Delivering high quality health care requires a team approach from frontline positions such as doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to behind the scenes positions in information technology, workforce, finance, maintenance, administration and management – everyone plays an important role.
“I’ve been a health practitioner for 40 years. The first half of my career was spent in a small country town of about 3,500 people. I was one of only three GPs in the area. My children were born and went to school there and my patients, more often than not, included family friends. I also worked in the Flying Doctor Service doing medical retrievals, GP clinics and providing aboriginal health services. The more I delivered services to a wider area, the more I wanted to help shape the way those services looked. My career started moving towards developing better ways to provide care for the community and eventually the region. ⠀
The second half of my career has shifted from clinical to administrative roles where I believed that my experience could have a real impact. We initially moved back to Sydney and then to the Central Coast where I took on roles focusing on safety and clinical governance. Today my role is Executive Director of Medical Services. My role has often been that of a facilitator between professional and management groups, as well as an advocate for patients when our systems failed them. I ensure that our response is one of empathy and compassion, and that we take steps to improve the way we do things. Those changes ensure that the system as a whole grows and improves as a result of our mistakes.⠀
I’m not sure if I ever leave work thinking that I had major accomplishments on any one day. I think the environment I work in is so complex that if I can look back over the past year and see that collectively we’ve grown – and that the services we are providing today are better than they were 12 months ago – then that is something that I can feel incredibly proud of being a part of.” ⠀
– Bruce, Executive Director of Medical Services.
“Having the only Carer Retreat in a NSW hospital is a bonus for our Local Health District. Our team is committed to making a difference to the lives of carers and to bringing the voice of carers to service development, provision and improvement.
The whole team, including our wonderful volunteers, take pride in ensuring all carers leave the Retreat feeling energised and positive about their caring role. We have days when carers arrive feeling ‘broken and exhausted’ – by taking the time to listen to their concerns we can often point them in the right direction or help them to access services they had no idea existed.
Carer expertise is celebrated here with the use of the TOP5 strategy, yet another first for our health service. TOP5 is an opportunity to discuss and acknowledge a carer’s unique expertise and knowledge of the patient/client, and incorporate their experience into the care being provided. Carers have told us of the incredible peace of mind they feel as a result of sharing their knowledge with health staff. Partnering with carers makes good clinical sense and shows our commitment to personalising patient care. Our team are very proud of the fact that the TOP5 process originated here and has been validated through research work both here in NSW, interstate and overseas.”
– Sian, Manager at Carers Support Unit.