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NSLHD Quality and Improvement Awards 2022

The Northern Sydney Local Health District Quality and Improvement Awards celebrate the excellence of our nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, support staff and researchers. The awards put a spotlight on the hard work and delivery of programs and services which have made a real difference to the patients and families we care for. 


2022 NSLHD Quality and Improvement Award winners


Transforming the Patient Experience Award

Recognising that patients ar​e partners in their health care, this award acknowledges projects/programs that promote collaboration between consumers and the health care team to improve our patient's experience while in our care.

Winner: Developing a novel ICU follow-up service for our sickest patients – Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital




Delivering Value-Based Integrated Care Award

This award acknowledges innovative projects and programs that encourage the delivery of integrated care.

Winner: Geriatrician outreach to GPs – NSLHD Aged Care and Sydney North Health Network



Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award

This Award recognises and showcases innovation in improving the quality and safety of mental health care within programs.

Winner: Youth Suicide Response Framework – Child and Youth Mental Health Service, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol




Keeping People Healthy Award

This award aims to acknowledge projects which support individuals, families and communities to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent ill health and tackle health inequality in our communities.

Winner: Technology is another language: a framework for successful tele-rehabilitation with older non-English speaking patients – Chronic Disease Community Rehabilitation Service, Primary and Community Health




Health Research and Innovation Award

This award recognises innovative projects that transform clinical service delivery through health and medical research, digital technologies, and data analytics.

Winner: Adapting pain self-management delivery during COVID-19 – ADAPT pain management team, Royal North Shore Hospital




Patient Safety First Award

This award recognises a project that demonstrates commitment leadership that puts patient safety first to deliver safe, high-quality reliable care for patients/consumers in hospitals and other settings.

Winner: “S.O.S. – SAVE OUR SKIN!" – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Skin Integrity Committee, Royal North Shore Hospital




Supporting our People and Culture Award

This award aims to acknowledge the strong safety culture that underpins NSLHDs commitment to deliver safe, reliable person-centred care, underpinned by the CORE values of Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment.

Winner: Performance postcards: A picture of variation – Royal North Shore Hospital




Planetary Health Award

This Award recognises an initiative that aims to deliver an economical and environmentally sustainable future aligned with the NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2021-2023 and NSLHD's target of Net Zero by 2035.

Winner: Anaesthetic greenhouse gas reductions – Department of Anaesthesia, Royal North Shore Hospital




2022 NSLHD Quality and Improvement Award finalists


Transforming the Patient Experience

Partnering with refugee women to improve the breast screening experience – Multicultural Health Service and Breast Screen NSW Northern Sydney Central Coast, Primary and Community Health

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Low numbers of Tibetan refugee women were presenting for breast screening in Northern Sydney. The team implemented strategies to address the barriers to screening that these women faced – including limited literacy, past trauma and lack of social support. The strategies implemented involved group screening, block booking of interpreters, in-language information, service navigation and care coordination provided by a bilingual community worker, and co-design of promotional material. The project was successful in improving health literacy, screening participation, client experience, service efficiency and staff satisfaction.


Patient Safety First

Domestic violence – routine screening in the Emergency Department – Royal North Shore Hospital Emergency Department

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Staff at the emergency department undertook a pilot project to improve identification of women at risk of domestic and family violence to provide access to immediate, ongoing psychosocial response, and support services for victim-survivors. From 16,380 female patients screened there were 412 identified as being at risk. This process has continued after the pilot program was completed. 


Delivering Value-Based Integrated Care

Shared Care 4 Kids Developmental Checks – Child, Youth and Family, Primary and Community Health 

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The team identified that approximately 24 per cent of children were starting school from a developmentally disadvantaged base. This can affect a child's long-term learning. Working with five GP practices, the team sought to have children with potential difficulties identified earlier and referred for specialist intervention. Early intervention empowers children to live the best life possible and saves on future healthcare, disability, special education, and justice system costs.   


Supporting our People and Culture Award 

Developing Our Clinical Leaders – Evaluation of the MHDA Management Coaching Program – Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service 


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Within the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service the clinical managers were finding it difficult to leave the team environment for leadership development training opportunities. Monthly onsite coaching sessions were introduced and have been well received. This initiative has proven to be time efficient, flexible and a cost effective solution.


Keeping People Healthy 

Healthy and Active On-Line – Northern Sydney Health Promotion, Active Aging Team 

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Healthy and Active On-Line is a free virtual healthy lifestyle program for adults aged over 60 years and Aboriginal people aged over 45 years aimed to reduce mortality and falls related injury, via an accessible and equitable program. The Health Promotion Active Aging Team introduced the program in January 2021, consistently exceeding other districts in participation and successful course completion rates. 


Health Research and Innovation Award

Neoadjuvant therapy in rectal cancer patients: to watch and wait or operate – that is the question – Cancer Services Network and Royal North Shore Hospital

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The 'watch and wait' strategy looks to reduce morbidity and improve quality of life for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer through an alternative evidence based approach to radical surgery.  Following consensus among the colorectal multidisciplinary team, a district-wide guideline was drafted that offer organ preservation through active monitoring of cancer patients that completed Neo Adjuvant Treatment. 


Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award 

Enhancing clinical handover in Mental Health Drug and Alcohol settings through ISBAR video educational resources – Mental Health Drug and Alcohol

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The team identified the need for staff to strengthen clinical handover practices by including the delivery of concise and clear information during transfer of care. Educational videos were produced for staff demonstrating the use of the ISBAR (introduction, situation, background, assessment, recommendations) communication framework across the consumer journey. The videos were piloted with teams and were evaluated positively with clinicians reporting increased value and understanding of the use of ISBAR during clinical handover.


Planetary Health Award

NSLHD Light Emitting Diode Upgrade of 5000 Lights - Capital Works, NSLHD Corporate Services

The team replaced 5000 lights with modern energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology. The replacement of 5000 lights will result in a carbon reduction of 2023 tonnes per year, equivalent to carbon produced by 477 average Australian homes, or taking 1065 cars off the road.

LED technology is currently the most commercially energy efficient way of providing artificial lighting. There is ongoing waste reduction as LED lights last significantly longer and require less frequent maintenance. 

The LED replacement project provided an opportunity to “jump shift" some of NSLHD's older facilities by covering the initial capital cost to replace the old fittings with new technology. This capital investment will be recovered from energy savings within 1 ½ years. The project was welcomed by all facilities and early feedback has been very positive.​ 

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