Covid Messages from Russell

COVID Messages from Russell – 21 May

May 21, 2020

Great work by our Respiratory Assessment Clinic Teams

The teams who conduct COVID testing in our Respiratory Assessment Clinics at Sunshine Hospital and in Sunbury are continuing to do an incredible job. They have been dealing with some very high numbers of patients recently as they conduct return to work swabs on numerous workers from the community plus some specific screening requests from DHHS. Our clinic staff are highly professional and their work is making a real difference in helping keep our communities as safe as possible.

Volunteers’ Week

This is the first time that we have not been able to celebrate National Volunteers’ Week in person and I must say that I miss the wonderful colour and joy of the volunteers’ appreciation lunch as it is always a great day. While we cannot celebrate in person and we are not yet able to have our volunteers back with us here in our hospitals, our appreciation for all that they do is very much at the front of our minds.

Our corridors, entrances and wards are all a bit too quiet at the moment without our volunteers around and I am sure many of our patients will be finding it a little more lonely too, so we look forward to our volunteers returning as soon as that becomes possible.

For now – Happy Volunteers’ Week! Hope you enjoy the video – click on the image below.

Babies, babies and more babies – despite COVID

There is no still no stopping the phenomenal numbers of births we are continuing to see at Joan Kirner, with us going well above the 6000 mark by the time we reached the one year anniversary of the building’s opening 0n 15 May. It’s astonishing too to see the other statistics about care provided over the past year, including well over 117,000 outpatient clinic appointments! Well done to all the teams who work in Joan Kirner. It was a lot of fun to see Friday’s coverage of the first baby born at Joan Kirner, as she is now on her first birthday, with a mini replica of the Joan Kirner – as a cake!

Showing appreciation for our community’s support

We are also thinking of how we can show appreciation for our community at this time when many households are doing it tough from a combination of being housebound and with many people having lost their jobs.

You might not be aware that Western Health developed a community website to link in with the community during the time of COVID. Be sure to take a look at this excellent site, follow the site on Facebook and share it widely with families and friends and on social media. On the site, you will see lots of touching messages of support for our work.

A number of our allied health staff have now gone to the trouble of compiling short videos to provide some tips for households in our community and each of these posts are also located on the It’s Up to Us site for you to share with family and friends. There are a range of topics such as:

Maintaining routines during COVID

Sleep management during COVID

How to stay active at a computer

COVID Catch-Ups

Over the last five weeks or so, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with small groups of staff in the COVID Catch-Ups. These sessions have given me some great new insights into what all sorts of teams do here at Western Health and across the campuses. I have found it fun and very beneficial hearing some of the great ideas many staff have and the suggestions for what we should retain once the COVID pressures abate a little (we hope!).

I will be continuing to catch up with small groups of staff across the organisation in this way into the future. It has been particularly rewarding being able to meet many staff whom I have never before met and certainly many more who I might not have had a chance to chat to in other settings.

This week I caught up with some of our midwives and a paediatric ward nurse just a few days after the celebration of the Joan Kirner first year anniversary.

I also had a chance to hear from some of the (almost famous) Joan Kirner Theatre staff who took to the dance floor to celebrate Nurses’ Week and find out some of the tricks they used to make their video. (Here is the link in case you missed it – because you don’t want to miss it).

My third catch-up this week was with members of the PPE management team – each is a member of staff redeployed from other areas, eg SNAP or Community Based Rehab. It was fascinating to hear of their overnight swap into a different world!

Our new releases this week are my recent catch-ups with two different teams at Williamstown – Ground Floor Sub-Acute and also a group of our physiotherapists.

Catch-Up with Ground Floor Subacute Ward at Williamstown – Melanie, Frank and Carol

Catch-Up with Williamstown Physiotherapy Team members – Tessa, Ursula and Melanie