The Health News – 09 October 2015


Overview:
• Additional staff are expected to be rostered in the Maternity Ward and Emergency Department of Tamworth Hospital following a meeting between nurses and the head of the Hunter New England Health District. Tamworth MP, Kevin Anderson, said nurses met with Hunter New England Health Chief Executive Michael Di Rienzo, to voice their concerns about staffing levels.

• The state-owned Quadriplegic Centre in Shenton Park in Perth needs to be demolished and rebuilt because its ageing infrastructure is failing to meet the needs of current residents according to Shane Yensch the executive director. 

• A Tasmanian mother illegally using medicinal cannabis has ruled out participating in the New South Wales trial of the drug. The Tasmanian Government is finalising its involvement in the trial and has offered to supply participants from the state. However it could prove some parents who are using the drugs to treat their ill children refusing to put them at risk.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-08/management2c-nurses-negotiate-trial-solutions-to-tamworth-hosp/6836092

Additional staff are expected to be rostered on in the Maternity Ward and Emergency Department of Tamworth Hospital following a meeting between nurses and the head of the Hunter New England Health District.

Tamworth MP, Kevin Anderson, said nurses met with Hunter New England Health Chief Executive Michael Di Rienzo … to voice their concerns about staffing levels.

Mr Anderson said there will be an extra midwife on night shift and a three-month trial of extra support in the Emergency Department.

“There will be extra shifts allocated on night duty in the Emergency Department as part of the Short Stay Unit,” he said.

“That’s not yet fully operational so what they’ll be doing is using the two nurses that are allocated there in the Emergency Department and assisting on that roster.

“Nurses and Doctors at the meeting agreed that it was a good outcome.”

It follows months of action from nurses to argue for increased hours in the Emergency Department overnight and additional midwives in Maternity.

The Industrial Relations Commission also recommended changes but Management originally said it would wait to see if data supported the need for an increase.

Hunter New England Health is also investigating a critical incident at the Hospital last week that led to a baby being taken to …John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

Mr Anderson admits the solution negotiated … is a trial that will be re-evaluated after three months.

The state’s Nurses and Midwives Association is cautiously welcoming the shift in resources but said it’s a short-term fix and something permanent is needed.

General Secretary Brett Holmes said the matter will go before the Industrial Relations Commission … where he’s hoping more detail of the plan is made available.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-07/plea-for-revamp-of-quadriplegic-centre/6835532

The state-owned Quadriplegic Centre in Perth needs to be demolished and rebuilt because its ageing infrastructure is failing to meet the needs of current residents, the facility’s executive director has said.

The WA Department of Health facility, in the suburb of Shenton Park, was built to house severely injured patients in the 1960s and has not been refurbished to cater for electric wheelchairs and modern-care technology.

After a patient was scalded when an aging thermostatic valve burst earlier this year, the centre’s executive director Shane Yensch made an urgent call in its annual report to redevelop the facility.

“It’s beyond its useful life, certainly to … deliver the type of care and rehabilitation that’s required and expected,” he said.

A review of the infrastructure was called for in 2003, initiated in 2004 and has been continuously raised as a priority in almost every of the centre’s annual reports since.

Full-time resident Richard Wright became a quadriplegic after he broke his neck bodysurfing almost three years ago.

“It was a bit of a tragic accident, no one was at fault but me, just going for a swim at the beach,” he said.

The former accountant said while staff at the centre were excellent, the ageing buildings were not.

The facility was originally designed as a hospital with smaller temporary clinic-style rooms.

This leaves some residents living permanently in the cramped rooms with no en suite bathrooms or much space for personal belongings.

Mr Yensch said the infrastructure was completely inappropriate with bedroom sizes, corridors and storage spaces struggling to fit larger electric wheelchairs or hoist technology.

Mr Yensch estimates a new centre to address current needs will cost between $50 million to $60 million.

But WA Health Minister Kim Hames said any redevelopment has to compete with other funding priorities, including Fiona Stanley Hospital and the new Perth Children’s Hospital.

Mr Hames said the business case for redevelopment would be considered ahead of the next state budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-08/mother-using-medicinal-cannabis-for-children-refuses-nsw-trial/6835592

A Tasmanian mother illegally using medicinal cannabis has ruled out participating in the New South Wales trial of the drug.

The Tasmanian Government is finalising its involvement in the trial and has offered to supply participants from the state.

However, that could prove difficult, with some parents who use the drug to treat their seriously ill children refusing to put them at risk.

Hobart mother Nicole Cowles treats her nine-year-old daughter Alice’s life-threatening seizures with cannabis oil, even though it is illegal.

She will not allow her to be part of the trial.

“The risk of being given a placebo, or sugar water more or less, is terrifying especially, when her seizures are so life-threatening and so well controlled now in comparison to how they ever have been,” Ms Cowles said.

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