The Health News – 15 January 2016

Overview:
• Brisbane City Council has named and shamed a number of food venues – bakeries, restaurants and fast food chains, that failed to comply with its EatSafe food safety guidelines, were prosecuted and fined $622,500 last year.

• The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) is concerned about the community left behind when an Australian farmer commits suicide. The centre has developed a website designed to reduce the stigma experienced by those communities, and has recently launched new initiatives such as pre-paid postcards, the recruitment of community champions and a digital storytelling workshop.

• Nurses are concerned staffing ratios for the Riverina’s new Rural Referral Hospital in Wagga Wagga are inadequate, and are appealing to residents not to add to the pressure. About 100 nurses met with management this week to voice concerns over safety and staffing ratios at the hospital, which opens on Monday.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-14/58-brisbane-businesses-fail-food-safety-guidelines/7088136

Brisbane City Council has named and shamed a number of food venues that failed to comply with its EatSafe food safety guidelines last year.

Fifty-eight businesses, including bakeries, restaurants and fast food chains, were prosecuted and fined $622,500 last year.

The most expensive fine was issued to Delish Foods’ Piccalilli Catering, which was ordered to pay $50,000 for selling unsafe food while Beijing House, located in Brisbane, was fined $42,000 for a string of poor hygiene practices.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk praised the EatSafe program for its success over the past five years.

“We now have over 1,100 food businesses with a five-star rating and over 90 per cent compliance with State Government food safety regulations,” he said.

“Which compares to just 44 per cent compliance before the program began.

“Council continues to have a zero tolerance policy for food businesses that do not have safe food practices and immediately suspend operations until major safety issues are rectified.

“Over the past five years, EatSafe has seen 1,782 fines issued to offending businesses, 131 businesses prosecuted and 60 licences cancelled.

The EatSafe program was implemented in 2010 in an effort to tighten the city’s food safety practices.

Council inspectors audit every licensed food business in Brisbane, with each receiving a star rating out of five based on compliance with legislative requirements and best practice across areas including cleanliness, food storage and handling and pest control.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-14/website-and-postcards-set-to-help-reduce-stigma-around-suicide/7088880

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) is concerned about the community left behind when an Australian farmer commits suicide.

The centre has developed a website designed to reduce the stigma experienced by those communities, and has recently launched new initiatives such as pre-paid postcards, the recruitment of community champions and a digital storytelling workshop.

It is all part of what is called The Ripple Effect and it began last year.

NCFH’s Alison Kennedy said The Ripple Effect was helping farmers open up about their problems.

Ms Kennedy said the NCFH had started new initiatives to help reduce stigma, including pre-paid postcards.

“The Ripple Effect itself is an online intervention and we realise that not everyone will have access to a good quality internet connection,” she said.

“So we have postcards which are available for people to write a message on about their experience of suicide.

“People can access, complete and return a postcard without any cost to themselves, and the messages from those postcards will be shared on The Ripple Effect website.”

Ms Kennedy said the NCFH was receiving postcards back after having sent out more than 6000 so far.

She said most often the messages were of hope, encouragement and things that had helped people along the way.

In addition to the postcards, Ms Kennedy said the NCFH was offering a three-day digital storytelling workshop in Melbourne next month.

“The workshop has been generously funded by the Geelong Gentlemen’s Club and accommodation and travel will be supported,” she said.

“We’ve only got a few places left.”

People who want more information about The Ripple Effect, becoming a community champion or taking part in the workshop can visit www.therippleeffect.com.au or phone (03) 5551 8587.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-14/nurses-says-staffing-ratios-at-wagga-wagga-hospital-inadequate/7088834

Nurses are concerned staffing ratios for the Riverina’s new Rural Referral Hospital in Wagga Wagga are inadequate, and are appealing to residents not to add to the pressure.

About 100 nurses met with management [this week]… to voice concerns over safety and staffing ratios at the hospital, which opens on Monday.

The Nurses and Midwives Association said the new hospital would open seven beds and four chairs in its emergency ward — only a third of the existing hospital’s Emergency Department.

The union’s lead organiser Linda Griffiths said nurses feared worse outcomes for patients.

“They’re very concerned that this reduction is going to mount an enormous amount of pressure on them to open beds when they’re not staffed appropriately,” she said.

Ms Griffiths said nurses were also concerned about the staff-to-bed ratio of the paediatric unit, which has increased in size compared to the old hospital.