New cancer support group

 A new cancer support group is being formed in the Sale area for people in the community with all forms of cancer.

Central Gippsland Health’s Community Liaison Group is supporting the establishment of the new group which will focus on individuals who have or have had cancer.

While there are some specific cancer support groups in the local area, the intention for this support group is that it is open to people who have had any sort of cancer. This will be a first in the area and the Community Liaison Group members believe there is a real need for this in the community.

Those interested are invited to attend the inaugural Cancer Support Group meeting with the hope there will be enough interest to continue the group.

Director Community Services at CGH, Mandy Pusmucans, said there was currently a gap in community support surrounding cancer.

“The aim of this group is to enable a safe, confidential and friendly place where people can give and receive emotional and practical support from others with a lived experience,” Ms Pusmucans said.

“Once the group has a solid foundation, there is potential to expand this to involve partners, friends and family in the future. Initially, we are taking small steps to gauge interest.

“There is wonderful support for patients with breast cancer but the members of the Community Liaison Group feel that there is a need for this type of support for people with other types of cancer.”

The Community Liaison Group members have been appreciative of the support in getting to this point. This has come from the McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse, Marg Centra as well as the Cancer Council Victoria and Ambulance Victoria.

The inaugural meeting will be held Thursday, 19 April from 2pm to 3.30pm in the Conference Room of the CGH Community Services Building in Palmerston Street with afternoon tea provided.

If you have or have had cancer and are interested in being a part of this Cancer Support Group or would like to know more, contact Mandy Pusmucans at mandy.pusmucans@ghs.com.au or call 5143 8800 to RSVP.

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Busy time in Maffra

Residents of the JH McDonald Wing at Maffra Hospital enjoyed many activities in March including the Interfaculty Bowls social game with Stretton Park.

One of the residents turned 50 and a cheese and wine afternoon was held to celebrate.

The Kinder Project started again with children from Duke Street visiting every second week. Residents also attended Morning Melodies and lunch with Stretton Park residents at the Sale RSL.

 

Stretton Park had the Silver Tails band entertaining its residents on 6 March and some McDonald Wing residents walked through the park to join in the musical sing-a-long.

The craft group made Easter decorations for all the residents of McDonald Wing with the facility purchasing Easter eggs to fill the craft baskets.

Maffra Hospital raised $1354.50 for Leukemia Research as part of the Shave for a Cure on 15 March.

Three people had their heads shaved and two staff members went colourful with their locks dyed.

McDonald Wing resident, Bob Sunderland, lost both his hair and long-standing beard for the cause with staff members, Natasha Jorgensen and Vicki Tudor, shaving their heads.

Nurse Unit Manager Leah Adams, Nurse Trish Hanley and staff member Kelly Burley all changed the colour of their hair.

This was a great effort and thanks to McQuillen’s Meats who donated sausages for the lunch treat and to the Maffra Lions for cooking them. Also to Casey Hocken and  Kristen Henry  for their hairdressing skills.  Tinamba and District CWA also supplied scones for afternoon tea.

 

This was a great effort and a special thanks to all the participants and all those who donated to this very worthy cause.

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Busy March for McDonald Wing

Residents of the JH McDonald Wing at Maffra Hospital enjoyed many activities in March including the Interfaculty Bowls social game with Stretton Park.

One of the residents turned 50 and a cheese and wine afternoon was held to celebrate.

The Kinder Project started again with children from Duke Street visiting every second week. Residents also attended Morning Melodies and lunch with Stretton Park residents at the Sale RSL.

Stretton Park had the Silver Tails band entertaining its residents on 6 March and some McDonald Wing residents walked through the park to join in the musical sing-a-long.

The craft group made Easter decorations for all the residents of McDonald Wing with the facility purchasing Easter eggs to fill the craft baskets.

Maffra Hospital raised $1354.50 for Leukemia Research as part of the Shave for a Cure on 15 March.

Three people had their heads shaved and two staff members went colourful with their locks dyed.

McDonald Wing resident, Bob Sunderland, lost both his hair and long-standing beard for the cause with staff members, Natasha Jorgensen and Vicki Tudor, shaving their heads.

Nurse Unit Manager Leah Adams, Nurse Trish Hanley and staff member Kelly Burley all changed the colour of their hair.

Thanks to McQuillen’s Meats who donated sausages for the lunch treat and to the Maffra Lions for cooking them. Also to Casey Hocken and  Kristen Henry  for their hairdressing skills.  Tinamba and District CWA also supplied scones for afternoon tea.

This was a great effort and a special thanks to all the participants and all those who donated to this very worthy cause.

 

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Tennis players donate to CGH

The Sale Tennis Club (STC) with support of the Wellington Gippsland Tennis holds a fundraising round, each allocating funds to a community cause.

This year, the association raised $1,350 and donated it the Central Gippsland Health’s Oncology Department.

Funds raised will contribute to the redevelopment of the courtyard green space.

The donation was presented in the Oncology Department on Thursday, 22 March by STC, President Robin Lowe. The raffle, conducted by the tennis club, was drawn by one of the Oncology patients.

The winner of the accommodation package at Quest South Bank was Mick Hewitt with the tennis rackets won by Tracey Dorset and Scott Pearce.

 Pictured top (from left) are Mick Mullen (President WGTC), Karen Deschepper (Treasurer STC), Trisha Minter (Oncology Nurse), Robin Lowe (President STC), Tammy Shingles (Oncology Nurse) and Bec Gray (Oncology Nurse). Top right, the raffle drawn by Marilyn Centra (patient) and Jenny Dennett (Nurse Unit Manager Oncology).

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Telehealth expands to Bairnsdale

SabaChildren in the Wellington community are getting expert care, thanks a partnership between Central Gippsland Health (CGH) and Monash Children’s Hospital…and the internet.

Telehealth is successfully delivering services to local patients and now, CGH is expanding the link to Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.

The service delivers high calibre evidence- based paediatric care at CGH with services fully bulk billed to Medicare with no cost to the patient.

CGH consultant paediatrician and department head, Dr Saba Subiramanian (pictured above), has led the way in the development and expansion of the Paediatric Telehealth Service at CGH. He heads a team of paediatricians who provide a range of specialist paediatric services including allergy management, development and behavioural issues, respiratory diseases and general paediatric medicine.

Dr Subiramanian said the newly established a telelink service with Bairnsdale enabled the treating doctors at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service to refer by phone and undertake a video call consultation with the on-call paediatrician where clinically appropriate.

“This service aims to support GPs to provide care and management of paediatric patients, so they are able to remain at Bairnsdale in their local community and avoid unnecessary transfers,” he said.

“Paediatric patients presenting to the Emergency Department or admitted to the hospital may at times require assessment and management from a paediatrician.”

CGH and Monash established the telehealth services link four years ago and since then, have further expanded and developed the close link.

Dr Subiramanian said as partners, CGH could provide a high quality tertiary service for local children and families.

“The service has made holistic ‘patient centred care’ a priority and helped to reduce the variation in care that is provided to our paediatric patients.”

About Telehealth

 Telehealth is the provision of healthcare services that are delivered using technology when some of the participants are separated by distance.  For paediatric patients and their families, telehealth improves access to specialist and primary care services, and reduces the disruption caused when needing to travel to access specialist healthcare.

It can improve consumer outcomes through greater access to health services, bridging the geographical gap of medical access to people who reside in rural settings.

All the patient needs is a computer, laptop, iPad/ tablet or smart phone with good internet access.  GP clinics can also support patients to utilise telehealth services at tertiary paediatric healthcare facilities in Melbourne.

To be eligible for paediatric telehealth services, the patient must live at least 15 kilometres away from the specialist clinic, or be Aboriginal. The patient must have a current GP referral to the paediatrician who will then determine if the patient is suitable for a telehealth consultation.

The patient must be present for the telehealth appointment, so the paediatrician can visualise and interact with the child, just as would happen if they were face-to-face in the consulting room.

Dr Subiramanian urged locals to get more information about the Paediatric Telehealth Service provided at CGH by calling the Specialist Consulting Rooms on 5143 8944, or speak directly with the Telehealth Coordinator on 5143 8616.

 

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Strengthening response to family violence

 Kristan Millar is the Clinical Lead for Strengthening Hospital Response to Family Violence. She has written an article to introduce herself and also explain the project and how it affects Central Gippsland Health.

 

Hi my name is Kristen Millar and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the Clinical Lead for Strengthening Hospital Response to Family Violence and tell you a little bit about the project.

The SHRFV project is being implemented based on recommendations from the Royal Commission into family violence and is being funded by the Department of Health and Human Service with LRH being the lead hospital.

This is an exciting opportunity to be able to change the outcomes for survivors and family members, as well as addressing gender stereotypes, and myths around family violence which is pivotal in changing the outcomes and statistics moving forward.

Family violence is patterned, repeated behaviour intended to assert power and control over the victim. Research shows that family violence is a deeply gendered issue that affects people across the life span – disproportionately women and their children. Family violence is a serious health issue that has a profound impact on the psychological and physical well-being of those affected.

The health sector is a critical entry point for identifying people affected by family violence, providing medical care and a pathway to specialist support and assistance. Indeed, for many people, a visit to a health professional is the first, and sometimes only, step enabling them to access support and care.

Therefore, strengthening the capacity of health care professionals to identify and support people across the life span is crucial to the prevention of and response to family violence.

Between now and June 2019, it is expected that all staff (clinical and non-clinical) undergo tailored training. Clinical staff will be educated in being able to identify and respond to family violence.

The training does not expect you to be a family violence specialist, just to provide you with the ability to be able to identify and respond appropriately, and then refer on to specialist services as required.  Non-clinical staff will learn how to be active bystanders, utilising a specific intervention framework, non-clinical staff will be given the tools to be leaders, in responding to and calling out inappropriate behaviours.

Along with training you will start to notice educational material being displayed and different events happening throughout the organisation. You may have already noticed STOP family violence cards and other educational posters in toilets around the hospital.

There is a policy and procedures available to staff on Prompt, that relate to how to respond to patients and visitors, as well as what staff can do if they have been personally impacted by family violence, including information on family violence leave and other supports available to you.

Each month, I will be using a section in this newsletter to provide updates on what is happening, and information on family violence. I look forward to talking to everyone about this important issue. Please feel free to come and speak to me personally about your thoughts on this issue and provide me with any ideas or suggestions on what we could do to make a big impact in this space.

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Good reason to have flu jab

There are 12 good reasons for healthcare workers to have the yearly flu vaccination.

Central Gippsland Health is about to embark on its annual influenza vaccination campaign and our infection control nurses are urging staff to read the background information to understand why it is so important to have the flu jab.

1.       The influenza virus is highly contagious, and can easily spread from person to person:

       by sneezing mucus directly into the nose or mouth

       when inhaling the aerosols produced by an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking.

       by touching contaminated objects such as bank notes2, door knobs and light switches.

2.       Influenza (flu) can be debilitating and is more severe than a cold.

 3.       Due to close contact with patients, healthcare workers have a higher chance of contracting influenza.

 4.       As a duty of care to vulnerable patients, i.e. if influenza is passed on to an elderly patient, infant or someone with underlying conditions, the consequences may be severe.

 5.       Help protect your family from influenza, and consider what may be missed if any of you are unwell e.g. holidays, days off work as a carer.

 6.       If you have influenza, you can be infectious to others for the 24 hours before symptoms start, and continue to be infectious for about a week after symptoms start.

 7.       Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing influenza. 

In terms of the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine, this depends primarily on the age and health of the vaccine recipient and the degree of similarity between the virus strains in the vaccine and those circulating in the community.

 8.       The World Health Organisation and the local body, the National Health and Medical Research Council recommend yearly influenza vaccination for healthcare workers.

 9.       The dominant influenza strains often mutate year to year and the effects of the vaccine wear off over time, so yearly influenza vaccination is recommended.

The formulation for flu vaccines for the 2018 Australian influenza season will be:

·         A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus

·         A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus NEW

·         B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus

·         B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus

 10.    You can’t get the flu from the vaccine. The vaccine is inactivated, hence, it does not contain any live viruses and cannot cause the illness.

11.   Some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms after having the flu vaccine but these should only last a few days. You can come down with the flu within the first two weeks after having a flu vaccine, it takes this long before the vaccine starts to work.

 12.   Vaccines, like other medicines, can have side effects, however the majority of side effects are minor

Common side effects following influenza vaccination include soreness, redness, pain and swelling at the injection site, drowsiness, tiredness, muscle aches and low grade temperature. These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days, usually without any treatment. 

Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare, however if they do occur, a doctor should be consulted.

 The influenza virus does not discriminate. Even fit and healthy people can catch influenza and pass it on. The past is no predictor of the future.

 

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