Sue Shilbury

Focusing on the patient

National Standards 2018

Austin Health's National Standards Accreditation will happen in the week 22-26 October this year. This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate the great safe care we deliver each day. The National Standards committees, Divisions and Wards are commencing preparations. There will be staff checklists, local National Standards area leads and walk arounds to help you prepare. 

Make sure you come along to the Standard of the Month forums commencing with Governance and Consumer Engagement in March. These standards are a good way of helping us in achieving the kind of care we would expect if a family member of ours was in hospital. Consumer involvement in their care, safe handover, infection control, and hand hygiene are vital in the great care we provide our patients. 

Focusing on the patient

This week, I was fortunate to be able to attend the nursing grand round which tackled the complex array of challenges that methamphetamine use presents for our staff when caring for patients affected. 

An almost full lecture theatre saw how meth floods the brain with dopamine and observed some of the other physiological impacts of its use. In addition, the relationship with mental health conditions in those that use on an ongoing basis was discussed.

Despite the behavioural challenges that these patients may present with, seeing the individual patient, not the drug, was critical. Treatment does exist and is achieving positive outcomes. 

It is heartening to see how our staff consistently focus on the needs of the patient.

Advance Care Planning

An important legislative change regarding Advance Care Planning will take place from March 12 that all clinicians should be aware of.

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act (2016) changes the consent process for people who don't have decision-making capacity and is part of a broader shift within the community towards empowering and supporting people to make their own medical treatment decisions.

It is important that all clinicians familiarise themselves with the changes and how this will impact on their practice. Please look out for Advance Care Planning sessions and on-line training in the coming weeks.

Prof Neville Yeoman, Director of Research retires

Earlier this week, colleagues, peers and friends of Prof Neville Yeoman gathered to celebrate his unique contribution to Austin Hospital.

Our Board Chair Judith Troeth remarked that Neville is like the wise knight in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales - the knight who displayed truth, honour, generosity and courtesy.

We thank Prof Yeoman for providing sincere wise council to many colleagues, including myself and the Executive. 

Prof Yeoman played a pivotal role in developing the breadth of care and reputation of the Austin Hospital in the 1970s and 1980s and leading research over the last eight years. Read more about Neville's career highlights.

Happy Lunar New Year and I hope you all have great week ahead.

Sue Shilbury
Chief Executive