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NSLHD Quality and Improvement Awards 2023


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.

2023 NSLHD quality and improvement award winners​​​

 Transforming the patient experience award

Recognising that patients are 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: The Holy Grail: Perioperative care for the frail – Perioperative Medicine Service, 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: Parkinson Inpatient Experience (PIE) project – 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: Smarties – a learning approach to loss (not just an M&M) – M​ental Health Drug and Alcohol​


 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: Kindness Kit – Ryde Hospital​


 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: Multidisciplinary Concussion Service – Concussion Clinic, Royal North Shore Hospital​


 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: Improving renal vascular access outcomes through data-driven surveillance – Departments of Renal Medicine and Vascular Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital


 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: No Suppression Group – Ryde Consumer Services, North Shore Ryde Mental Health​


 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: Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) reducing pl​astic waste – Royal North Shore and Brookvale Community Health Centres​


2023 NSLHD Quality and Improvement Award finalists​​

 Transforming the patient experience

Consumers driving the narrative in Spinal Plastics Service – Spinal Plastics Service, Royal North Shore Hospital

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The Spinal Plastic Service at RNSH manages the largest number of people with existing spinal cord injuries in NSW. The service has demonstrated a significant reduction in repeat referrals from patients in the community from extreme pressure injuries (mostly requiring surgical intervention), meaning hospitalisation is avoided. In addition to teleconsultation and the introduction of cloud-based wound tissue photography analytics, the service has re-engineered the way they deliver tailored patient care with weekly multidisciplinary clinics. Patient-reported outcome measures are discussed with patients to cater for their needs and wants. Health coaching empowers patients with the capacity to take control of their health condition.​​​​

 Patient safety first

Implementation of eMR Seclusion and Restraint module – Seclusion and Restraint Implementation Working Group,   Mental Health Drug and Alcohol  

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The team worked alongside eHealth and developed a module in the electronic medical record (eMR) at NSLHD and CCLHD to consolidate mandatory recording and reporting of seclusion and restraint incidents. This improves patient safety through greater transparency, reduced duplication, and improved access to the medical record. The successful implementation of the new system on mental health wards has led to the project extending the use of this module to emergency departments, with plans for roll-out across all Local Health Districts in NSW.

 Delivering value-based integrated care

Bridging the gap between acute and community spinal injury services – Spinal Plastics Service, Royal North Shore Hospital

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The Spinal Plastic Service at RNSH manages the largest number of people with existing spinal cord injuries in NSW. A significant reduction in repeat referrals from patients in the community from extreme pressure injuries was seen through the introduction of a number of initiatives including integrated care conferences connecting acute and community services. This has enabled effective identification and management of high-risk patients, and planning to avoid readmission. In 2021, 70% of patients avoided hospitalisation and were successfully managed in the community. This has an estimated saving of $1,380,000 annually.

 Supporting our people and culture

Public Art Towards Health (PATH) – NSLHD Population Health Promotion 

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Brookvale Community Health Centre had graffiti on the walls and the car park making it feel unsafe, uninviting and staff raised concerns. In partnership with Streetwork Youth Service, a mural was installed from levels 2-7 of the commuter car park. By collaborating with local young people from Streetwork Youth Service and utilising NSLHD’s own Youth Consultant Team, the staff at BCHC were able to incorporate a youth lens into the project, bringing a sense of connection to the building for all consumers.

 Keeping people healthy

Nourishing our CALD head and neck, and upper GI cancer patients – Northern Sydney Cancer Centre CALD Working Group 

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Malnutrition negatively impacts the quality of life in patients with head and neck and upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers due to chronic aspiration, pneumonia, increased hospitalisation and mortality due to dysphagia. This is compounded when a patient with head and neck cancer is from a culturally and linguistically Diverse background. Unmet patient needs and staff workplace stress were identified by the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and a CALD working-group was established to produce culturally relevant nutrition and swallowing resources to meet the patients’ needs. A co-design approach with patients, community groups and staff was utilised to develop relevant nutritional and swallowing resources.

 Health research and innovation

Qlik Contact Tracing App – NSLHD Infection Prevention and Control 

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The Qlik contact tracing app was developed by Infection Prevention and Control in collaboration with Information Communications & Technology (ICT) and the Assessment and Planning Unit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was used to trace the movement and potential exposure of vulnerable patients when an admitted patient consequently tested positive. Once live the app allowed for timely risk assessment by staff. Prior to its development, it took 24 hours for the IPAC department to be notified of potential exposure, but with the app, the information is updated every 20 minutes. There are wider possibilities for the app to be used with other communicable diseases.

 Excellence in the provision of mental health services

Implementation of the eMR Seclusion and Restraint module – Seclusion and Restraint Implementation Working Group, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol

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When the “Seclusion and Restraint in NSW Health Settings” policy was released, detailing the specific documentation and reporting requirements for all seclusion and restraint events, the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol team collaborated widely to get their implementation right. The implementation working group included representatives from eHealth, the Ministry of Health’s InforMH team, Information Communications & Technology (ICT), Central Coast Local Health District and a peer worker to ensure the consumers’ voice were heard.

 Planetary health

Paper patient belonging bags - Royal North Shore Hospital Sustainability Committee 

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Striving toward a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2035, RNSH embarked on a review of changing the bags that patients are given (usually in the Emergency Department) for their shoes, clothes and belongings, from plastic to paper bags. The pink plastic bags were single-use soft plastic and not readily recyclable, and approximately 55,000 are purchased each year.  The new paper bag will reduce plastic usage considerably that would otherwise go to landfill.​

Previous years

Previous award winners can be accessed below: