2017 Board meeting summaries2017-12-21T23:50:21+10:00

2017 Board meeting summaries

Board meeting at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

Dr Robert Stable AM
Chair – Metro North Hospital and Health Service Board

21 December 2017

The Board visited Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for its final meeting of 2017. Board members had the opportunity to tour the refurbished gastroenterology department with the state-of-the-art blue rooms, and the sites of the future Sony You Can cancer centre and the GEM ward. The Board also held two staff forums to meet with RBWH staff.

As part of the regular meeting business, the Board received updates on patient safety and quality, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, clinical services, finance and human resources. The Chief Executive briefed the Board on the Herston Quarter redevelopment project. Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit Paul Drahm briefed the Board on the Improving Indigenous Outcomes action plan which focuses on health as well as employment and traineeship opportunities across Metro North.

Dr Jason Jenkins provided a briefing on the work of the Surgery Stream. The Board congratulated Jason on the excellent performance of clinicians, allied health staff and nurses.

In addition, the Community Board Advisory Group Chair Rachelle Foreman updated the Board on CBAG priorities for the coming year, and Dr Mark Appleyard provided an update on the RBWH Clinical Council. The Board participated in a panel discussion on healthcare of the future with Assistant Deputy Director-General Professor Keith McNeil, Professor Arun Sharma from QUT, and Dr Rob Grenfell from CSIRO.

In the past few weeks, Board members attended the Queensland Health Awards for Excellence to support our six finalist teams. Congratulations to the finalists and to the CURE-IT program for their award. Board members also attended the Community, Indigenous and Subacute Services staff excellence awards. Board members will also visit RBWH, TPCH, Caboolture and Redcliffe Hospitals on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to thank staff for their work.

Previous 2017 meeting summaries

The Board visited Kilcoy Hospital for its November meeting. Another Board member and myself also had the opportunity to meet with staff at Woodford Health Service and were impressed with the dedication of staff to deliver health services in the correctional centre.

The Board was very impressed with the services Kilcoy provides to the local community while also supporting Caboolture Hospital during its redevelopment. Board members enjoyed meeting staff over lunch and at the staff forum.

As part of its regular business, the Board received briefings from management on finance, human resources, operations and clinical services. Congratulations to all staff on the continued improved NEAT performance and the work on discharge summaries. In addition, the Board noted the patient safety and quality report including analysis of adverse events. It is important to investigate and learn from these events so we can take action to prevent them in the future.

The Chief Executive briefed the board on several matters including the Values in Action program, the great work underway at Cooinda House around accreditation, and the recent SEED and LINK presentations. The Board also received the performance report from the Heart and Lung Clinical Stream which detailed successful projects such as the Caboolture 2 Canterbury project which was funded by a Metro North LINK innovation grant, in partnership with the Brisbane North PHN, GP practices and the community sector. The project aims to support 50 COPD patients likely to be readmitted within 28 days.

The Board also held a special Board meeting last week to discuss long term infrastructure planning for the hospital and health service.

Over the past few weeks Board members have attended several staff reward and recognition events. It’s wonderful to see so many staff celebrating 20-plus years of providing care to patients in the Brisbane North area. Board members also attended the School Based Trainee and Healthcare Academy graduation ceremony. Several Board members also attended the outstanding Safety and Quality Forum on Monday.

The Board held its October meeting at Brighton Health Campus where Board Members had an opportunity to meet with staff, the Brighton Men’s Shed and the local Member for Sandgate Stirling Hinchliffe MP. Board Members also visited Cooinda House and Jacana Acquired Brain Injury Centre and were impressed with the dedication of staff and their ideas to improve models of care.

During the visit, the Board was pleased to have a barbecue with Brighton staff and to hold a staff forum which prompted a discussion on respite care, an important issue for community members with loved ones who require round the clock care. Board Member Adrian Carson met the Men’s Shed and the Board is impressed by the opportunities to partner with this wonderful community organisation which has doubled its membership in the past year.

As part of the Board meeting, the usual management reports including human resources, finance, patient safety and quality, operations, and the Herston Quarter redevelopment were received. The Chief Executive briefed the Board on a range of key initiatives including partnership opportunities, the progress of the Residential Long Stay Service Response Team headed by Karen Roach, recruitment for the ED Operations and ED Clinical Governance, Safety, Quality and Risk, and preparing for the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The CE and Board Member Adrian Carson also briefed the board on work to improve Indigenous outcomes including opportunities in employment, procurement and clinical services planning.

During the meeting, the Board heard from Dr Liz Whiting on initiatives to better care for frail patients that are seeing good results such as reduced average length of stay in the TPCH emergency department from six to four hours. We received an update on significant work over the past month to improve our National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) outcomes – all staff are to be congratulated for this effort. In particular, Redcliffe has done a spectacular job to improve by 13% through looking at every step in the patient journey.

Executive Director Tami Photinos gave a presentation on the Women’s and Children’s clinical stream including the new RBWH obstetric medicine inpatient unit which is the first of its kind in a public hospital across Australasia. CISS Executive Director Chris Seiboth briefed the Board on the Brighton redevelopment and how it aligns with CISS by Design.

The Board also approved the proposal for a Metro North trauma institute to advance trauma prevention, research systems and clinical management, and the Total Asset Management Plan (TAMP) which is provided to Queensland Health for Government’s future capital and operational expenditure considerations.

Last week, Board Members have attended several Charlie’s Week events at TPCH including the installation of a new piece of Indigenous art, TPCH Staff Excellence awards, and the Woolcock Breakfast hosted by TPCH Foundation. Deputy Chair Kim Forrester also visited Redcliffe Hospital for the opening of the kidney health and cancer care services in the Moreton Bay Integrated Care Centre.

The Board visited The Prince Charles Hospital for the September Board meeting. It is fitting that during Metro North’s Year of the Frail Older Person the Board had the opportunity to see the Older Person Assessment Liaison Service, known as OPALS, in the TPCH emergency department. We also visited Engineering Services and saw the boiler and cogeneration room. These hidden parts of our hospitals are responsible for some essential basic functions we take for granted – hot water and electricity at the flick of a switch.

As part of our usual business, the Board received updates from the Acting Chief Executive, as well as monthly finance, human resources and management reports. TPCH Executive Director Anthony Williams gave a presentation on the hospital’s master plan and strategy to expand commercial and academic opportunities on campus.

Acting Executive Director Glen Kennedy presented on the Cancer Care Stream including the successful launch of the Cancer Information Hub and the stream’s partnership with Brisbane North PHN across several programs. Dr George Javorsky updated the Board on the work of the Metro North Clinical Council.

The Board accepted the annual Quality of Care Report and also endorsed the Older Person Plan which has been jointly developed by Metro North and the Brisbane North PHN. This plan will guide service development and delivery over the next five years as we work together to improve the coordination, integration and provision of care to our ageing population. The next step is to create an implementation plan to roll out the strategies.

The Board has formed a new management committee with members of the Board and Executive to focus on improving health outcomes for Indigenous patients. A key focus will be addressing the challenge of discharge against medical advice. The committee will also look at increasing employment opportunities in healthcare for Indigenous people.

In the past few weeks, Board members have participated in several events including the RBWH’s 150th anniversary nursing high tea, RBWH Healthcare Symposium, and the Redcliffe Staff Excellence Awards.

The Board visited Halwyn for our monthly meeting. We had the pleasure of meeting with staff, residents and family members. Halwyn has a unique role in Queensland as a residential care centre for people with profound physical and intellectual disabilities. The staff do a wonderful job providing around the clock care in a home-like environment. Thank you to the staff for hosting the Board and for your commitment to care.

As part of the visit, the Board had morning tea with family and friends of residents who understandably had questions about the future of the centre. Metro North is committed to ensuring the current residents of Halwyn are cared for into the future. Preparation is continuing for the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) next year, and we know this change will have a significant impact for both staff and residents at Halwyn. The Board receives a briefing on the NDIS at every Board meeting and appreciated the chance to speak to family and staff and hear their concerns first-hand.

During the meeting the Board received the usual management, finance and human resources updates, as well as a progress report on the Working Together: Strategy for Inclusive Clinician Engagement 2016-2018 from Dr David Rosengren. Critical Care Stream Executive Director Dr Colin Myers and Assistant Director of Nursing Sally Jones presented on the work of the stream including the key achievements, priorities and challenges of emergency departments and ICUs across Metro North.

The Board approved the Annual Report including the annual financial statements, and was impressed by the increase of 44 per cent of non-admitted telehealth services in 2016-17 which exceeded the 20 per cent target set by Queensland Health. Metro North has also been offered some funding for two years as part of the Specialist Outpatient Strategy to increase telehealth non-admitted services.

The Board also accepted recommendations from management for additional self-funded capital investment in 2017-18 for a new Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) unit of 28 beds at RBWH and an additional operating theatre at Redcliffe Hospital.

Recently Board members have been involved in judging nominations for the Metro North Staff Excellence Awards, which meant considering around 200 submissions. Board members have told me the judging was even more challenging this year as there are some very high quality people and projects in the mix. I look forward to sharing the celebrations in October.

As you know, this year’s flu season has been particularly bad. Fortunately, the number of flu cases seems to have peaked and volumes are now going down. Thank you all for your work during this extra busy time.

The Board held our July meeting at Redcliffe last week. It was excellent to meet so many staff and see different parts of the hospital. As part of the visit, Board members toured the Special Care Nursery, operating theatre, and level 4 where the hospital is implementing initiatives for frail elderly patients.

The Board received a presentation from Executive Director Louise Oriti on the key achievements and challenges for Redcliffe Hospital, the very busy emergency department, high levels of activity, and the opening of the Moreton Bay Integrated Care Centre (MBICC). The Board also heard about the hospital’s Clinical Service Planning and infrastructure planning. The hospital has done an excellent job reducing waiting lists with no patients waiting longer than clinical recommended for elective surgery, and reduced long waits for ambulatory services by more than half.

In addition to the usual updates on finance and management, the Acting Chief Executive presented on key issues for the service, and the Board were updated on patient safety and quality, clinical services, operations and human resources. The Board were very interested in the update we received on Metro North’s partnership with QUT to create a biofabrication institute and the opportunity to expand the Herston Health Precinct as a centre for world-leading innovation and research.

Dr Jeffrey Rowland, Executive Director Medicine Stream, provided a briefing on the stream’s progress to date on addressing unplanned readmission rates including increasing telehealth services and working closely with the Brisbane North PHN. Dr Rowland also presented on efforts to reduce waiting lists across Metro North in the past year.

Other updates included a presentation on the implementation of the Enabling A Better Choice program to increase the availability of healthy food options for staff and visitors. This was launched at Caboolture last month and is now rolling out across Metro North with great results. Well done to all staff involved.

Over the past month Board members have attended several events across Metro North and have enjoyed meeting many staff and community members. The NAIDOC celebration at Caboolture, the RBWH QuARRIES awards and the opening of the ACRF Centre for Lung Cancer Early Detection at TPCH were all excellent events and showcased different aspects of our organisation’s achievements.

Last week the Board held its June meeting at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. This was the final meeting for Chief Executive Ken Whelan and the Board wish Ken well for his travel and family adventures to come. Ken has built a strong leadership team which will enable our organisation to continue to thrive. Our clinical directorates, streams and councils are functioning well. The Board was pleased to appoint Shaun Drummond as the Acting Chief Executive, whilst recruitment is underway.

The Board also welcomed new member Adrian Carson who is the Chief Executive for the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. Adrian’s addition to the Board further strengthens our relationships with the community sector.

Every month the Board has the opportunity to meet staff in different parts of the organisation. At RBWH we visited the engineering department and were very impressed by the scale of the operation. We’ll need to visit again to see the things we didn’t get to this time.

Board members also visited the Skin Bank where Dr Michael Rudd gave a presentation on how skin tissue is cultured. We are now able to grow a patient’s own skin and use donated tissue while the skin is growing. It’s an impressive facility and we thank Dr Rudd and his team for their work.

At the staff forum we had some excellent questions, including managing patients with back pain, improving workplace culture, and about the Board’s top three priorities. I wanted to share my answer with you all. The Board continues to prioritise better care for frail elderly patients, and is also committed to the redesign in CISS, which is streamlining services and making better use of resources. It is also focused on ensuring the best patient outcomes from the design of the specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre at Herston.

The Board also wants to emphasise that we are committed to reducing occupational violence and workplace behaviours that prevent teams from functioning properly. I have said previously that the behaviour we walk past is the behaviour we accept. The Board is looking forward to hearing proposals from the Metro North Clinical Council about workplace culture initiatives.

As part of the usual agenda, the Board received finance and management updates, a presentation from the CE on our partnership with the Brisbane North PHN to improve connections across acute and primary care, and a presentation from Dr Amanda Dines on the RBWH’s key achievements and challenges so far this year.

We also heard from Dr Mark Appleyard on the priorities of the RBWH Clinical Council, Professor Scott Bell on plans to implement the Research Strategy, and Chris Seiboth on the progress of the CISS by Design program. Shaun Drummond provided an update on the Herston Health Precinct, particularly the exciting partnership with QUT to create the Biofabrication Institute.

The Board also discussed the progress of the refreshed Health Service Strategy consultation, which closes on 30 June. This is an important chance for staff to have your say on the key focus areas in the refreshed strategy, if you haven’t already done so.

The Board held its May meeting at North Lakes last week where we met many staff working in our Community, Indigenous and Subacute Services teams.

Before the meeting Board members toured two CISS facilities. At Aspley Community Health Centre we were impressed by the refreshed model of care for Ngarrama Indigenous Child Health and the number of calls that come into the Central Patient Intake call centre. Other Board members had the pleasure of touring Jacana ABI Centre Bracken Ridge and hearing about the incredible success in transitioning clients back into the community. It was also a chance to observe some complex care practices and to learn more about how the service is preparing for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, as well as some of the wonderful recreational activities on site for residents.

As part of the meeting, the Chief Executive updated the Board on key initiatives to address occupational violence across Metro North, including providing every Protective Services officer with a body worn camera. In addition to the usual management reports, the Board were also briefed on the development of a specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre on the Herston Quarter, and received updates on Metro North’s oral health centre and the Heart Lung clinical stream. We also passed a motion of condolence on the passing of Dr Andrew Bryant.

CISS Executive Director Chris Seiboth talked to the Board about the process to refocus their service models and modalities. The CISS by Design project will simplify how referrals can be made to CISS and reshape some services to better meet community healthcare needs. Work has also commenced to better respond to the needs of older people with frailty which will drive some of the services models. CISS are engaging and consulting widely to build on the strengths of their existing services with the view that they can offer responsive, safe and contemporary care in and closer to patients’ homes. The Board looks forward to hearing updates on the CISS by Design process.

Earlier this month, some Board members attended the opening of Caboolture Hospital’s refurbished cafeteria. Congratulations to Caboolture for being the first hospital in Metro North to fully implement the healthier drinks in healthcare facilities best practice guideline.

Good luck to all the finalists for the Metro North Research Excellence Awards this week. The quality of nominations was excellent and reflects the overall high quality of research happening across Metro North. Well done to you all.

Board members visited Caboolture Hospital last week for our monthly meeting. We are always impressed by the sense of community and the commitment and friendliness of our Metro North staff, attributes which are especially evident at Caboolture Hospital. Thank you for your tremendous work and excellent consumer engagement efforts.

Thank you also to everyone who contributed to keeping the hospital open during the recent cyclone event and localised flooding. Many staff volunteered to work in the welfare centre supporting colleagues or in the local community.

Board members had the pleasure of meeting with clinical and food services staff when they visited the new Ward 3B, Ward 3A, the Department of Emergency, the kitchen and staff dining area. The new Ward looks fantastic – congratulations to everyone involved with delivering on this essential project.

As part of our meeting, the Board received a comprehensive briefing from the Executive Director of the Women’s and Children’s Stream, Tami Photinos. Board members particularly noted the success and expansion of the milk bank and the neonatal retrieval service, and the Perinatal Research Centre recently receiving $3.15 million in research funding.

As well as the usual operational and finance updates from our executives, the Board was briefed on the Metro North patient safety and quality report and expressed appreciation for the efforts that have been made to initiate discharge summaries within 48 hours. Although this is challenging at times, we know that this is important for General Practitioners to provide for their patients ongoing care needs. We were also pleased to note that Oral Health has achieved 100% compliance with hand hygiene and Caboolture Hospital achieved 100% for skin inspection within eight hours of admission, both factors that contribute to better health outcomes for our patients.

Recently I was pleased to launch the first Metro North Research Strategy with Executive Director of Research, Professor Scott Bell. Research is a crucial factor in improving our diagnostics, treatments and health services, and I encourage anyone with an opportunity to participate in health research, either directly or indirectly, to do so.

On a separate note, thank you to everyone who has given time to help patients, colleagues and communities affected by Cyclone Debbie. There were over forty Metro North staff deployed to Mackay Hospital immediately after the cyclone to ensure continuation of essential services, and no doubt many others of you have unofficially contributed in some way to the recovery efforts.

The Board met last week at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for our monthly meeting.

During the day, Board Members visited the hospital kitchen and the Nursing Museum. It doesn’t do our food services staff justice to call their domain a ‘kitchen’. It’s a truly impressive operation, with the team providing up to 3000 meals each day. Our food services teams across Metro North do a remarkable job balancing the various dietary restrictions and nutritional requirements for so many people.

The Nursing Museum was also extremely interesting. As many of you know, my mother was a nurse at RBWH and several Board Members spent time in their nursing careers at the Royal as well, so seeing the photographs and displays was thought provoking and memorable, especially in the 150th anniversary year. I encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to visit, and to support the museum.

Earlier in the week the Chief Executive and I had the opportunity to visit the Switch as well. The staff at the Switchboard are our unseen first line of customer service. They fulfil an essential role but can also be subjected to abuse from callers. Occupational violence is an issue at all levels of our organisation. Any abuse of our staff is completely unacceptable.

As part of the Board meeting, we received presentations from Mark Butterworth, Chair of Metro North NDIS Council, on preparations for Queensland’s transition to the NDIS; an overview from CISS Executive Director Chris Seiboth and Executive Director Operations Shaun Drummond of the various care services provided in or close to a patient’s home; and a brief from RBWH Executive Director Dr Amanda Dines on the hospital’s strategic direction, priorities and performance.

We also had updates on the Year of the Frail Older Person from Dr Liz Whiting, the Older Person Plan from Colleen Jen, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, and an introduction and presentation from new Workplace Health and Safety Director John Bartholomew.

The Board held its first meeting of 2017 at The Prince Charles Hospital last week.

As part of the visit, Board Members had the opportunity to meet with staff from Internal Medicine Services, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The visit included the Rapid Access Medicine and Surgery (RAMS) unit, the Early assessment Medical Unit (EMU) and the Quality Effectiveness Support Team (QuEST).

During the meeting, the Board were briefed by the Chief Executive about key issues and projects in Metro North including the progress of the Herston Quarter redevelopment project and the Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC). In addition to management reports on operations, finance, patient safety and quality, and human resources, the Board received updates from Anthony Williams about TPCH, and Professor Scott Bell on Metro North’s draft research strategy. Mark Butterworth also updated the Board on the Healthier Choices project including work that has been done to increase healthier drinks options in cafeterias and vending machines across the organisation.

Earlier this month the Board attended the celebration of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital 150th anniversary. It was wonderful to see so many current and former staff at the event to mark this significant milestone for Queensland. The Premier, Health Minister, Minister Grace and Minister Lynham were very pleased to join us for the celebration as well.

The Chief Executive and I also recently signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to reduce bullying, sexual discrimination and harassment. Let’s not forget that the behaviour we all walk past is the behaviour we condone. There will be specific actions coming from the MoU to ensure we can provide a safe, respectful and enjoyable work and training environment.

Contact us

Metro North Board
Located: Level 14, Block 7
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
HERSTON QLD 4029 
Phone: (07) 3647 9702
Email:  MNBFeedback@health.qld.gov.au