As the COVID pressures continue to impact our health service, it is increasingly important that we find ways to support each other through the inevitable harder times.
I know we all want to provide Best Care each and every day but sometimes there will be barriers in the way. Thank you for continuing to work through those challenges and I know that every staff member is doing their very best each day.
Today I would like to draw attention to the difficult work that is undertaken outside Monday to Friday daytime hours. Our After Hours Administrators (AHAs) perform an extremely valuable role for the whole of Western Health, juggling many tasks and problem solving, often for hours on end and in difficult circumstances. They also work closely at times with another group of staff who do fantastic work, often behind the scenes – our security officers. Some shifts are tougher than others for our security staff – I want you to know that we do appreciate everything that is done by the AHAs and security teams, even if it does take place in the middle of the night! I know about the great work you do and it is greatly appreciated.
As deaths among COVID patients increase, I am mindful of the burden this places on staff who are encountering the loss of patients and interacting with grieving families. Please do share your experiences with your manager and colleagues and a reminder that our Employee Assistance Program through Caraniche is there to provide a further layer of support.
To further protect staff and patients, we are now implementing version 7 of our PPE guidelines, which includes important information on high risk aerosol generating procedures and aerosol generating behaviours; new requirements for inpatients to wear level 1 surgical masks; and where safe and practical, side curtains between patients to be pulled three-quarters closed, to act as a physical barrier from droplets.
Please ensure you and your colleagues are familiar with the updated guidelines which can be found under P for PPE in the QRG section of the site.
A number of our nursing and midwifery staff have been preparing their own videos to encourage their colleagues and remind them of the support that is there for them in this time when their skills and contributions are even more important than ever. It is essential that we are able to respond to the care needs of our vulnerable patients at this time. Please take a look at this short clip from Michelle Read and Mariann Trinh from the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Unit – and feel free to share on social media as well. Click on the link.