Northern Beaches Update



The ASMOF/AMA Alliance continues to campaign for Doctors-in-Training (DiTs) at the Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH).

The peak committee (ASMOF, AMA, Ministry of Health, HealthScope and NSLHD) met again last Monday, with the results of a DiT survey being discussed along with the feedback we have received directly from DiT members. NSW Health and Healthscope have committed to using the feedback to inform the implementation of the necessary changes at NBH.

The Committee agreed to nine immediate priority areas to focus attention on. The nine priority areas are:

  1. Workload management
  2. Staffing including night staffing
  3. Communications
  4. Functionality of Phone/Pager System/Codes being sent to Phones
  5. Resuscitation Trolley stocking and checking
  6. Structures/Documents such as Term Lists, Contact Lists, Contact Numbers
  7. Switchboard performance and policies/processes
  8. PAS process for admission and allocation of patients to senior doctors
  9. Policy clarification

Healthscope has also told us they have commenced work on:

  • Reviewing staffing numbers and rostering
  • The establishment of a help line to raise concerns.
  • JMO meetings being established with the Healthscope leadership team and ASMOF.
  • ICT team being brought in to address phones/pagers issues.
  • Stock levels improved, and warehouse is full and functioning.
  • Commencing a review of policy framework and admissions process.
  • Commencing a review of the handover process.

The committee will meet again next Monday, 3 December.


In further NBH news:

  • the hospital's Medical Staff Council passed a unanimous resolution supporting the doctors-in-training.
  • we met with DiTs at NBH last Wednesday and members want Healthscope to do more to fix the problems.
  • we have developed s database of members issues which we will share with NSW Health and Healthscope.
  • the new acting NBH CEO, Stephen Gameren attended our meeting with DiTs and he showed his support for them and reassured everyone that Healthscope is committed to fixing the problems. This included a commitment provided by Mr Gameren that they would fund and advertise for locums to fill the immediate gaps and ease the workload and fatigue
  • Stephen Gameren and the new Healthscope National CMO, Dr Victoria Atkinson will also be attending a meeting of DiTs today.

We acknowledge and endorse the strong leadership role of Dr Atkinson and Mr Gameren.