The Health News – 3 November 2016

Overview:
•  The Mersey Community Hospital in Latrobe has marked the end of an era with birthing services no longer available there. A barbeque lunch marked the occasion with past and present midwives gathering to remember and discuss the maternity ward at the hospital.

• The latest NT Health Department of Health annual report said close to half of NT public hospital admissions were already made up of same-day haemodialysis and that demand for the services was set to rise.

•  The non-profit Delta Therapy Dog program has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people in need in the New South Wales Hunter region over almost two decades. In Newcastle, the program operates in the busy John Hunter Hospital (JHH) on some of its children’s and adult wards.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  3rd of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-02/no-more-births-at-mersey-community-hospital/7987650

The Mersey Community Hospital in Latrobe has marked the end of an era with birthing services no longer available there.

A barbeque lunch marked the occasion with past and present midwives gathering to remember and discuss the maternity ward at the hospital.

Former midwife Lyn Johnson worked at the hospital for 40 years and for her, it was not the thousands of babies and countless nightshifts she worked, but the relationships she built over those years.

“The biggest thing for me has been the friendships and the camaraderie,” Ms Johnson said.

“It was just something that I hadn’t come across in other hospitals.”

She started her long career at the hospital in what could be described as a temporary manner, which stretched well beyond what it was meant to be.

“I was asked to relieve one of the midwives who was off sick for two days and 27 years later, I left so it was the longest two days’ work I ever had,” Ms Johnson said.

While the mood at the barbeque was upbeat and felt like a reunion of some kind, downstairs on the ward, the feeling was different.

Wendy Somers, who has been working on the maternity unit for about seven years, summed up the day by simply saying the midwives were “heartbroken”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-02/dialysis-treatments-will-almost-double-in-nt-health-report/7983946

The demand for haemodialysis treatments in hospitals and clinics in the Northern Territory is projected to increase by up to 70 per cent within the next decade.

The latest NT Health Department of Health annual report said close to half of NT public hospital admissions were already made up of same-day haemodialysis and that demand for the services was set to rise.

The report published a 2015 study that used three methods to estimate the demand for facility based haemodialysis between 2013 to 2022.

It found that demand for that treatment could be estimated to rise between 41 per cent and 70 per cent in the nine-year period.

A Central Australian kidney dialysis clinic said the bulk of renal dialysis patients in the Northern Territory were Indigenous Australians from remote Territory communities.

Western Desert Dialysis chief executive Sarah Brown said the facilities across the Territory were already at capacity.

Ms Brown said providing treatment for Indigenous patients on-country was essential to lifting the burden on the system and lessen the cultural impact on the patients.

She said that if the numbers of dialysis patients continued to rise as predicted, the ability to provide care in remote communities would be compromised.

Ms Brown said leaving remote Indigenous communities was devastating for patients and their communities.

She added that while the increasing numbers of dialysis patients was a crisis, it was also an opportunity to improve services in the bush.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-02/therapy-dogs-putting-smiles-on-the-faces-of-sick-kids/7982932

A program involving pet dogs visiting sick patients in hospital has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people in need in the New South Wales Hunter region over almost two decades.

It is also helping change perceptions of what recovery from illness could entail.

The non-profit Delta Therapy Dog program also sees volunteers take their dogs to libraries, schools, nursing homes and occasionally, workplaces.

In Newcastle, the program operates in the busy John Hunter Hospital (JHH) on some of its children’s and adult wards.

Ms Withers said dogs who participated in the program must be aged between 18 months and 10 years.

She said dogs that were happy, relaxed, liked people, and would solicit pats were best suited.

…Ms Withers said the program helped patients in their recovery, if only for a short time.