Barwon Health

From saving babies’ lives thanks to resuscitation training and new video equipment, and increasing patient care and outcomes by using specialised ultrasounds, to upskilling nursing staff in response to a surge in eating disorders, funding will support critically ill children and young people of all ages across the Barwon area.

Purchasing a video laryngoscope

Purchasing a video laryngoscope for the neonatal unit at Southwest Healthcare will allow trainees and junior consultants to improve their skills in intubating premature babies, by allowing other clinicians to watch the procedure via video and provide guidance in real-time. 

Support for eating disorders

Responding to a surge in eating disorders and mental health admissions, which has continued since COVID-19, training will further develop the skills of paediatric nursing staff at Barwon Health and Southwest, ranging from short courses to a graduate certificate in mental health. 

Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) training 

In addition to enabling a broad range of treatments, such as performing lumbar punctures, and checking for collapsed lungs, research shows that POCUS improves patient care by accelerating clinical diagnoses, improving procedural success, and making invasive procedures less painful. With new funding, Barwon Health staff can access the RCH’s POCUS education package, and purchase simulation practice equipment, thereby increasing local skills, and further benefiting the region’s paediatric patients. 

Resuscitation training

Enhancing resuscitation training for neonatal care staff across the region, Barwon Health will purchase training manikins, and procure licenses to deliver the NeoResus training program, which has standardised the teaching of newborn resuscitation in Victoria. NeoResus training will be delivered to staff in Geelong and Warrnambool, who will then deliver the training within their own health service, as well as to smaller services nearby.   

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Grampians Health

Providing care for a catchment area of 250,000 people, Grampians Health requires new state-of-the-art resuscitation, ultrasound and anaesthesia equipment to continue to provide the best care locally for women and babies with high-risk health needs.

Infant Resuscitator Cots

From premature births and labour complications, to low birth-weight babies or those that are very unwell, there are many reasons babies require resuscitator cots, which provide critical breathing support. They are used in the Maternity Unit and Special Care Nursery and in clinical emergencies in the Emergency Department and the Operating Theatre. Funding will allow Grampians Health Ballarat to purchase a new fleet of the latest resuscitator cots, creating consistency across the region, and meaning staff will be trained to use the same equipment, regardless of where they are working. With battery back-up, these cots also allow the safe transportation of critically ill babies to the RCH if required.    

Maternal Ultrasound

Purchasing the latest maternal ultrasound machine will allow more complex scans to be carried out. This will help Grampians Health Ballarat to identify and monitor women who have high-risk pregnancies, including multiple births. This new machine will be an essential tool to ensure babies can continue to be delivered safely and close to home. The purchase will also create consistency across the fleet, ensuring the same care, monitoring and reporting can be offered throughout the region.

Paediatric Anaesthesia 

With a need to replace ageing anaesthesia machines, the purchase of a new machine will optimise patient safety and efficient throughput of the Operating Theatres. Integral to the new anaesthesia machine will be new patient monitoring devices which will align theatre patient monitoring with all acute care departments throughout the hospital, including the Children’s Ward, allowing for better workflow without the loss of vital signs monitoring. This also future-proofs electronic medical record (EMR) integration by standardising patient monitoring.

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Bendigo Health

From building an all abilities rehab playground co-designed by clinicians and patients, to prioritising learning and development initiatives across nursing, allied health and intensive care, new funding will foster fun and creative play as an enabler of improved patient experiences and outcomes, while also helping to attract and retain highly qualified staff across the Loddon Mallee region.

Kids Rehab Play Space

Recognising that play assists rehabilitation, helps learning, and fosters connections between clinicians, siblings and peers, Bendigo Health will build an all abilities, outdoor, natured-based paediatric rehab playground at the hospital site. Co-designed by clinicians in collaboration with their patients and community, the playground concepts are complete, and building is ready to commence. Having kick-started fundraising within the local community, the hospital now seeks the final funding required to commence work on this innovative, patient-centred playground.

Paediatric staff scholarship and specialist training program

With a commitment to attracting and retaining highly qualified and passionate clinical and allied health professionals, Bendigo Health will offer learning and development initiatives across nursing, allied health and intensive care. Programs include providing RCH training for allied health professionals onsite in Bendigo, piloting a nurse educator role to support the growth of paediatric training, and enabling regional staff to access intensive care training onsite at the RCH.   

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Hume – Goulburn Valley Health and Albury Wodonga Health

Goulburn Valley Health

New funding will enable children to receive highly-specialised, life-saving respiratory care within the Goulburn Valley for the first time, thanks to new equipment and training. Funding will also be used to create two part-time emergency nurse practitioner roles, support scholarships, and upskill staff delivering Hospital in the Home care, thereby keeping more children out of hospital, and servicing increased demand.

Respiratory support equipment and training – At present, children requiring critical respiratory support, such as high flow oxygen treatment, cannot receive the specialist care they need in the Goulburn Valley. New equipment, such as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, will build capacity to deliver this support within the region, while RCH training will build local capability. Importantly, this will allow children to stay in their own communities, while also reducing the risk of deterioration during hospital transfers. 

Paediatric nursing scholarship – Four scholarships will be offered to broaden the specialisations covered by Goulburn Valley Health’s Educator role. The scholarships, which will provide RCH training, will be offered to Goulburn Valley Health nursing staff across a range of teams, such as the Emergency Department, Operating Suite, Special Care Nursery and Child Adolescent Unit. 

Strengthening nursing care in the emergency department – Start-up funding will cover up to two part-time paediatric emergency nurse practitioner roles to be created for Goulburn Valley Health’s Emergency Department. These roles will draw on the support of the RCH by accessing its education packages, and by seconding more RCH nurse practitioners to Goulburn Valley Health’s Emergency Department, thereby fostering professional development and enabling peer-to-peer learning onsite regionally. 

Improving capability for Hospital in the Home(HITH)care – Despite an increase in demand, Goulburn Valley Health’s Hospital in the Home (HITH) service is currently restricted to two days per week. By offering more training to provide services such as managing catheter access, which supports long-term antibiotic therapies, more children can be treated at home, increasing their comfort, and freeing up hospital beds for more complex care. 

Albury Wodonga Health

The funding will allow us to establish a Paediatric Hospital In The Home Program, invest in advanced medical equipment including an ultrasound machine for paediatric echocardiograms and a polysomnograph for sleep studies, and enhance our workforce training and upskilling initiatives. Ultimately, it will allow us to provide comprehensive, family-centered care to children in our region, ensuring they receive the support and treatment they need to thrive’’

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Latrobe Regional Health

From upskilling staff to create Gippsland’s first neurodevelopment outpatients’ clinic, and purchasing new equipment to detect and manage eye disease, through to increasing the capability of nursing staff by purchasing specialised training equipment and offering RCH secondments, funding will change and save the lives of Gippsland children, in particular by allowing early detection and management of a range of conditions.  

Allied health scholarships – neurodevelopment – A number of new scholarships will enable Grade 2 Allied Health workers to develop the skills and specialisations needed to establish Gippsland’s first neurodevelopment outpatient clinic. Offering assessments and therapies locally will avoid the need to travel for specialist care, and will assist in the early detection of neurodevelopmental problems, such as autism spectrum disorder, and vision and hearing problems, thereby helping to avoid the adverse learning and development outcomes which are often seen in children receiving later diagnoses.   

Purchase of RETCAM (retinal scanning camera, neonatal) – By taking digital photos of the structures inside the eye, RETCAMs allow clinicians to scan for and manage eye disease. Purchasing a RETCAM for the region, and providing training to use it, will not only save children travelling long distances for regular testing, but will also increase regional capacity and reduce waiting times for patients. 

Capital works and equipment – In addition to improving the experience of paediatric patients in the emergency department and other wards, by upgrading play equipment and completing minor capital works, funding will also focus on upskilling the region’s paediatric nurses, by providing relevant paediatric training, purchasing simulation training equipment, and enabling secondments to the RCH.

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