Today I write not as Andrew the Chief Executive Officer at Northern Beaches Hospital. Instead, I write as Andrew, husband to the wonderful Sharne; proud dad to two beautiful daughters, Grace and Ainsley; colleague to over 2000 fantastic people at NBH. As Andrew, resident on the Northern Beaches - live at Warriewood, work at Frenchs Forest. And as Andrew, partner with the wider NSW health system. Day in, day out I see remarkable examples of compassion and humanity which add polish to the professional approach taken by all at NBH. My colleagues are doing a grand job at this time. This is the third time NBH has actively participated in the NSW COVID response: in early 2020; during the Avalon cluster; and again now. We have world-class infrastructure to deal with the pandemic, in fact you would think the place was built for the occasion. The building provides an environment for our people to do their 'thing.' All of my colleagues are trained in the highest of infection prevention and control standards. Be they nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers, cleaners, security officers, orderlies, catering staff, or administrative staff, they all come to NBH to do their best for you, in fact for us all. They can't do what they do without your help. Please get vaccinated as soon as possible. Get a regular test. Wear a mask whenever possible - it should be on more than it's off!! Be aware of your surroundings - how close are you to others? If you're out of the house ask yourself, should I be outdoors? Ensure you check-in to places with the QR code (and remember to check-out - I always forget that part!). And you cannot wash your hands enough - old school soap and water is great if you can't put your hands on any sanitiser.
If you do need to come to NBH please cooperate with our screeners and please be truthful with them. If you have been to a hotspot, or are a close contact, it's OK to tell them. We cannot run the risk and allowing a potentially COVID positive person into the hospital. This can be somewhat heartbreaking at times, especially when people have loved ones as patients, some of who are particularly unwell. We are following strict protocols to prevent transmission while balancing patient-centred and dignified care for those in hospital. It's hard for you. It's hard for my colleagues. But it's a necessity as we work through these uncertain times together. I'd like to really promote a culture of support, and not one of blame. When loved ones are sick it's natural to want to be with them. We understand that and will do whatever we can in these situations to support you. But we do need to know if you're a close contact; have been to a hotspot; or are positive yourself. That way we can ensure the necessary precautions are taken to protect you, our patients, my colleagues, and our Northern Beaches community. My wonderful colleagues in our testing clinic are ready for you between 8am and 5pm seven days a week. You do not need and referral and testing is free. Our clinic is now drive-through so most of the time there is little to no wait. Just make sure you give us your correct mobile number so you receive the results text message. My colleagues at NBH have treated COVID positive patients in the past, are doing so now, and will continue to do so in the future. I am proud of the approach taken by everyone here. Let's work at this and we'll get there sooner.
Andrew Newton, Northern Beaches Hospital CEO
In praise of libraries
My local Dee Why, Warringah Mall and Manly libraries are my communities. I visit them regularly and the wonderful, welcoming librarians feel like part of my family. The library 2 u service during lockdown is phenomenal and has been a huge comfort. Can't wait to see my friends again sometime soon! Rhoda Silber, Manly
I was appalled to read your article ('Why this dog attack victim is still wary of the beach', August 1-7) where a local walking his dog fell victim to an attack by an unleashed dog. Isn't it illegal to have a dog unleashed? And yet every day in public areas, I see them walking freely. Too many irresponsible dog owners also leave their darling's tell tale signs for us to side step! Like getting your driver's license, dog owners should be compelled to take a test. Questions such as: leash or not leash? Should you carry a doggy bag? Should your dog sprawl out on paths while you're engrossed coffee drinking? Should you turn a deaf ear to barking, look the other way when toilet is happening? Is your dog lead too far in front of you? The list goes on. I hasten to add, I love dogs. It's some selfish owners who are doing the wrong thing. P.Fry, Newport
Good on you Belrose residents, good on YOU! None of this has been fun and I know first hand just how absolutely devastating it has been to many of you and particularly our resident small business owners. Our community is strong and we have proven that, please support our local business, follow the health guidelines and stay safe. Thea Young, via Facebook
Proud of us
The people of the northern beaches should be bloody proud of themselves. Suffered a lockdown over Xmas and New Year, down on tourism compared to everyone else, never complained or pointed the finger; just got on with it. Don Paco Galvin, via Facebook
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