SCHN excellence recognised in NSW Health Awards

Congratulations to staff behind the The Last Days of Life: Paediatric and Neonatal Toolkit, announced as winner of the Transforming Patient Experience Award, and to three other teams from Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network acknowledged as finalists in the 24th annual 2022 NSW Health Awards Ceremony, held yesterday evening.

The NSW Health Awards recognise innovative and sustainable health programs delivering better patient outcomes and investing in the wellness of the NSW community.

For the first time in three years, the Awards Ceremony brought together all finalists for an in-person event held at the International Convention Centre, following two years of a smaller hybrid event.

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

The Transforming Patient Experience Award aims to acknowledge projects and programs which promote collaboration between the patient and the health care team to improve health, recognising that patients are partners in their health care.

"Winning an NSW Health Awards means greater acknowledgement of the Toolkit, but also acknowledgement of all the people that have been involved in this project. It’s been a massive undertaking; it’s been a collaboration between different health services, it has included lots of different disciplines, and it’s also involved our families," said Sandy Coombs, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care Quality and Project Officer, accepting the award on behalf of her team.

"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."

Teams from the Kids Cancer Centre at SCH, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department at CHW were among the 36 finalists from 171 state-wide health entities.

NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce said: “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”.

“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 was named as 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 was shortlisted 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 was 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.

Congratulations to the finalists and winners!

Missed the livestream? You can watch the recording and read more about the finalists and winners on the NSW Health website.

SCHN winners

  • Keeping People Healthy (COVID-19) Award - The Kids Cancer Centre: Co-designing a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Pilot for the Kids Cancer Centre Community

SCHN finalists

  • 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