patient Experience Award.

Building on the Clinical Excellence Commission’s adult patients Last Days of Life tools, this toolkit equips clinicians with increased knowledge and confidence to work in partnership with families to transform the experience of a child dying.

"As a finalist, we feel, and I speak on behalf of the whole team, it is just such a huge honour," Sandy Coombs, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care Quality and Project Officer, said.

"This is recognition of a really difficult and uncomfortable topic and as healthcare professionals, we understand that sadly babies and children do die. We can't change that outcome, but what we can do is ensure that families receive the best possible care."

We wish our finalists the best of luck at the Awards ceremony, which is returning to an in-person evening event with all finalists after two years of a smaller hybrid event.

The 2022 NSW Health Awards will be held on 1 December 2022 and available to be streamed online from 6pm. Watch the live stream here.

For further information on the 2022 NSW Health Awards and a full list of the finalists visit the NSW Health website.

SCHN finalists

  • Keeping People Healthy (COVID-19) Award - The Kids Cancer Centre: Co-designing a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Pilot for the Kids Cancer Centre Community
  • Patient Safety First Award - Paediatric Intensive Care Unit: Reducing the risk of cardiac arrest in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
  • People and Culture Award - Emergency Department (CHW): PEMPOWERHOUR
  • Transforming Patient Experience Award - The Last Days of Life: Paediatric and Neonatal Toolkit