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Health News

Ballina Women’s Refuge

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Ballina Women’s Refuge

Ballina Women’s Refuge

A SAFE place for women and children to escape domestic violence in Ballina is under threat.

The Ballina Women’s Refuge provides a safe place for more than 130 women and children escaping domestic and family violence each year and requires ongoing funding to deliver accommodation and vital domestic and family violence support services.

A campaign has been started to raise funds for the refuge as it struggles to survive without sufficient government support.

Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot raised the problem in parliament recently.

“The government must urgently support locals fleeing domestic violence,” she said.

“As a former police officer, I have seen first-hand how vital women’s refuges are in providing crisis accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

“In Parliament today I made sure that the Liberals and Nationals were well aware of the impact of their lack of recurrent funding for places like Momentum Collective’s Ballina Women’s and Children’s Refuge – who are being forced to hold a fundraiser tomorrow just to keep their doors open.

“The New South Wales Government funding is due to cease on June 30 and the fact is, without further funding this service will be forced to close.”

Last year, Momentum Collective took over operation of the refuge.

“The refuge is currently run by local organisation Momentum Collective, who took on its operation last year when the charity running it was unable to get enough donations to stay open,” Ms Elliot said.

“Momentum Collective were specifically asked for the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice to take it over, and they received a one-off funding grant from the department, which now ceases at the end of this month.

“Momentum Collective stepped up to do their part, the local community, the business community stepped up to.

“Now it’s time for both the federal and state governments to do their part and urgently provide this desperately needed recurrent funding.”

In a bipartisan show of support, NSW MLC Catherine Cusack and MPs Tamara Smith and Janelle Saffin have all pitched in to help launch the Ballina refuge fundraising campaign, as well as local comedian Mandy Nolan.

Ms Nolan, the ambassador for the Ballina refuge campaign, says domestic and family violence is an issue that concerns the whole community.

She has lived experience of domestic and family violence and is passionate about the issue.

“Violence is not a women’s issue; it is a whole of community issue. As someone who grew up in domestic violence, I know what it’s like not to be a child and not have a safe space. As a woman who later lived in domestic violence, I know what it is like to feel the complex stigma,” Ms Nolan says.

“It is particularly difficult for women and children in regional areas to find safe space when they are moving away from violence. We know this is the time they are most at risk. This is why places like the Ballina Women and Children’s Refuge are so important. It provides the support and the protection so that women can start to rebuild their lives.”

Momentum Collective’s service director Sarah Dybing says the campaign launch demonstrated that domestic and family violence was everybody’s business.

“We appreciate the fact that our local MPs have come together here today to support the Ballina women’s and children’s refuge. It is the only safe harbour for women and children escaping family and domestic violence in our local community,” Ms Dybing said.

“Momentum Collective became involved to support the refuge in 2019, and began operating it in 2020, to ensure the doors remained opened. We now want to ensure the refuge can continue to operate with ongoing support services. Like the rest of Australia, Ballina is experiencing a housing crisis with a shortfall of affordable housing. It is vital that women and children in Ballina have a safe and stable place to go when they need to leave a violent and abusive environment.”

The Ballina community rallied last year to help renovate and refurbish the refuge to ensure that women and children seeking support would feel welcome and comfortable in the house, Ms Dybing said.

“Our team has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Ballina community with so many pitching in to help us. A number of small businesses have organised fundraising events and Ballina on Richmond Rotary has been a constant supporter,” she said.

“I would invite all of our local businesses to get on board with fundraising events and everyone in the community to help us by donating to the campaign. Every little bit helps us keep women and children safe and allows us to support families to overcome the trauma and upheaval brought on by domestic and family violence.”

NSW MLC Catherine Cusack said safety was a basic human right for women and children.
“Feeling and being at risk invades their every waking moment. It ruins work and education opportunities. It destroys self-esteem – and so in addition to providing accommodation, refuges provide expert support that can turn lives around.”

Visit the Momentum Collective website for more information on how to donate and fundraise for the Ballina Women’s and Children’s refuge: www.mymomentum.org.au/donate/

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Health News

RURAL HEALTH INQUIRY REVEALS LACK OF FUNDING FOR TAMWORTH OPERATING THEATRES

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Tamworth Hospital

RURAL HEALTH INQUIRY REVEALS LACK OF FUNDING FOR TAMWORTH OPERATING THEATRES

The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into rural health has revealed today that three operating theatres in Tamworth Hospital are used for storage instead of much needed surgery because of a shortfall in funding from the NSW Government.

The inquiry also revealed that it takes a two and a half hour round trip for Gunnedah locals to get a script due to a shortage of GP’s in the area as well as long waits for appointments, and lack of access to specialist appointments.

Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said the hearings have continued to highlight the desperate need for more support and resources.

“At each hearing we are seeing undeniable evidence that there is healthcare crisis going on across rural and regional NSW,” Mr Park said.

“It is just not good enough that three operating theatres in Tamworth Hospital are being used for storage when people are in desperate need of surgery. What is the point of having operating theatres that are empty?” Mr Park said.

“The Government’s neglect of public health services in rural and regional NSW must be addressed.”

Ms Rebecca Dridan, Chair, Gunnedah Early Childhood Network, said that for parents needing to get an appointment for their child with behaviour issues the wait is in excess of two years unless parents can afford to “pay a lot of money” to attend a private practice.

Ms Dridan went on to say “…a lot of children just get missed. They fall through the cracks.”

Cr Jamie Chaffey, Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council said he was concerned for his community. “Unless there is change, dramatic change in a short period of time, the community of Gunnedah is at a crisis point, there is no doubt about it” he said.

Dr David Scott, Chair Tamworth Medical Staff Council said the ratios of patients to specialists was worse for those living in rural NSW compared to those living and working in the City.

“For example if I worked in the City I would be expected to look after around 20,000 people in Sydney, while for almost 10 years I was the only person for almost 200,000 people” Dr Scott said.

Labor’s representatives on the committee are Greg Donnelly and Walt Secord.

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Business News

The Northern Rivers Times Edition 49

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The Northern Rivers Times Edition 49_Page_01
The Northern Rivers Times Edition 49

The Northern Rivers Times Edition 49

The Northern Rivers Times Edition 49 is out today as usual it is available from all Newsagents, leading Service Stations, General Stores and Woolworths Supermarkets from Coffs Harbour to Southport and as far west as Tenterfield, every town in the northern rivers. A very full 80 pages to read on these rainy and cold days ahead with over 32 pages of local news, 4 page lift out TV Guide, 2 pages of puzzles, 7-8 pages of local sports, 7 page of Rural news, 4 pages of Local Entertainment, trades and professional services, funerals, community news and events and a special 7 Pages on Lismore’s the Star Court Theatre 100 year Anniversary. This is a brilliant edition and all of our readers will absolutely love it from page 1 to page 80. Only $2. But HURRY as last weeks edition 48 sold out all copies within 3 days.

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Health News

Northern NSW emergency departments rated highly for care and cleanliness

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Northern NSW emergency departments rated highly for care and cleanliness

Northern NSW emergency departments rated highly for care and cleanliness

Patients have rated Northern NSW Emergency Departments (EDs) among the best in NSW, according to the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) report which surveyed 77 of the bigger public hospitals across the state.
Results from the 2019-20 Emergency Department Patient Survey released today show that patients attending Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) EDs continue to report high levels of satisfaction with their experience, health staff and facilities.
Most patients, 78 per cent, in the District reported being triaged within 15 minutes of arriving, the highest in the state.

The overall ratings of care by patients in the District were among the highest in the state, with 91 per cent of surveyed patients rating their care as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
Patients rated ED staff highly with 93 per cent of patients rating the treatment provided by the ED health professionals as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
NNSWLHD Emergency Departments also recorded high scores when it came to cleanliness, with 82 per cent of respondents saying the treatment area was ‘very clean’, the highest result in NSW for the second consecutive year. Byron Central Hospital recorded the highest rating of all NSW public hospitals for cleanliness with a 95 per cent result.

NNSWLHD Director of Clinical Operations, Lynne Weir, said the survey period included the emergence of COVID-19 in NSW in early 2020 which resulted in significant changes to the way health services were delivered.
“I want to commend our staff who continued to deliver outstanding results for our patients during a very challenging time for health services around the world,” Ms Weir said.
“It takes a dedicated team to deliver the quality experiences and outcomes our patients and the community expect, and these results are indicative of our commitment to patient care and to continuous improvement.
“For the second consecutive year, we achieved some of the best triage responses in the state and, importantly, we also rate among the top health districts for patient care measures.
“For example, our hospitals recorded excellent results when it came to asking patients if they felt they were able to get assistance or advice from ED staff for their personal needs, and 84 per cent said health staff ‘always’ explained things in a way patients could understand.”

A number of hospitals delivered improved results when compared with the previous year, with Ballina District Hospital in particular achieving significant improvements in 26 survey measures, including 99 per cent of surveyed patients reporting that they had confidence and trust in the ED health professionals treating them.

“These surveys are essential sources of information to help us identify gaps and develop plans to improve patient experiences at our hospitals,” Ms Weir said.
Between mid-2012 and mid-2020 the Northern NSW Local Health District increased its workforce by an additional 1008 full time equivalent staff – an increase of 26.7 per cent – including 171 more doctors, 367 more nurses and midwives, and 121 more allied health staff.

The 2020-21 budget for Northern NSW Local Health District was more than $926 million – an increase of almost $39 million, or 4.4 per cent, on the 2019-20 budget.
The record 2020-21 NSW Health statewide budget of $29.3 billion includes $30 million for additional emergency department attendances and ambulance calls and $14.5 million to recruit more temporary security staff and more patient experience officers to improve patients’ experiences in our public hospitals.

INDIVIDUAL HOSPITAL RESULTS
BALLINA DISTRICT HOSPITAL: The majority, 93 per cent, of surveyed patients rated their overall care as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Nearly all patients, 99 per cent, said they had confidence and trust in the ED health professionals treating them, the highest in the state. The vast majority of those surveyed, 94 per cent, said ED health professionals were always kind and caring and 84 per cent said they were ‘definitely’ involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.
BYRON CENTRAL HOSPITAL: Nearly all surveyed patients, 95 per cent, said the ED was ‘very clean’, the highest rating in the state. More than 85 per cent of patients said they were triaged within 15 minutes and the majority, 80 per cent, said they would speak highly of their experience in ED to friends and family. In addition, 92 per cent rated their overall care in ED as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and 85 per cent said the staff were always kind and caring.
CASINO & DISTRICT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: The vast majority, 94 per cent, of surveyed patients said ED staff were ‘always’ polite and courteous and 87 per cent of patients said they were triaged with 15 minutes. More than 90 per cent of surveyed patients said ED health professionals ‘always’ explained things in a way they could understand and 98 per cent said their overall care was ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
GRAFTON BASE HOSPITAL: More than 85 per cent of surveyed patients said staff were ‘always’ kind and caring and the majority, 76 per cent, would ‘speak highly’ of their ED experience to family and friends.
LISMORE BASE HOSPITAL: Overall, 87 per cent rated the care they received as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Nearly all patients, 97 per cent, said they felt the purpose of medication was explained in a way they could understand by ED staff and the majority, 78 per cent, reported that staff were kind and caring.
MACLEAN DISTRICT HOSPITAL: The majority of surveyed patients, 91 per cent, rated their care in ED as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The vast majority, 92 per cent, said they felt treated with respect and dignity while in ED.
MURWILLUMBAH DISTRICT HOSPITAL: The vast majority of patients, 93 per cent, said ED staff explained things in a way they could understand and 88 per cent said they were triaged within 15 minutes. The majority, 84 per cent, said they had confidence and trust in the ED health professionals treating them and 95 per cent rated their overall care in ED as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. In addition, 93 per cent of respondents said the ED treatment area was ‘very clean’.
THE TWEED HOSPITAL: Overall, 90 per cent rated their care as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The majority, 85 per cent, said they felt treated with respect and dignity and 78 per cent said they were triaged within 15 minutes.
The survey is available on the BHI website.

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