Spread the word…

Spread the word to friends and former colleagues on our 150th Anniversary celebrations on Saturday 19 August.

The ‘Back To’ event will include a community celebration at the Sale Hospital from 11am-2pm and then a Sesquicentennial Gala Ball in Garnsey Hall at Gippsland Grammar later that evening with lots of fun entertainment.

Sale hospital is the oldest in regional Victoria to operate continuously from the same site, treating its first patients in 1867.

Organisers hope to welcome current and past staff members, patients, their families and friends.

Coinciding with the event is the celebration of 90 years of the hospital’s Maternal Child Health service and 21 years of the Dialysis Unit.

If you want more information or to register attendance at the ball, contact Simone Kell in CGHS Executive Suite on 5143 8660 or email simone.kell@cghs.com.au


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Ann looks back at history

 Sale’s Ann Synan has the perfect qualifications to write a history book on the Sale Hospital … she’s a former nurse and a local historian.

 Ann co-wrote ‘Two Turrets and a Dome: a history of the Gippsland Base Hospital, 1860s and 1980s’ with friend Ann Andrews under her former name of Ann Edwards.

 Now, she is actively involved in helping celebrate the 150th anniversary of the hospital on Saturday, 19 August.

 Ann recalls her nursing career at Sale with fondness. Nursing was a natural choice for Ann who actually started her training at the old Traralgon Hospital before returning to the then Gippsland Base Hospital (GBH) in Sale.

 “It (nursing) had always interested me, especially biology and how the body worked, and there weren’t a lot of choices then for girls,” she said.

 Nursing was much different then. You lived on campus and trained on the wards, unlike today where nursing is studied at university.

 Ann did general nursing, was a clinical teacher, nursed in the Surgical Unit and then moved to Intensive Care in the 1980s. It was meant to be for a short time but she would spend the rest of her career in this specialised field.

 “We set up our own training course for staff in the 1980s, as we couldn’t get staff from Melbourne,” she said.

When I started, coronary care work was a major part of your workload. But with better treatments, better diets and better education, this has changed.”

 Ann clearly remembers when the hospital established its own Dialysis Unit 21 years ago.

 “It made such a huge difference as people didn’t have to travel long distances for dialysis treatment. We initially had one machine and did a training course at St Vincent’s.

 “We would be taught how to do things and then encouraged to act independently which is a great way to learn.”

 Today, the Dialysis Unit has nine chairs and operates six days a week.

 Life was busy inside the hospital and out. “Living in [the nurses’ home] was a great way to make friends,” Ann said. “You always had someone to talk to. And there was lots of socialising, balls and dances. The RAAF Base was active again after the war, and from the late 1960s there was a large influx of people involved in the Bass Strait oil and gas industry.”

 The hospital grew busier and became the regional referral centre in the early 1990s.

It was back in those early days that Ann’s interest in the hospital’s history was sparked.

 “Being termed a ‘Base Hospital’ was significant, and conferred a regional status,” she said. “The Sale hospital was recognised as the Base hospital for Gippsland in 1932.”

 During WW2, RAAF No 4 hospital was established adjacent to the GBH but on the hospital’s land. This was to support the East and West Sale RAAF bases, some 3000 service personnel, and was staffed entirely by the military, though it shared some services with the GBH. It was disbanded in 1945, the buildings then used for many years to extend the GBH’s capacity.

 “They became our maternity ward as there was a real baby boom after the war. Other buildings became the TB (Tuberculosis) Chalet for Gippsland.”

 One of these old buildings was also used for stores. It was in here that Ann came across lots of redundant equipment such as splints and discarded iron lungs. She also found old books but was astounded to discover they were patient records.

 The books covered admissions from opening through to the 1960s. Before the hospital moved to its present site in 1864, it was in temporary accommodation in a York Street house. The records show there were 20 patients treated there over a six month period, predominantly men and no children.

 “There were lots of trauma cases from throughout Gippsland in earlier times, especially from the Walhalla mines and the Dargo goldfields,” Ann said. “There were agricultural accidents too. Most were brought in by horseback, wagon and later, by train. There was an ambulance stretcher kept at the railway station for transport to the hospital, more than 2kms away.

 “There were frequent epidemics of infectious diseases such as diphtheria and typhoid fever, and particularly in the 1930s and early 1950s, devastating outbreaks of poliomyelitis, affecting both adults and children.”

 “In earlier times, there were no public hospitals at Bairnsdale (1880s) or Traralgon (1950s) so Sale was the major hospital. It was twice as big as it is today.”

 Ann describes the records as “irreplaceable”. Fortunately, not long after they were re-discovered, a then hospital surgeon, David Fitzpatrick, was a member of the local historical society and was also doing a book binding course, so he carried out some preservation work.

 However Ann said they need to be digitised so the originals could be safely stored for posterity. “They need to be accessible without handling as they are too big, too heavy and too fragile.”

 So Ann has volunteered to undertake the task of scanning them. Each of the huge books has 500 pages so it will take some time.

 She is using a software application that allows her to scan the pages with a special camera and turn them into a PDF format.

 Ann acknowledges is a very time-consuming task but she is working at her own pace…and learning lots about our history along the way.




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Film of pilot program success

A film of a successful pilot program run by Learn Local organisation, Noweyung Ltd in partnership with CGHS, is available on You Tube.

 It features our General Manager – Education, Quality and Risk, Sue Askew, who helped deliver the successful program which ran for eight weeks.

 Aimed at helping unemployed/underemployed people pathway into employment and further education, it was also designed to assist in addressing a skills shortage in the Gippsland health sector.

 The participants spent a week on placement in various departments across the service and then took part in a graduation ceremony held at the hospital.

 New sueTo view the film, go to https://youtu.be/9ZqQ7OXSQeg

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Memorable Mother’s Day

Stretton Park’s residents, families and friends celebrated Mother’s Day in style with live entertainment.

Stuart Olsen entertained the large crowd with his signing and guitar playing, prompting lots of toe tapping and hand clapping.

Organised by the auxiliary, the Mother’s Day raffle, was won by Shirley Feeley, a Stretton Park resident with second prize, donated by Bunnings at Sale, going to Bev McConnell of Maffra.

The auxiliary gave every resident and ILU person a gift of a velvet lined jewel box to put at their bedside table for that special jewellery item.

The afternoon tea consisted of chicken and salad platters and extra sweets baked by auxiliary members.

Auxiliary president, Loretta Young, thanked everyone who contributed to making Mother’s Day a “memorable day”.

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World Tobacco Day in pictures

World No Tobacco Day 2017, held yesterday, highlights how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide.

Organiser, the World Health Organisation, is calling on governments to implement strong tobacco control measures. These include banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging of tobacco products, raising excise taxes, and

AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Clinical Nurse Consultant at CGHS, Teresa Strike, organised a colouring competition for local primary school aged children to mark the day by drawing what the day meant to them. Teresa received 66 entries, some of which are pictured above.


Teresa and Sue Martin from Learning Services are also pictured above with the display of entries in the foyer of Sale Hospital.


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Question:  I was wondering why you apologise when responding to negative feedback on the Patient Opinion website.  It feels like you are not backing up CGHS staff.

 Answer: Thanks for your important question. I certainly appreciate that some staff might feel that way.

 In our first response on Patient Opinion, our aim is to let the storyteller know that we have heard their story and acknowledge what their story means for them. How they felt at the time or at the time of writing their story.

 I am very careful in my first response since I know nothing other than what I have read and I make no assumptions about what happened. I am expressing my sorrow or concern for them and for their experience and feelings.

This is very important for the storyteller and also because of the enormous number of people reading the stories and our responses. It is a window to our personality and values. I sometimes think of it as a window to our organisation’s “soul”.

 We want everyone to know that we care, that we are not defensive, that we don’t need to defend our honour or performance, because we want to know how people feel and what has happened from their perspective.

Even if we didn’t do anything “wrong” we still want to learn from our patient’s stories and we want to continually improve.

In virtually all cases I invite the storyteller to make contact with me, which they often do.

We are then in a position to investigate and learn more about what happened.

 In most cases there is a considerable divide between our views and feelings compared to the story teller’s. There is ,most fortunately, more often than not, things to be learnt from the stories that benefit us and our patients .


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Top surgeons linked to Gippsland

Central Gippsland Health Service will now have a direct video link to world leading experts in paediatric care thanks to Victorian-first telehealth technology at the newly opened Monash Children’s Hospital.

 Minister for Health Jill Hennessy officially launched the new Monash Children’s Telesurgery Project, which uses the latest cutting edge telehealth technology to improve patient care and save lives.

 The Andrews Labor Government is providing more than $500,000 towards the project which has established a direct and live video link from Monash Children’s to regional operating theatres and emergency departments at CGHS, Latrobe Regional Hospital and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.

 This means our doctors will be able to quickly get the very best advice and support from Monash’s top paediatric surgeons, when they need it, and securely online.

 It will deliver faster diagnosis and support better intraoperative decision making for complex surgical paediatric cases, and will free up ambulances by reducing avoidable patient transfers to Melbourne and reducing travel time and costs for families.

 Gippsland doctors will also use the technology for professional development as they will be able to view operations at Monash Children’s in real time and join face-to-face seminars. This will help with attracting and retaining skilled doctors in Gippsland.

 The project will be delivered from the new Monash Children’s Surgical Telehealth Centre, which is located with the hospital’s surgical simulation centre and operating suites. It is also supported by a generous philanthropic gift from the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust managed by Perpetual.

 Last month, the world class $250 million Monash Children’s Hospital opened its doors. The modern, purpose-built hospital will treat babies, children and adolescents needing specialist care from Melbourne’s booming south-east suburbs, the Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland.

 A new $3.8 million helipad on the hospital rooftop will also ensure kids in Gippsland facing life-threatening emergencies can be transferred to hospital quicker, while $63.2 million will go towards expanding the Monash Medical Centre emergency department with an exclusive area just for children.

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