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Health News

INVESTMENT IN TWEED TO COMBAT STATE’S HEALTH PRESSURES

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A group of doctors as they deal with the pressures of healthcare.
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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

INVESTMENT IN TWEED TO COMBAT STATE’S HEALTH PRESSURES

 

By Sarah Waters

The new Tweed Valley Hospital and Kingscliff Ambulance Station are timely developments in a state which is struggling to keep up with health pressures.

NSW public hospitals remain under sustained pressure, with a record number of ambulance responses and critically ill patients presenting to emergency departments – according to the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Healthcare Quarterly report (January – March 2023).

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Despite an increase in the number of triage category 2 patients presenting to emergency departments, wait times in NSW public hospitals were down for the third consecutive quarter.

Throughout the first quarter of 2023, there were 770,089 attendances to NSW public emergency departments.

Of these, 113,637 were patients with an imminently life-threatening condition (triage category 2) – the highest number of patients recorded in this category since BHI began reporting.

Despite the increase in more complex presentations, the majority of patients (67.4%) started their treatment on time, while almost eight in 10 patients (77.7%) were transferred from ambulance to ED staff within the 30-minute benchmark time.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the results showed the state’s health system still faced major challenges.

There was a record 347,720 ambulance responses, the highest of any quarter since 2010.

The NSW Government is currently recruiting thousands of new staff including paramedics, nurses, doctors and support staff to improve emergency response times.

There were 10,868 life-threatening cases (P1A responses) for NSW Ambulance which was slightly down on the previous quarter but still up 70.3% on pre-pandemic levels.

“There are signs the performance of the NSW health system is starting to recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Park said.

“That’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every one of our essential healthcare workers.

“But the health system is facing unprecedented demand and has suffered from a lack of investment in its frontline work force.

Mr Park said the NSW Government was in the process of rolling out a broad suite of initiatives to improve patient access to care and ease pressure on the state’s busy emergency departments.

This included the establishment of 25 Urgent Care Services across the state to help reduce the number of unnecessary ED presentations among children and aged care residents.

 

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A Heartfelt Journey: One Father’s Solo Trek to Transform Lives with Lifestart Disability Services

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A Heartfelt Journey: One Father’s Solo Trek to Transform Lives with Lifestart Disability Services

 

Scott Berry, a devoted Australian father, is embarking on a transformative journey from Brisbane to Sydney, cycling solo to raise vital support for Lifestart Disability Services, an organisation that has been a lifeline for his family for over two decades.

Commencing his heartfelt mission on Thursday, May 16th, Scott, a dedicated father of three from Kellyville, will pedal his way from Komatsu’s office in Brisbane to a jubilant reception awaiting him in Sydney, spanning a challenging 9-day trek – all in honour of Lifestart.

Lifestart extended a helping hand to Scott, his wife Julia, and their three sons over twenty years ago when their son Nathan was diagnosed with Autism as a toddler. Now 24 years old, Nathan stands as a shining example of the transformative power of Lifestart’s support and early intervention, leading a happy, independent life and contributing positively to his Hills community.

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Motivated by gratitude and a deep love for his family, Scott seized an opportunity provided by his employer, Komatsu Construction, to undertake a personal challenge for a charitable cause. For Scott, it was a chance to pursue his passion for cycling while giving back to the organization that profoundly impacted his family’s journey.

A poignant reunion awaits at the finish line on Friday, May 24th, where Nathan’s longtime therapist, Louise Ulliana, a speech pathologist, will surprise the Berry family. The reunion holds special significance as the Berrys credit Louise with positively shaping Nathan’s life during his formative years.

The critical importance of early intervention in childhood development cannot be overstated, and Lifestart’s support was pivotal in guiding Nathan’s educational journey, including the crucial transition to primary school.

Beyond providing support within the NDIS framework, Lifestart recognises the holistic needs of families and communities, offering initiatives like Start Strong Pathways and Speak UP to empower children and their support networks.

Through generous donations, Lifestart ensures that families receive comprehensive support beyond NDIS, fostering educational opportunities and building essential life skills. With dedicated professionals like speech pathologists and occupational therapists, Lifestart profoundly impacts the trajectory of children’s lives.

Scott, accompanied by family members, Nathan’s therapist, and a Lifestart representative, will be available for interviews and visual opportunities upon the completion of his inspirational ride.

For further details, including a VNR of the Berry family and b-roll of Lifestart, please visit the provided link.

 

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Health News

Study shows 20 per cent of Australians are harmed by others’ drinking

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Study shows 20 per cent of Australians are harmed by others’ drinking

 

A recent study conducted by La Trobe University, published in the Addiction journal, sheds light on the profound impact of excessive alcohol consumption on Australians, revealing that approximately 20% of adult Australians have experienced harm due to the drinking behaviours of acquaintances. The study delves into the repercussions on family members, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. Anne-Marie Laslett, the lead researcher, emphasises the pressing need for policy reforms and enhanced services, particularly to support regional women and children who bear the brunt of family members’ drinking habits.

The research, spanning both urban and rural areas, unveils a disparity in the harm experienced, with women disproportionately affected, especially when residing with or being related to heavy drinkers.

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Key findings indicate that nearly two-thirds of participants reported the presence of heavy drinkers in their social circles, with over 22% acknowledging adverse effects from the drinking habits of acquaintances. Specific instances of harm included emotional distress, neglect, and disruptions to familial roles.

Notably, 15% of women reported emotional distress compared to 8% of men, highlighting gender discrepancies in the impact of alcohol-related harm. Furthermore, serious consequences such as verbal abuse, financial strain, and even physical or sexual harm were reported by some participants.

Dr. Laslett underscores the urgent need for comprehensive interventions, including targeted support services for women and youth affected by others’ drinking. While advocacy organisations like the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) have been championing harm prevention initiatives, immediate government action is imperative to address this multifaceted issue effectively.

Drawing from international research, Dr. Laslett suggests psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and anger management, as effective strategies to alleviate the strain experienced by family members affected by others’ drinking habits. Tailored programs addressing intimate partner violence and alcohol abuse have shown promise overseas and warrant further exploration in the Australian context.

In conclusion, the study underscores the urgency of adopting a multifaceted approach encompassing policy reforms, targeted interventions, and enhanced support services to mitigate the far-reaching consequences of excessive alcohol consumption on individuals and their communities.

 

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Regional NSW’s Biggest Hospital Move Successfully Completed

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The new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen is now open
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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Regional NSW’s Biggest Hospital Move Successfully Completed

 

By Sarah Waters

The new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen is in full swing following the biggest hospital move in regional NSW history.

More than 120 patients were safely transferred by NSW Ambulance, and private patient transfer companies, last Tuesday, from the now closed Tweed Hospital on Powell Street in Tweed Heads.

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Northern NSW Local Health District’s Director Clinical Operations Lynne Weir said the transition to the new facility was the culmination of more than 12 months of logistical planning, while the project itself had been more than six years in the making.

“This is a momentous milestone for everyone involved in the project, and of course for our patients, staff and the wider community,” Ms Weir said.

“The level of collaboration, expertise and engagement which has brought us to this point is simply outstanding.

“We are looking forward to a bright future delivering the excellent healthcare we’re known for, in our brand-new health facility,” she said.

Tweed Valley Hospital is now the major referral and teaching hospital in the Tweed-Byron region.

It will provide a wide range of inpatient, day only and outpatient services in the brand new, state of the art facility.

These services include emergency, trauma and critical care, surgical services, cancer services, women’s care and newborn services, paediatric services, renal unit, intensive care, cardiac catheter laboratory and mental health.

Meanwhile, A range of community-based and outreach health services will continue to be delivered on the old Tweed Hospital site in Tweed Heads.

The Tweed Heads Community Health Centre (THCHC) will be established, and will initially provide services such as wound clinics, women’s health services, stomal therapy, Child and Family services, Needle and Syringe Program counselling, Alcohol and Other Drug counselling and some antenatal services.

Additional community-based services may also be offered from the site in the future.

In the short term, services will continue to be provided from the exiting Community Health building – level 2 administration block, accessed from Florence Street.

BreastScreen NSW services will continue to be delivered from the current location at Powell Street.

For more information please visit here. The Tweed Valley Hospital’s new telephone number is: 02 6677 2000.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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