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Special edition: Celebrating 75 years at Frankston Hospital

Online edition

Includes extra feature story! The heart of volunteering

Meet one of our first Pink Ladies, Shirley Wragge


Transforming healthcare for Frankston

In Profile

Helen Hutchinson on how nursing has changed

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New Dental Health Service at

Carrum Downs Peninsula Health Community Dental Service has recently opened a new dental clinic at Shop T5, 100 Hall Road, Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre, Carrum Downs, making it easier to attend our dental service. The dental team at Peninsula Health Community Dental Service is committed to providing dental care to the whole community of the Frankston Mornington Peninsula.

Why do I need to make an appointment with the Peninsula Health Community Dental Service?

The check-up includes an examination of your mouth, teeth and gums, and advice on how to care for them.

Visiting a dentist or oral health clinician is essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums and avoid the risk of tooth decay, pain, infection and poor oral health.

Some of the types of treatment may include:

Am I eligible to attend the dental services at Peninsula Health?

• Advice on how to care for your dentures or dental plates

Anyone can attend Peninsula Health Community Dental Service for a check-up and treatment. The Community Dental Service provides a mix of public, private and Medicare funded dental services. We will discuss your eligibility for our services when you contact us. Our private dental services provide both evening and weekend appointments for your convenience and accepts payments from all private health insurers. We accept the Child Dental Benefit Scheme under Medicare and there are no out of pocket fees.

What happens at a first visit? A first visit consists of a check-up and the dentist or oral health clinician will discuss any treatment required with you.

• Dental cleaning • Advice on brushing teeth and maintaining healthy gums • Management of tooth decay including fillings, crowns or extractions • Preventive treatments including sealants • Providing dentures or other treatments to replace missing tooth/teeth such as bridges • Periodontal treatment (gum disease) • Basic cosmetic and orthodontic treatments.

How do I make an appointment? Contact the Community Dental Service on 9784 8184 where a member of our dental team will provide you with options and costs regarding accessing our services. If you are in pain, you should contact the Community Dental Service immediately for advice.

Contact Email: Phone: (03) 9784 8184 Location: Shop T5, 100 Hall Road, Carrum Downs

Contents Cover story Celebrating 75 years at Frankston Hospital

Frankston Hospital 1941-2016


In Profile

Helen Hutchinson on how nursing has changed


The heart of volunteering

Meet one of our first Pink Ladies, Shirley Wragge


The modern-day Emergency Department We have always been an early adopter of new technology

Timeless care

A nurse’s passion for her patients

12 14

Research Transforming healthcare for Frankston


Your health Drinking responsibly during the holidays

In Brief

Peninsula Health news

18 20

The difference between life and death How one simple procedure changed Mary’s life forever


Connection is a free publication of Peninsula Health.


his issue of Connection celebrates a special anniversary – 75 years of Frankston Hospital as an integral part of the Peninsula community.

From its beginnings in 1941, when it was known as the Frankston Community Hospital, the theme that emerges throughout its history is its commitment to the local community. With 32 beds, Frankston Community Hospital was officially opened on Sunday 30 November 1941 by Major-General H W Grimwade. The first patient was admitted the following day. The £24,000 two storey hospital building was built on a T-shaped plan, which was designed for easy expansion. Plans to extend the hospital soon followed. The Standard reported in October 1949: “The tremendous growth in Frankston and the surrounding district has exceeded the estimated growth when the original plan to extend was made, and it maybe that a much larger institution will be required to meet the needs of the future.” They were prophetic words.


Cover: Frankston Hospital in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Peninsula Health acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional people of this region, known as the Myone Buluk of the Boon Wurrung language group of the greater Kulin Nation and bestows the same courtesy to all other First Peoples, past and present, who now reside in the region.

Today Frankston Hospital has more than 380 beds and provides general and specialty medical and surgical services, mental health, maternity and paediatric services. In 2015 more than 67,000 people presented to its emergency department. From its humble beginnings 75 years ago, Frankston Hospital has transformed into a major teaching and research hospital, with strong partnerships with Monash, Deakin and other universities. The succes of Frankston Hospital is due to its highly commited staff. Together we are training future generations of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

This magazine is distributed across our campuses at Frankston, Hastings, Mornington and Rosebud, and mailed to our volunteers, supporters and donors.

We are proud to be one of the largest employers on the Peninsula, and we continue to grow. In February 2015 we commissioned 88 new beds and a new emergency department two and a half times the size of the old department. The old emergency department has been converted into a purpose built outpatient area for expanded orthopaedic, plastics and women’s health clinics, which has state-of-the-art technology not seen in any other hospital in Victoria. A new operating theatre will also be commissioned in early 2016. With the expansion of clinical facilities comes a requirement to upgrade our infrastructure with building works for a new 750-space car park commencing early in the new year.

You can also download it from our website:

We have achieved so much in 75 years, and in the years to come we will continue to grow and provide outstanding care to our patients.

To subscribe or be removed from the mailing list please contact us below.

I hope you enjoy this special anniversary issue of Connection. In this issue, you can read more about our amazing history and learn about the exciting developments we have planned as we take the next step in our journey.

This publication was correct at the time of printing. Peninsula Health reserves the right to make changes as appropriate.

Corporate and Community Relations Peninsula Health PO Box 52 Frankston Vic 3199 Telephone 03 9788 1284

Sue Williams I Chief Executive Officer

Director, Corporate and Community Relations Amy Johnston

Editor Silvia Dropulich Layout and Design George Ovlachi

Writers Dr Stephen Bright Silvia Dropulich Eliza Keck Claire Polatidis

PeninsulaHealth @PeninsulaHealth PeninsulaHealth CONNECTION I 1

Frankston Hospital, Celebrating 75 Years 1941 - 2016

1941 – 1967 1941 > Frankston Community Hospital was officially opened on Sunday 30 November 1941 by Major-General H W Grimwade.

1955 > 2 4-bed East Wing added.

1963 >A  40-bed medical and surgical north wing was built.

1965 > The year was described as one of recordbreaking proportions. Births increased by 118 to 834. Patients treated reached a total of 3,726, being 637 more than the previous year; and outpatients treated (including X-rays) reached 8,847, or 1,383 higher than in 1963-64. The figures show the fast growing development of Frankston with the Hospital stating that this proved the need for further extensions in nearly every section of the Hospital, especially midwifery, casualty/X-ray and operating theatres.

1966 > To say that the Hospital is bursting at the seams is a gross under-statement, said the 1967/68 Annual Report. “The occupancy rate of 84 per cent does not tell the true story… on numerous occasions the rate has been in excess of 90 per cent, in fact 100 per cent has 2 I CONNECTION

been broken several times.”

1968 – 1973 1968 > I n April 1968, Mrs Edna Vincent, President of the Frankston Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary, established a new volunteer group to help lighten the workload of nurses and to brighten up the lives of patients. The 15 founding members were given a distinctive and cheerful uniform – floral pink dress, white shoes, and later, a pink cape. See volunteering story on page 8.

1970 >T  he Walter and Ellen Lawton operating theatre suite was opened by the Minister for Immigration, the Honourable Phillip Lynch, MP on 28 September 1970.

1971 >N  ew 50-bed Midwifery Wing opened.

1972 >T  he hospital employed 330 full-time and part-time employees; of this number 230 were nursing staff. Sister Lois Murray, the hospital’s evening supervisor, was made a Fellow of the College of Nursing Australia.

1973 >A  staff social club was formed and the first function, a Christmas break-up party, was very well attended. The Committee of Management instituted the appointment of Corporate Image Inc., for six months, to be responsible for the hospital’s public relations, particularly to draw public attention to the shortage of beds. CONNECTION I 3

Frankston Hospital, Celebrating 75 Years 1941 – 2016

1974 – 1988 1974 > Dr Roger H Redston commenced duties as the first Medical Director.

1977 > 1977 saw the opening of South Ward, the beginning of a department of anaesthesia, further expansion of the Resident Medical Staff, and the continuing development of all ancillary services.

1980 >H  appiness is a new baby. 9,655 inpatients were treated in the financial year ending 30 June 1980. 17% of the inpatients treated were midwifery patients.

1982 > Frankston Community Hospital changed its name to Frankston Hospital to reflect its role as the major referral hospital for the Mornington Hospital.

1988 > A new 100-bed Surgical and Services Wing opened in 1988.


1991 – 2000 1991 >F  rankston Hospital celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A psychiatric unit comprising 35 beds and a 25 place day centre was officially opened at Frankston by the Minister for Health, the Honourable Maureen Lyster on 29 November 1991.

1992 > F  rankston and Southern Peninsula Hospitals merge to form Mornington Peninsula Hospital.

1995 > T  he Government established the Peninsula Health Care Network (PHCN) in 1995. The PHCN initially united the Mornington Peninsula Hospital Group with the Mount Eliza Centre. It subsequently integrated with the Frankston Community Health Centre.

2000 > The Peninsula Health Care Network evolved into Peninsula Health.


Frankston Hospital, Celebrating 75 Years 1941 – 2016

2005 – 2010 2005 >F  rankston Hospital had 321 beds. Work commenced on a $3.4 million upgrade and renovation of the Frankston Hospital Medical Imaging Department. Peninsula Health, with the support of the then Department of Human Services, invested $837,000 in specialised equipment for the Intensive Care Unit.

2007 >W  inner – 2007 Premier’s Award for Most Outstanding Metropolitan Health Service.

2010 >T  he new $3 million Commonwealth funded 12-bed Elective Surgery Ward at Frankston Hospital was opened in 2010. In February 2010, staff from Peninsula Health and Monash University celebrated progress of the $1.8 million Peninsula Clinical School building on the Frankston Hospital Campus.


2011 – 2016 2011 > S tage 2 of the Frankston Hospital redevelopment – a $45 million project – delivered additional operating theatres, surgical wards and departments, and a new intensive care unit.

2015 > In February 2015, we commissioned 88 new beds and a new emergency department two and a half times the size of the old department.

> Today, Frankston Hospital has more than 380 beds and provides general and specialty medical and surgical services, mental health, maternity and paediatric services. In 2015, more than 67,000 people presented to its emergency department.

2016 > In 2015, the old emergency department was converted into a purpose built outpatient area for expanded orthopaedic, plastics and women’s health clinics, which has state-of-the-art technology not seen in any other hospital in Victoria. A new operating theatre will be commissioned in early 2016.


In Profile

Online edition

Includes extra feature story!

Helen Hutchins,

Nurse Unit Manager (Children’s Ward) Words I Eliza Keck

Parental involvement, vaccinations and fulltime children’s doctors are just some of the many changes that have dramatically improved the way sick children are treated. Nurse Unit Manager Helen Hutchins has worked in Peninsula Health’s children’s ward for 43 years, and not only has she witnessed many of these changes, she was instrumental to them. Under Helen’s leadership, the ward has become one of the most progressive Children’s Wards in Australia. It was the first to


Helen Hutchins, the then Charge Sister in the Children’s Ward, talking to a group from Fairway Primary School, during a familiarisation visit for school children.

implement a number of progressive policies and procedures to improve the care and welfare of young patients. “We were the first [Victorian] hospital to do nurse-initiated discharges. We defined a list of conditions such as asthma, croup or gastro and we have a pathway of care, so once they’ve achieved the pathway goals they are discharged by the nurse at any time, day or night. It empowers both the nurses and the patient’s family because when they arrive on the ward the nurse tells them ‘this is the plan and as soon as your child meets all of these goals, they’ll be able to go home. “It’s interesting because now when you hear [other hospital nurses] talk about it you think ‘wow we’ve been doing that for years’ and yet it’s new to them”, says Helen.

Because Frankston’s Children’s ward has been ahead of the pack for so long, it’s hard to imagine how different it was all those years ago. Thinking back, Helen’s stand-out memory is how little involvement parents were allowed to have in the care of their own child. “The biggest thing I have seen in my time nursing is the change in the involvement of parents which is fantastic. Before, they had no say whatsoever. “When I started there were strict visiting hours. Parents could come between 2pm and 3pm and maybe 7pm and 8pm. So those kids were basically like your own kids. You were the carer and the parents were like the ‘invited guests’ into the room. They just came in and sat beside the bed behaving like good people and left when the bell rang. “They never questioned the visiting hours, and they were certainly never expected to stay overnight.” Without doctors on the ward or nursing ratios, Helen often found herself with only one other nurse taking care of 26 children and babies at one time.

“Parents are now completely involved in every aspect of their child’s healthcare plan.” “Parents weren’t allowed to stay but my mum and her friend would come in and help me by feeding the babies. My mum had seven children so she could feed babies all day long.” Helen, along with nurses and doctors working with children around the country, began campaigning for parents to be allowed to stay with their children. “Parents started to stay overnight around 25 years ago. The ward we were in then was quite small and cramped. You couldn’t give the parents a chair to lie on so we put mattresses in the play room and the parents stayed in there.”

“Parents are also involved in the medical handover. They are never asked to leave. “For the last six to seven months we’ve begun having a quick meeting at each bedside so the medical staff finishing for the day can explain the patient’s condition and healthcare plan to the medical staff starting their shift. The nurse in charge and parents are always involved as well. It’s fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. You have happier patients and informed parents.” Medical advancements have also resulted in significant improvements for patients. “The length of stay in hospital has reduced dramatically for kids. When I started, if a child broke their thigh bone they would be in hospital for six weeks. Now, because of medical advancements, a child with a fractured thigh bone may be in hospital for a maximum of three days. “Vaccinations have also made a huge difference in children’s wards. You don’t see haemophilus meningitis, measles, chickenpox or some influenzas. We used to have kids in hospital that would get cerebral irritation from chickenpox and become very ataxic [unable to coordinate muscle movement]. They’d be in hospital five to seven weeks.” While Helen has seen a dramatic reduction in what are now preventable diseases, she has also witnessed a rise in new conditions. “We have a lot of diabetic adolescents and children with mental health problems such as eating disorders. Childhood cancer is another big increase I’ve seen. Also, the viable age for premature babies has changed as well, which is great, but prematurity often comes with problems like cerebral palsy so we’re seeing a whole different cohort of patients.” After 43 years in the children’s ward, Helen is still as passionate and energetic as if it were her first day. She says there’s a very simple secret to keeping that passion: “I keep a work-life balance and I think that’s why I’ve been able to continue to really love and enjoy my work. I also love the people I work with. I think they work really hard and really well.”

Helen Hutchins

When the new children’s ward was built 20 years ago, Helen used the opportunity to ensure there was enough space for parents to stay overnight. Now, next to every bedside there is a fold-out bed for parents as well as a parent’s lounge with modern amenities and they are even provided with breakfast. “Some parents fondly refer to us as the ‘Frankston Hilton’.” It is not just allowing parents to see their children that has changed, parents are now completely involved in every aspect of their child’s healthcare plan. “I feel really proud of our ward because our parents are actively involved in everything. The handover (where clinical staff finishing their shift ‘hand over’ patient’s health information to the clinical staff replacing them) with the nursing staff, every shift, involves the parent. That’s the ideal and we’ve been doing that for 20 years.


The heart of volunteering

Meet one of our first volunteers, Shirley Wragge

Shirley Wragge


Words I Silvia Dropulich

When Shirley Wragge started out as a volunteer at Frankston Hospital in 1968, she began by tending to flowers. Her first uniform was pink and it had flowers on it. And so began what is known as the remarkable Pink Ladies – Peninsula Health’s longest running volunteer group. The Pink Ladies have raised more than $8 million since they began operating in 1968 and they have provided wonderful support to staff, patients and their families along the way. Shirley, who lives in Seaford, works half a day a week as a Duty Officer and still finds every day just as rewarding as the first. Commenting on the most significant change in her time as a Pink Lady, Shirley said:

Following Edna’s death, Mrs Judith Smith, a 10-year veteran of the Pink Ladies was voted president. Judith, often described as Edna’s ‘right arm’ helped plan the new Pink Ladies’ kiosk and café and was instrumental in raising funds for nearly 60 new beds. Judith’s sister, Pauline Ellerby, and fellow Pink Lady Elizabeth Maguire, stepped into the role as joint Vice-Presidents, and in 2002 Pauline followed in her sister’s footsteps and became President. The Frankston Hospital Pink Ladies Auxiliary now boasts 81 members. They raise funds for the hospital, run the kiosk and café, and work on the wards delivering flowers and selling newspapers and other items to patients.

“It would have to be the changes at Frankston Hospital. “The hospital has just grown and grown – it is so big.

Did you know?

“When I started it was just the middle part of the existing hospital opposite Hastings Road, but it has changed so much now, it’s just amazing.

The value of volunteering to Australian society is estimated at around $290 billion a year. The economic contribution of volunteering to Australian society

“I have always enjoyed meeting the lovely people that come through the hospital.” “Wednesdays are my hospital days – I’ve had a go at everything, from delivering flowers and newspapers to patients and organising their TVs, to working in the kiosk. I still remember when we used to prepare morning and afternoon tea for the patients and help during meal times.” Shirley says there’s no sign of giving up yet. “It can be hard work sometimes but I would miss it terribly.” In April 1968, Mrs Edna Vincent MBE, President of the Frankston Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary, established a new volunteer group to help lighten the workload of nurses and to brighten up the lives of patients. The 15 founding members were given a distinctive and cheerful uniform – floral pink dress, white shoes, and later, a pink cape. Edna’s long association with Frankston Hospital began even before the Frankston Community Hospital officially opened in November 1941. Her husband, Dr Frank Vincent, was a member of the hospital’s founding committee and Edna, along with other doctors’ wives, helped form a special ladies’ auxiliary.

surpasses revenue sources from major sectors including mining, agriculture, defence and retail.1 The real value of volunteering is difficult to measure. Volunteers tend to be fitter, healthier and have greater social connections, which produce general goodwill and flow-on effects for governments – there’s less crime and greater community wellbeing. And people who experience the benefits of volunteering have a better quality of life.2

Volunteering If you are interested in volunteering at Peninsula Health, contact our Volunteer Team by email:

1. S  ource: Flinders University researcher Lisel O’Dwyer ( au/flinders-news/2014/10/31/volunteering-worth-290-billion-a-year/) 2. Ibid.

Edna became President of the Frankston Community Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary in 1952 and was awarded an MBE in 1964 for her services to the community. She was responsible for introducing the concept of Pink Ladies to at least 15 other hospitals. Edna remained President of the Pink Ladies’ Auxiliary for 31 years until her death in July 1999. CONNECTION I 11

The Modern-Day Emergency Room

Dr Shyaman Menon, Peninsula Health’s Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine

Words I Eliza Keck

physicians use ultrasound as well as the visual landmark to assist during the placement.”

In 1999, if you gave someone a ‘tablet’ they would swallow it with water. If you get a tablet now, everyone thinks you’re buying a mobile device.

Frankston Hospital’s Emergency Department has always been an early adopter of the latest technology. In 2013, it was the first emergency department in Australia to introduce digital e-prescribing and medication management and in early 2015, the department became one of the first in the country to digitise all medical documents. “Technology has also changed the way we communicate. Here [at Peninsula Health] we don’t look at x-rays on film anymore. They’re all on our secure online system.

In only 16 years technology, and consequently emergency medicine, has transformed beyond recognition – and Peninsula Health’s Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine, Dr Shyaman Menon, has been keeping up with the changes every step of the way.

“I don’t think we ever stop changing in the pursuit of ensuring that our patients get the highest quality of care and experience.” “I did my training in Emergency Medicine in 1999. Over the last 16 years the way we practice medicine, and even how we communicate, has completely changed. “Take ultrasounds for example: in 1999 if you needed to insert a catheter into a patient’s neck you knew roughly where you needed to go based on anatomical landmarks. Now emergency


All of our ordering, medical documentation, results checking, patient flow and the majority of our messaging systems are now done electronically,” Dr Menon said. With technology changing at such a rapid pace, emergency physicians have had to continue training and improving their skills.

“Here at Peninsula Health we use simulation training as a way for our emergency physicians to increase their repertoire of what they can do based on clinical evidence. A recent example is the use of video layngoscopy (using a camera to see inside patient’s throat while intubating*),” Dr Menon said. The quick rise in new technology has also brought about an interesting dynamic for the team; senior doctors are now learning from junior doctors. “There are early adopters, what I call the Facebook Generation. They are proficient at typing, texting, notifications. Our more senior staff have had to learn these skills later in their careers. It took some staff a while to adjust, for example initially they couldn’t type as fast, but everyone’s catching up now. These days almost everyone has a smart phone or an iPad, and they use it [technology] really well. Once you’ve moved to digital it’s very hard to go back.” While technology has brought about significant changes in the way Emergency Medicine runs, Dr Shyaman explains it hasn’t changed what they do, just how they do it. “The excitement of day-to-day work hasn’t disappeared. You still get the joy of going to work and seeing a patient, making a diagnosis or resuscitating someone who is really unwell. The downsides of it still occur too. Despite your best efforts you still have patients where things don’t go well but overall there’s a lot of joy in the work we do. “I don’t think we can ever stop changing. The demand on emergency departments is going to continue to increase so we need to look into our procedures to become more efficient without losing quality in patient care. The endpoint doesn’t change, the way we get there does.” *T  he placement of a flexible plastic tube into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an open airway or to serve as a conduit through which to administer certain drugs.

Did you know? Frankston Hospital Emergency Department: >

has the most

> has

ambulance presentations

49 treatment cubicles

of any hospital in Victoria

as well as specialist treatment rooms and consultation areas

67,576 people attended Frankston’s Emergency Department last financial year – that’s an average of more than 185 people every day


> has an

Information System that is the most advanced system in Victoria, enabling staff

to access relevant patient information and order medications or further tests in an instant without compromising patient confidentiality >

children make up nearly 20 per cent of emergency presentations a separate children’s waiting area full of toys and interactive touch screen televisions


not only helps make their visit to hospital less scary, but also helps clinicians with diagnosis by allowing them to observe their cognitive ability CONNECTION I 13

Graduate Nurse Bernadette Pulis

Timeless care – a nurse’s passion for patients Words I Claire Polatidis

Nursing is tough, both mentally and physically, according to graduate nurse Bernadette Pulis. It is “caring for all patients, irrespective of their illness. It is giving your absolute best, in every situation. And knowing that life is the most precious thing, and that we should treasure every moment,” Bernadette said. The new nurse believes the learning really starts during the graduate year, as no amount of theoretical knowledge can replace the practical aspect of nursing - connecting with families and patients. The Bonbeach resident has a strong link to Frankston Hospital, “I was born at this hospital, you could say I was born and bred at this place,” she joked. Bernadette completed her clinical training at a number of health services, including a stint in England, before selecting Frankston


Hospital as her first choice for her graduate placement. It is surprising that this warm and enthusiastic nurse describes herself as being very shy throughout her school and university days.

“Nursing is knowing that life is the most precious thing.” However, the first few months of working on the wards and observing experienced nursing staff here has led to a growth in confidence.

“It helps when a patient feels comfortable with you, and from the initial contact with a patient there is usually an opportunity to start a good relationship. I like to ask about them, their family and what they have been doing.” Working with families is also a part of the job. “Communicating is key to nursing, sometimes at the very start of my shift I may be called by a family member, so I need to know straight away what is happening with my patient.”

This experience became a reality check for the new nurse. “I was always told at university that nurse–patient relationships must be strictly professional and while that is true, I am concerned when my patients receive a difficult diagnosis and I feel for a patient’s family when their loved one has passed away.” “Life is extremely precious. A patient’s health can deteriorate very, very quickly and sometimes without any warning and I’m attuned to look for any signs of change,” she added.

Bernadette’s caring approach and willingness to share a laugh with her patients has endeared her to many in the General Medical ward. However, her first months there were not without some dramatic events. One in particular, where a patient suffered a cardiac arrest became a life-changing moment for her.

As a nursing graduate, Bernadette’s final rotation is now underway at the Emergency Department. “Completing rotations in the General Surgical and General Medical wards is great preparation for this new challenge. The support from staff is incredible, as there is no preparing for the speed of patients that are seen in the Emergency Department.”

Bernadette recalls: “It happened during a quiet afternoon shift. The patient was just transferred to my ward and needed to use the bathroom. On his return walking back from the toilet, the patient felt faint. A set of observations were taken and he was hypotensive, with his oxygen saturation undetectable. The Medical Emergency Team (MET) call was made immediately for rapid response.”

Bernadette’s concern over not being able to build a great rapport with patients, due to the short times patients are in the department, was quickly abated.

What happened next has been played out many times in Bernadette’s mind. “It was the fear in the patient’s eyes as numerous doctors and nurses rushed to his bedside, giving him the treatment that he needed.” Unlike the previous MET calls Bernadette had experienced, the situation became a Code Blue as the patient’s health rapidly deteriorated. “As a team, we did absolutely everything we could. The patient was having a cardiac arrest so severe he was unable to be revived. No matter how many times I review every action and every effort taken, the outcome was beyond our control.”

“I still get to build a great professional relationship with all my patients. To be the first healthcare professional to assess the patient, other than the triage nurse, is both exciting and confronting. The diversity of medical conditions and patients seen in each shift is unbelievable,” Bernadette added. To her delight, the Emergency Department runs education sessions for nursing staff every weekday. “This is why I have chosen the right profession for me. Because as a nurse, I will continue to learn different things every day.”

Bernadette’s enthusiasm for learning and patient care is chronicled on Peninsula Health’s website, which is rapidly gaining popularity. To keep up to date with her nursing journey or discover the insights of other health practitioners visit:

Bernadette and one of her many patients.


$20m research and teaching hub at Frankston Hospital


An artist’s impression of the proposed new Academic Centre.

Words I Claire Polatidis and Silvia Dropulich

Peninsula Health is taking a lead role in transforming healthcare for Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula region. A $20 million teaching and research centre at the Frankston Hospital campus is set for construction in 2016, according to Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Fergus Kerr. “This leading-edge academic development will include a lecture theatre, meeting rooms, library and research space. It will be located adjacent to the simulation centre and the existing teaching rooms on the Frankston Hospital campus.”

“In particular, translational research (where research has provided evidence for improvements in clinical outcomes and these are translated into daily care practices) is the basis of research undertaken within Peninsula Health,” he said. Peninsula Health Cardiologist and Associate Professor at Monash University Dr Jamie Layland welcomed the proposed academic centre and the innovative practices it would bring to the region. “The large number of patients in this catchment means we can run far more clinical trials than many of the larger hospitals that service a much smaller catchment,” he explains.

“This leading-edge academic development will include a lecture theatre, meeting rooms, library and research space.” Dr Kerr explains that once established, this new precinct will position Peninsula Health as the premier academic and health research facility for the region, with a leadership profile in chronic disease management and care of the elderly. “Frankston Hospital is well respected as a tertiary teaching facility, where new and experienced medical staff are mentored by some of the State’s best clinicians,” Dr Kerr said. “Bedside clinician teaching is an area we are well known for and an area of particular interest to universities, such as Monash.” Peninsula Health has recently developed a research strategy and advertised for the role of Professor of Medicine. This appointment will lead the Research Strategy over the next five years. Discussions have also commenced with Monash University to develop a co-located Academic Precinct with a research focus on community health, addiction medicine and chronic diseases. Peninsula Health’s research vision is to: embed a culture of innovation, evaluation and the translation of research into practice across the whole health service; to support and mentor emerging researchers; to provide research leadership in integrated care of our ageing population; and to undertake collaborative research in many other areas of research strength. The Research Strategy outlines the following seven areas as priorities from 2015-2025: • Person Centred Care • Innovative Technology and Therapies • Commercially Sponsored and Collaborative Clinical Trials • Population Health and Integrated Care • Aged Care and Chronic Disease Management • Patient Safety • Health Services and Workforce

Dr Layland is currently leading a study investigating the use of common anti-inflammatory medication to lessen the likelihood of repeat heart attacks. The benefits of having these types of studies at Peninsula Health should not be underestimated, according to Dr Layland. “Our community will have opportunities to be involved in ground-breaking research to improve their health outcomes,” he said.

Find a Health Expert Find a Health Expert is a new service provided by Peninsula Health. Many of our health experts are regular commentators in the media. From specialists leading groundbreaking research to nursing staff at the bedside delivering person-centred care, there is a wealth of expertise and knowledge our experts are keen to share. If your community group or event needs a speaker on a health issue, visit our Find a Health Expert page. Topics include cancer detection, emergency medicine, endoscopy, women’s and childrens health, research and clinical trials and the future of the health service. There is no charge to your club and our involvement would depend on your event, your requirements and the speaker’s availability. The 2016 speaking calendar is now taking bookings. For more information or to book a speaker, contact the Corporate and Community Relations team on 9788 1501 or email:

“The critical role of applied research has been recognised as integral to clinical care outcomes in all healthcare services,” said Dr Kerr.


Your Health

Stay safe over the holiday period, if you drink alcohol, drink responsibly Words I Dr Stephen Bright

Peninsula Health’s Psychologist and Program Manager in the Community Health Alcohol and Other Drug Services program has some great tips and advice for you to stay safe, if you drink over the holidays. Alcohol is a colourful thread that is woven into Australian society. It is embedded into the way we socialise. During the holiday period people often use alcohol to celebrate and unwind. Because alcohol impairs judgment people can drink more than they anticipated, while others might ‘drink to get drunk’. To reduce the chance of experiencing accidents or harms while drinking, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Centre recommends that people consume no more than four standard drinks on any given day. You can also reduce the likelihood of experiencing alcoholrelated accidents or harms by using simple strategies such as keeping track of how many standard drinks you are consuming (e.g., measuring pours), and having a meal before drinking. It is also important to drink a glass of water between drinks, particularly on a hot day, as alcohol is a diuretic. It tricks the body into thinking there is too much water in the body, so the body excretes more water than usual through urination - you might notice that your urine is clear after having a few drinks.


Younger people are less likely to experience alcohol-related harm by drinking in a household rather than going out. However, if you do go out, be sure to look out for one another. For people who have been dependent on alcohol, the holiday periods can be particularly difficult with so much drinking occurring. A person is often perceived as being abnormal if they do not drink and there is often peer pressure to drink. Some people find it helpful to have a reason for not drinking prepared, such as being a designated driver or taking antibiotics. Others find it more helpful to simply state that they don’t drink. If you have recently reduced the amount that you drink, or have stopped completely, it might be best to avoid events where there is going to be alcohol served. To help you stay safe with drinking over the holidays, we have provided the following handy reference. A standard drink in Australia contains 10 grams of pure alcohol, but the drinks you buy often contain more than one standard drink.

Top tips When you buy a drink at the pub or a restaurant, it often contains more than 1 standard drink. For example, a glass of wine from a pub or restaurant contains 1.5 standard drinks, though when a person pours their own glass of wine it often is larger. A pot of beer of full-strength beer is about 1 standard drink and a pint contains 2.2 standard drinks. The label on an alcoholic drink container tells you the number of standard drinks in the container.

Beer 285ml Glass of full strength 4.8% alcohol volume

375ml Bottle of full strength 4.8% alcohol volume

375ml Can of full strength 4.8% alcohol volume

Wine 150ml Glass 11.5% alcohol volume

150ml Glass 12% alcohol volume

150ml Glass 13.5% alcohol volume

750ml Bottle 13.5% alcohol volume

Spirit 330ml Bottle of pre-mix 5% alcohol volume

30ml Glass 1 nip 40% alcohol volume

375ml Can of pre-mix 5% alcohol volume

300ml Can of pre-mix 7% alcohol volume

Source: Australian Government Department of Health ‘Don’t lose your standards’ at:


In Brief: State-of-the-art Outpatients Area opens at Frankston Hospital Frankston Hospital’s old Emergency Department has been transformed into an ultra-modern Outpatients facility, opened in August by Minister for Health, the Hon Jill Hennessey. The project, completed in less than seven months, converted the former Emergency Department into 22 consultation rooms and treatment areas that will be home to nearly 40 clinics including an expanded Orthopaedic Outpatients Clinic, the Women’s Health Unit and Paediatric Outpatient Clinics. The new facility has a purpose-built IT system with functionality not seen in any other outpatient department in Victoria. The bright and spacious area offers better

facilities for ante-natal care, birthing classes, paediatric appointments and gynaecological services. The expansion of Orthopaedic Outpatient services, with more treatment rooms, means elective patients and post-operative patients will be seen sooner.

As Minister Hennessey toured the facility, seven-year-old Lucas, who was attending a follow-up Orthopaedic appointment after breaking his arm, proudly showed her his cast and told her who would sign it first (himself; and he would write ‘Go Hawks’). “It was pretty cool [to meet the Minister],” Lucas said after their chat.

‘Pupparazzi’ blitz Rory our Pet Therapy star, celebrated his 1st birthday in September with his A-list dog pals at Peninsula Health’s Geriatric Evaluation and Management facility, The Mornington Centre.

Since Rory the Cavachon (King Charles Cavalier cross Bichon Friese) was 12 weeks old he has been lapping up love from patients at The Mornington Centre during his weekly visits with his owner, Diversional Therapist Lisa Burns. “The average stay at The Mornington Centre is 24 days so Rory plays a huge role in helping patients feel like they’re at home rather than in care.


“You can always tell when Rory has been in – he brings so much joy to the patients and there is plenty of research that proves happier patients means healthier patients,” Mrs Burns said.

Peninsula Health’s pet therapy program has been run by volunteers for five years.

In Brief: ‘Tree of Life’ We’re so proud of the clients and staff of our Adult Mental Health Ward 2 West who worked together for six weeks to create this beautiful collaborative artwork. The tree represents the group’s philosophy of working together to achieve recovery. The words surrounding the tree include; Diversity, Individuality, Support, Empowerment, Partnerships, Respect, Equality and Hope. Clients identified these as positive words that hold particular meaning relating to their Recovery Journeys. The four segments of colour represents the four elements: •

Water – Washing away negative thoughts.

Air – Breathing in new life.

Earth – Being grounded in the here and now and not worrying about the past or present.

Fire – Lighting the path for growth, understanding and acceptance.

International conference for stroke nurse Carol Gore, one of Australia’s only sub-acute stroke nurse practitioners, presented some of her outstanding research on mood screening and management post-stroke at an international stroke conference in September.

We’re very lucky here in the Mornington Peninsula to have some of the best stroke staff and programs in the country. Frankston Hospital is one of only two hospitals in Victoria that runs the highly successful Stroke Detours Program. This program helps patients get out of hospital and into their homes faster by having multidisciplinary teams visit patients at home on a regular basis.

Carol’s role involves advanced clinical practice and leadership which includes health assessment, prescribing medications, ordering investigations, secondary stroke prevention and admission rights to the hospital. She works closely with patients and staff as well as in community education regarding stroke awareness and prevention.


The difference between life and death How one simple procedure changed Mary’s life forever Words I Eliza Keck

Today the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only six per cent. This means 94 people out of every 100 diagnosed with the disease do not live more than five years. A key reason why the pancreatic cancer survival rate is so low is because most tumours are not detected until they are at an advanced stage, when treatment is unlikely to be successful. Frankston Hospital Pink Ladies volunteer Mary Dyer knows only too well the importance of early detection. Sadly, she knows first-hand it is the difference between life and death. It is the difference between her story and her brother’s. In February 2010, Mary wasn’t too concerned when she mentioned to her GP that she’d been feeling more tired than usual. Thankfully her GP took her complaint seriously. After a number of tests she was given the devastating news. There was a large tumour on her pancreas. Mary’s GP referred her to specialist Mr Peter Evans who, knowing the importance of early detection, immediately arranged for Mary to have an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS). The only problem was that the closest available EUS machine was over an hour’s drive away at the hospital in Footscray. “If my daughter hadn’t been able to take me in I don’t know… I’m so lucky that she was available. I know a lot of [Mornington Peninsula] people put the EUS procedure off because they can’t cope with the transport.”

Five years later this is still the case. There is still no EUS machine in the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula region, which is why Peninsula Health launched a major fundraising campaign in May this year to bring an EUS machine to Frankston Hospital. “The EUS procedure was very simple. It only took 15 or 20 minutes. They put [a tube] in your mouth, you’re asleep and then the next thing they’re saying ‘how are you feeling?’ and I was done. It’s very quick,” recalls Mary. By the time Mary had been wheeled into recovery, the doctor was beside her with the results. The procedure was quick and gave the doctor all the information he needed to start treatment. “The EUS had given them so much detail – the doctor knew exactly what we were up against.” In stark contrast to Mary’s story is that of her brother’s. Only two years ago Mary’s brother, who lived in the United Kingdom, was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. “He never got the attention I got. He had been losing weight for a while. There were only three months between diagnosis and his death. If you present yourself too late, it’ll be too late. This is why the EUS machine is so important.” This year the Frankston Pink Ladies, who run the kiosk at the hospital six days a week, donated their year’s takings to the EUS appeal and Mary couldn’t be happier. “I think it’s brilliant. Early detection, that’s what it’s all about.”

HELP DETECT AND TREAT CANCER SOONER An Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) machine helps doctors diagnose life-threatening illnesses like pancreatic cancer.

OUR GOAL $500,000

Having the machine available locally will mean faster diagnosis for people


like Mary Dyer living in our community. And faster diagnosis leads to faster treatment.


But the machine is expensive. That’s why we need your help to raise $500,000.


Your donation today will help detect – and treat – cancer sooner. Every dollar counts and takes us closer to our goal.


To make a tax deductible gift today call our Fundraising Team on 03 9788 1284 or visit


we are here


$ As at October 2015.

Help close the gap so we can bring this important machine to the Mornington Peninsula.

Thank you to our donors and supporters

Donate today Yes, I want to help give the highest quality of care to patients and their families. I would like to give: $25





$……………………………………… (an amount of my choice) All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Please give generously.

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Other: .................................................................................................... We are so grateful to our many wonderful donors and supporters. Your extraordinary generosity helps give the highest quality of care to our patients and their families. In the last four months we received the following donations over $1,000. • Pink Ladies Auxiliary – Frankston

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• Rosebud Hospital Kiosk Auxiliary • Red Hill Opportunity Shop Inc.

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• Mr Frank Cahill

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We would like to thank and acknowledge all our generous donors for their ongoing support.

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Peninsula Health

Connection Issue 4 Summer 2015  

Connection is a regular flagship publication brought to you by the Corporate and Community Relations group at Peninsula Health.

Connection Issue 4 Summer 2015  

Connection is a regular flagship publication brought to you by the Corporate and Community Relations group at Peninsula Health.