The Health News – 18 September 2015

Overview:
• Staffing issues at the new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) has left another Brisbane hospital without surgical support, which could compromise patient care, doctors say. In a scathing letter to Children’s Health Queensland chief executive Fionnagh Dougan, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s (RBWH) neonatal unit expresses its “deep concern” at the lack of surgical support provided.

• Tasmanian paramedics are working up to 14-hour shifts without a break, according to Right to Information documents obtained by the State Opposition. The Opposition claimed paramedics missed 11,414 meal breaks and that Ambulance Tasmania instead paid out the missed breaks, costing $228,280 in the past financial year.

• South Australia’s first therapy house is offering children with autism early intervention programs while also easing the financial burden their families face. Inclusive Directions Flinders Therapy House, which opened less than three months ago in St Marys in Adelaide’s south, already has plans to expand to support more families in South Australia.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th September 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-17/lady-cilento-hospital-staffing-shortage-royal-brisbane-neonatal/6785222

Staffing issues at the new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) has left another Brisbane hospital without surgical support, which could compromise patient care, doctors say.

In a scathing letter to Children’s Health Queensland chief executive Fionnagh Dougan, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s (RBWH) neonatal unit expresses its “deep concern” at the lack of surgical support provided.

The LCCH has an agreement to provide subspecialists, including neurosurgeons and general paediatric surgeons to visit the RBWH to provide specialist support.

But according to the letter, that is not happening.

“It has reached the point where we feel we are providing substandard patient care and have concerns for patient safety,” the letter, signed neonatologists at Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit, said.

“We have had disinterest and disengagement and outright refusal to see our patients.

“The ongoing obstacles we face need to be promptly addressed.”

While the letter acknowledges a “small group of subspecialists” had been understanding, that was not the norm.

“On the other extreme, we have had subspecialists registrars hang up the phone when a neonatal consultant tries to speak to them,” the letter said.

The letter said that if the lack of supervision continued for paediatric and neonatology trainees, the RBWH would be at risk of losing accreditation.
In a statement … an RBWH spokesperson said the two hospitals were working closely to address areas of concern.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-17/paramedics-work-up-to-14-hour-shifts-without-a-break/6784938

Tasmanian paramedics are working up to 14-hour shifts without a break, according to Right to Information documents obtained by the State Opposition.

The Opposition claimed paramedics missed 11,414 meal breaks and that Ambulance Tasmania instead paid out the missed breaks, costing $228,280 in the past financial year.

Labor’s health spokeswoman, Rebecca White, said the figures showed the service was under-resourced.

“When ambulance paramedics are working 10-hour shifts and 14-hour night shifts, it is unsafe for them to miss out on a 25-minute break,” she said.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the figure was higher in the last full financial year under Labor, with paramedics forced to work through 2,000 more meal breaks.

Mr Ferguson said 17 new paramedics were set to start work across the state.

Hobart paramedic Lauren Hepher said the non-stop work was taking its toll.

“If you’re not getting 25 minutes away from your 10-hour day, that’s a very long day,” she said.

“You’re dealing with people who are having their own emergency health problems and health crisis and you’re faced with that for 10 hours.

“It’s very emotionally exhausting.” [she said]

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-17/therapy-house-offers-children-with-autism-early-intervention/6784002

South Australia’s first therapy house is offering children with autism early intervention programs while also easing the financial burden their families face.

Inclusive Directions Flinders Therapy House, which opened less than three months ago in St Marys in Adelaide’s south, already has plans to expand to support more families in South Australia.

The house’s chief executive Jocelyn Graham said typically early intervention programs could cost $60,000 to $70,000 a year which was “not attainable to a lot of people”.

The therapy house offers care for less than $16,000 a year, which can be fully-funded by money obtained through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“It’s intergenerational reform,” Ms Graham said.

“They now have the funds. They’re not redrawing their super, selling homes and cars to pay for service. They have the Government funding to pay for services.”

Mother-of-two Rebecca Tanner-Payne was so overwhelmed with the progress her son Jed made on his first day at the centre she was brought to tears.

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