The Health News – 29 November 2016

Overview:
• The media has been blocked from a Supreme Court visit to the site of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site on Tuesday to look at five alleged building defects. The alleged faults in the $2 billion hospital include incorrect room sizes, air-conditioning woes, sewer pipes in a data equipment room, a 200-millimetre ceiling space and the height of a loading dock.

• NSW Premier Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced the State Government would spend $550 million to upgrade the Nepean Hospital, and a further $26 million on the car park. Earlier this year, senior hospital staff spoke out about resourcing shortfalls and called on the Government to honour its election pledges.

• Sharon Bryce from the Australian Tissue Donation Network said the majority of people are not aware of bone donation. In the past decade 25,000 Australians have benefited from bone grafts manufactured in the Australian Biotechnologies lab.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  29th of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-28/media-blocked-from-new-rah-alleged-defect-tour/8072764

The media has been blocked from a Supreme Court visit to the site of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site on Tuesday to look at five alleged building defects.

The alleged faults in the $2 billion hospital include incorrect room sizes, air-conditioning woes, sewer pipes in a data equipment room, a 200-millimetre ceiling space and the height of a loading dock.

Justice Malcolm Blue will visit the site as part of a civil trial between the State Government and project consortium South Australian Health Partnership and an independent expert.

Justice Blue told the court he was happy for the media to film the visit but lawyers for one company in the consortium, builder HYLC, opposed access.

The new hospital is almost a year behind schedule and it is still not clear when it will open, as it remains stuck in a legal quagmire.

Key to the case is the jurisdiction of the so-called independent expert Steven Goldstein, who adjudicated on the alleged defects.

Government lawyer Dick Whitington QC told the court the builder “enlarged” the expert’s powers to rule on disputes.

He said alleged faults identified by the Government were dismissed by the expert, who urged the flaws be accepted.

“Near enough is good enough, take it as it is,” Mr Whitington said sarcastically.

The defence will be presented in coming days.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-28/doctors-say-$550-million-not-enough-for-neapean-hospital-upgrade/8064608

Doctors on the frontline at the Nepean Hospital have welcomed a major upgrade announcement but say it does not go far enough to meet projected future demands on the western Sydney facility.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced the State Government would spend $550 million to upgrade the hospital, and a further $26 million on the car park.

Earlier this year, senior Nepean Hospital staff spoke out about resourcing shortfalls and called on the Government to honour its election pledges.

Among them was Dr Nhi Nguyen, acting head of the intensive care unit (ICU) and chairperson of the Staff Council.

She said the $550 million announcement should be just the start.

“In Penrith we have a greater population of people who are obese, we have more patients dying of cancer, we have higher mortality from cardiovascular disease,” she said.

“[Royal North Shore Hospital] got a proper build of $1.2 billion so when you see those statistics of a growing, morbidly obese population with complex illness, despite all our efforts to change models of care and all those things we talk about … they still need a hospital to service them.”

Dr Peter Flynn has worked at the Nepean Hospital for more than 30 years and is now the Executive Medical Director.

He said while the funding was good news, he was frustrated the amount was not higher.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-28/business-of-bone-donation/8035188

In the business of bone donation, old hips are giving new life to people needing reconstructive surgery.

More than 33,000 hip replacements are performed each year in Australia.

If the patient ticks the bone donation box, part of the hip is taken away to be processed and turned into bone grafts.

When a hip is replaced, the ball at the top of the hip joint, the femoral head, is removed and a plastic socket put in its place.

In New South Wales, just 600 out of 6,000 hip replacement patients last year agreed to become living donors.

While the number remains low, it represents a steady increase.

Sharon Bryce from the Australian Tissue Donation Network said the majority of people are not aware of bone donation.

“You see bone from people in their 60s and 70s and 80s being used for example to transplant into children who are having spinal surgery,” Ms Bryce said.

Simon Berry is the CEO of Australian Biotechnologies, a laboratory in northern Sydney where donated bone is recycled for use in surgery.

At the lab, a team of specialist technicians carry out what is a very niche trade.

Donated bone from living and deceased donors is shaped into blocks or plugs for ready use in surgery.

“The surgeons prefer this tissue because it replicates the natural healing properties of the patient’s own bone, and effectively it remodels into the patients’ own bone over a six to 12-month period,” said Mr Berry.

It is also ground down into a product aptly named Crunch, to fill in the gaps and help healing after surgery.

In the past decade 25,000 Australians have benefited from bone grafts manufactured in the Australian Biotechnologies lab.