Successful Projects 2019 Round Four ​

Brace Yourself


(Picture: Anneliese Harris, Judith Wong, Deb Willcox)

Project Lead

Anneliese Harris (Physiotherapist)

Judith Wong (Senior Physiotherapist)


Executive Sponsor:  Gary Rolls (Head of Department, Physiotherapy, Royal North Shore Hospital)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 December 2020 

Project Outline:  To create two videos about the correct donning and doffing procedures for cervical collars. This includes education about changing from a Miami J collar to Philadelphia collar for showering in both a supine and seated position, correct fitting of both collars and important tips such as avoiding the risk of pressure injuries. The videos will be uploaded via the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) YouTube channel and/or via the intranet site. They will be available to vital internal and external stakeholders such as patients, carers, allied health members, doctors and nurses within the acute hospital setting and community.


Successful Projects 2019 Round Two ​

Don't Go Breaking My Heart


(Picture: Susan Hales, Anupam Rao, Judy Bursle, Tamsin Waterhouse)

Project Lead

Anupam Rao (Cardiology Registrar)

Susan Hales (Clinical Nurse Specialist, MACARF)


Executive Sponsor:  A/Prof Edward Barin (Head of Department, Cardiology, Ryde Hospital)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 June 2020 

Project Outline: Ryde Hospital has piloted an early-review Heart Failure clinic with great success, and now wants to further enhance the care provided. By utilising a "Physio-Flow" to complete objectives, sensitive and state-of-the-art hemodynamic monitoring of patients, the device will assist accurate diagnosis and management in the clinic. The device can non-invasively and objectively measure important metrics of cardiac output for patients with advanced heart failure, without subjecting them to an invasive procedure.



Switching Channels


(Picture: Caryl Barnes, Suzy Russell, Judy Bursle, Vanya Ripley, Tamsin Waterhouse)

Project Lead

Suzy Russell (Mental Health CNC)

A/Prof Caryl Barnes (Senior Staff Specialist)

Vanya Ripley (CNC General Medicine)

Executive Sponsor:  Anthony Dombkins (A/Director Clinical Governance, NSLHD)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 June 2020 

Project Outline: Anxiety, depression and difficulty adjusting to a hospital admission are key features of the patient journey. Currently there is no easily accessible anxiety reduction tool available for clinicians to ameliorate a patient's stress upon hospital admission. This project will introduce video content aimed to reduce anxiety. A 30-minute video of relaxation and mindfulness techniques will be transmitted through an existing TV channel to patients on a General Medicine ward at RNSH. If successful this can be rolled out to all wards.



Successful Projects 2019 Round One ​

Let's Talk About Voices


(Picture: Michelle Mulligan, Deb Willcox, Valencia Taljaard, Kirralee Hall, Stephanie Bradstock, Martin Stark, James Stormon)

Project Lead

Valencia Taljaard (Senior Specialist Rehabilitation Clinician)

Kirralee Hall (Specialist Rehabilitation Clinician)

Dr Stephanie Bradstock (Senior Psychiatrist)

Executive Sponsor:  Owen Samuels (Clinical Director MHDA)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 March 2020 

Project Outline: To develop and implement a clinicians' resource of 8 brief animated videos (or video explainers) for use with mental health consumers to illustrate principles of non-pharmacological strategies for better coping with distressing voice hearing (VH) experiences. These will augment the face-to-face hearing Voices Group Program, which was a NSLHD 2018 Excellence Award Finalist. The video-set will also be a resource for clinicians working with individual consumers, and be utilised in forthcoming clinician training workshops.



Bereavement Bags


(Picture: James Stormon, Deb Willcox, Rachel Holbrook, Louise Sayers, Katherine Clark, Martin Stark, Michelle Mulligan)

Project Lead

Louise Sayers (ICU Staff Support and Bereavement Coordinator)

Rachel Holbrook (Project Officer Palliative Care)

Executive Sponsor:  Katherine Clark (Director Palliative Care NSLHD)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 March 2020 

Project Outline: The project aims to provide a bereavement bag to all families of patients who pass away at a hospital in NSLHD. When a patient dies in hospital it is common practice to return patient's belongings to family members, friends or carers (the bereaved) in a pink plastic bag because there is no alternative option. As a marker of ongoing care for families at a difficult time and to honour death as much as life, we will enable patient belongings to be returned in a hand-made bag. The bags are currently made by a group of volunteers, who have experienced loss themselves. A bereavement information pack is included in the bag; providing tailored information and resources to support the bereaved.


Successful Projects 2018 Round Three ​

New Sensations


(Picture: Elizabeth Wood, Amy Spears, Jebby Philips, Martin Krause)

Project Lead: Amy Spears (Occupational Therapist, Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit, HKH)

Executive Sponsor: Kelly Usher (CNS, Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit, HKH)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 November 2019 

Project Outline: To implement a sensory modulation therapy program for mental health consumers at Hornby Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital Auldt Mental Health Inpatient Unit. Sensory modulation refers to the process of regulating one's response to sensory stimuli through active engagement with the external environment.



Heart Team Tracker


(Picture: Elizabeth Wood, Kunwar Bhatia, Jebby Philips, Martin Krause)

Project Lead: Kunwar Bhatia (Basic Physician Trainee, Cardiology, RNSH)

Executive Sponsor: Gregory Nelson (Cardiologist, RNSH)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 November 2019 

Project Outline: To implement a mobile app that helps Multidisciplinary Heart Teams to coordinate patient care in real time. The app provides a list of all the patients that have been referred to NSLHD Multidisciplinary Heart Team for management of their structural heart disease.



Life isn't what it used to be


(Picture: Elizabeth Wood, Victoria Whitfield, Jebby Philips, Martin Krause)

Project Lead: Wade Stedman (ICU Staff Specialist, RNSH)

Executive Sponsor: Lewis Macken (Senior Staff Specialist)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 November 2019 

Project Outline: To implement a multidisciplinary ICU-follow-up clinic at RNSH to improve the quality of life for patients and their families who develop Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). PICS is the new of worsening problems in physical, cognitive, or mental health status which arises after a critical illness and persists beyong the acute hospitalisation.



Successful Projects 2018 Round Two ​

We Can Tell by the Way You Walk


(Picture: Johnny Taitz, Thomas Short, Derek Lee, Deb Willcox, Susan Barisic, Stephen Nolan)

Project Lead: Derek Lee (Orthotist, RNSH) & Thomas Short (Orthotist, RNSH)

Executive Sponsor: James Hui (Manager Orthotics, NSLHD)

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 August 2019 

Project Outline: To implement a digital gait system, called BTS-G walk. The system is a wireless inertial sensor placed around the patient's waist using an ergonomic belt. The sensor sends data about the patients walking to a computer. A dedicated program collates the information for the clinician to use to treat the patient.  



Swallowing with FEES


(Picture: Johnny Taitz, Mary-Ellen Tarrant, Nicola Veness, Deb Willcox, Susan Barisic, Stephen Nolan)

Project Lead: Mary-Ellen Tarrant (Manager Speech Pathology and Audiology, RNSH) & Nicola Veness (Senior Speech Pathologist, RNSH)

Executive Sponsor: Fran Tolliday, Director of Allied Health, RNSH

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 August 2019 

Project Outline: The Speech Pathology team will purchase a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) machine. FEES is an instrumental assessment tool used to evaluate swallowing function and guide the treatment of swallowing disorders (dysphagia). RNSH want to enhance the current model by proving Speech Pathology-led FEES to the wards with the speech pathologist completing both the endoscopist role and leading the FEES procedure. The ENT medical officer may be consulted during/after these clinics pending specific patient needs (e.g. viewing video footage for anatomical opinion/advice). This practice is internationally recognised as it supports patient outcomes and reduces LOS (due to reduced wait time for assessment).


Successful Project 2018 Round One

m-PR Platform


(Picture: Jan Young, Elizabeth Murphy, Sally Wootton, Deb Willcox)

Project Lead: Sally Wootton, Specialist Physiotherapist

Executive Sponsor: Stephen Crone, Manager Chronic Disease Community Rehabilitation Service 

Project Status: 


Estimated Implementation Date: 1 June 2019 

Project Outline: To develop a "Mobile Pulmonary Rehabilitation platform (m-PR)"  for people with chronic respiratory disease. The m-PR platform is a novel smartphone-and Internet-based interactive solution that will support patients with chronic lung conditions during their Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR). In bringing mobile health technology to a population of people with chronic lung disease, improved access to PR services in the Public Health sector should ensure improvements in exercise tolerance, quality of life and reduce the burden of healthcare cost.


Successful Projects 2017

Bored on the Ward


(Picture: Mr Trevor Danos AM, Brooke Du Ross, Deb Willcox)

Project Lead: Brooke Du Ross, Senior Social Worker

Executive Sponsor: Jacqui Edgley, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Northern Beaches 

Project Status: 


Implementation Date: 1 June 2018 

Project Outline: To use Virtual Reality as a diversional therapy tool to complement the already existing engagement strategies (high tea, pet therapy, dining room project) in Rehabilitation Units at Mona Vale Hospital. Virtual Reality will be implemented with the support of the medical team and will be used in individual and group settings. At Mona Vale Virtual Reality will be used as a socializing tool, diversional therapy tool to combat isolation, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, depression and chronic pain and for reminiscence therapy.


Supporting Carers at the Bedside

(Picture: Mr Trevor Danos AM, Barbara Lewis, Deb Willcox)

Project lead: Barbara Lewis, Carer Support Manager

Executive Sponsor: Paul Russell, Director Clinical Governance

Project Status:


Implementation Date: 1 June 2018 

Project Outline: To implement a carer awareness training package for staff and increasing the number of recliner chairs available. This project will be implemented with a targeted approach aligned to the falls prevention wards.


My Surgery Journey


(Picture: Mr Trevor Danos AM, Jillian Moxey, Deb Willcox)

Project Lead: Jillian Moxey, Service Development Manager

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Michelle Mulligan, Clinical Director Surgery and Anaesthetics 

Project Status:

 Estimated Implementation Date: October 2018 


Project Outline: To implement a smart phone app, newsletter/patient booklet and SMS system district-wide to support patient education and experience across the entire surgery journey. The project will provide consistent and standardised information across the district, that can be tailored for specific features such as locations and contact information. Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD developed the package and has agreed to work with NSLHD.

The app and newsletter will allow patients to receive key pre and post operative health information via animated videos, easy to understand written and pictorial information and key dates/instructions. The app and newsletter can be translated into key languages for the district. To complement the information an SMS notification system will be rolled out to support patients regarding their surgery e.g fasting times, when to arrive at the hospital and who to contact.




(Picture: Monica Ruckholdt, Ashleigh Dind, Deb Willcox)

Project Lead: Professor Geoffrey Tofler, Consultant Cardiologist

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Philip Hoyle, Director Medical Services RNSH

Project Status:


Estimated Implementation Date: August 2018 


Project Outline: To incorporate a one page patient directed discharge summary (PADDLE) into clinical practice; such that PADDLE letters are routinely and efficiently completed and discussed with patients, including teach back methodology; the letters are high quality (health literacy, accuracy, and consistency); and patients and family/carers find them informative and useful. This program of work will include specialised training for JMOs and work with the broader MDT team.


Nutrition Talks


(Picture: Melissa Scattergood)

Project Lead: Melissa Scattergood, Senior Dietician 

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Stephen Clarke, Network Director Cancer and Palliative Care 

Project Status:


Implementation Date: 16 May 2018 

Project Outline: To create a series of nutrition videos to enable education for patients, consumers and family members of those receiving cancer treatment for the most common taste change symptoms. 

To watch Nutrition Talk series, click here.

Embedding Person Centred Care Plans 

Euan Macleay 2.jpg

(Picture: Euan Mcleay) 

Project Lead: Euan Mcleay, Clinical Nurse Consultant 
Executive Sponsor: Graham Miller, Deputy Director of Nursing, Macquarie Hospital 

Project Status:



Estimated Implementation Date: October 2018 

Project Outline: To embed person-centred care planning into the assessment and review process on two wards at Macquarie Hospital. 





Who was involved in the 2017 Innovation Program:

Innovation Program co-ordinator:

  • Gyani Swift, Innovation Manager 


The Panel:

  • Deb Willcox, Chief Executive
  • Mare Hynes, Director Performance Integration and Innovation
  • Paul Russell, Director Clinical Governance
  • Simon Hill, Director ICT
  • Anthony Dombkins, Director of Nursing
  • Lisa Lay, Administration, Ryde Hospital
  • Dr. Claire Skinner, Director of Emergency, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital 
  • Matthew Williams, Senior Physiotherapist, OACCP
  • Linda Wadsworth, Director of Nursing, Primary and Community Care
  • Adam Johnston, Consumer Representative   


  • Deb Stewart , Clinical Re-Design Manager
  • Ken Caldwell, Nurse Manager – Leadership and Strategic Initiatives
  • Daniel Gialouris, Performance Improvement Consultant 
  • Martin Canova, Manager Strategy & Service Integration
  • Anna Giuffrida, Performance Improvement Consultant
  • Michelle Dawson, Associate Director Business Improvement & Governance 
  • Phoebe Ng, Manager External Relations and Governance
  • Paula Williscroft, Organisational Development Manager 
  • Janine Carragher, Manager, Clinical Reliability  & Effectiveness Department
  • Ralph Forbes, Clinical Quality Manager, PACH
  • Colette Terry, Nurse Manager - Essentials of Care
  • Sue Strachan, Nurse Manager - Essentials of Care
  • Ann Mirapuri, Manager Clinical Systems and eMR Program
  • Martyn Brookes, Manager - Integrated Systems and Innovation