Issue: March 2017

Great News Tamworth

After completion of the agreed consultation process, HNECCPHN have provided the necessary funding to enable the 24/7 ACE service model in Tamworth. The service will commence on Monday 3rd April 2017. This news was warmly received by all at the Tamworth Interagency meeting.

 Interagency Meeting Wrap Up

This round of IAMs was themed: Contemporary pain management in the elderly. There were some wonderful presentations from local experts in the field, Vickie Croker CNC and Ops manager for the Tamworth Integrated Pain Service (TIPS) and Fiona Hodson CNC for Hunter Integrated Pain Service (HIPS).

The presentations covered the definitions of acute and chronic pain as well as the personal cost, impact and prevalence of chronic pain – more than 80% of residential care residents report chronic pain. Clarification and differentiation between the mechanisms of pain, nociceptive pain - visceral and somatic - as well as neuropathic pain were discussed.  Numerous tips were passed on regarding effective assessment of pain including questions to ask, using common tools and stressing the role of observation in pain assessment especially for residents with dementia.

planning, management
and documentation is of critical importance but largely, poorly implemented across the health care spectrum.

Below are four key messages:
  • Develop & document a plan
    • Set realistic comfort-function goal
  • Need positive education
  • Use  a multimodal approach
  • Reduce “normal” starting dose
    • Titrate more slowly “start low go slow”
We were introduced to some wonderful initiatives, RACF managers and staff had put in place to engage residents and maintain activity in daily life. The benefits of the programs include:
  • Reduced pain / pain medication
  • Decreased respiratory concerns
  • Improved skin integrity
  • Improved circulation
  • Posture improvements
  • Increased balance
  • Improved sleep habits
  • Improved concentration and memory
  • Maintaining strength and mobility
  • Reducing staff for transfers and mobility
  • Maintain joint range of movement
  • Improved or maintained flexibility
  • Improved mood and mental wellbeing
  • Improved socialisation, self-worth and wellbeing
  • Improved safety
  • Giving back independence

Let the games begin

Cathy Kolder at Mercy Aged Care Singleton introduced the Singleton Interagency participants to the activities she had recently put in place. The residents enjoyed various games in the lounge room including a giant connect four game, dominoes 
and snakes and ladders. A personal favourite was the cornhole game, as you can see in the picture above, Lindsay MacKay, HNECCPHN and Anna Bown NSWA got quite competitive.

 For further information on games please contact: Kathy Kolder, Director of Care Services – Mercy Services Singleton



Programs available at Redhead

While Lee-Ann Gascoyne (pictured) of the Whiddon Group Redhead took us through the various programs they have in place.

Programs included:
  • Chair aerobics, Tai Chi, Sit Dancing both in groups and one on one when needed.
  • Walking trail groups with various trails to suit the capabilities of the group on the day.
  • Balance and step classes to assist with and maintain coordination and ability to use stairs.
  • Pelvic floor classes to improve continence and thus improving dignity and skin integrity.
  • Lee-Ann and team identify frequent fallers and implement one on one programs.
  • Deep breathing and Bubble blowing – a favourite, aids respiratory fitness, enables opportunities for cough etiquette  and hand washing education
  • Pain clinic- includes foot massage, circulation boosters to name a few techniques – who wouldn’t like that.
  • Bus outing – Lee-Ann attends and activities include a spot of chair aerobics on the bus.
Outcomes of activity are many. Some include reduced falls and pain, improved sleep, improved mood and mental well-being and maintenance of strength and mobility.

For further information please contact:  Kelly Thomson, Deputy Director of Care Services, The Whiddon Group Redhead:

Please let us know of any compliments/complaints with the date/time/what/when/who so that we can follow them up with the appropriate organisation/person. – 02 4935 3026   

Recommended links to further resources   Username: hnehealth  Password: p1thw1ys   Understanding Pain in less than five minutes  Understanding Pain: Brainman chooses  Understanding Pain: Brainman stops his opioids

Aged Care Interagency Meetings

Hunter Primary Care and HNELHD have now established local regional interagency meetings at Newcastle, Port Stephens, Manning, Singleton and Maitland.

These meetings are held in conjunction with the Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) collaborative group and provide an opportunity to learn from each other and showcase how the service is making a difference.

Guest speakers will present their experiences, innovations and strategies for emergency care. 
Tomaree ACE Interagency
Date: Thursday 11 May 2017
Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: Harbourside Haven, 89 Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay
RSVP: 27 April 2017 to

Maitland ACE Interagency
Date: Tuesday - Date to be confirmed
Time: 10.30am - 12.00pm
Venue: Maitland Hospital 

Newcastle ACE Interagency
Date: Thursday 18 May 2017
Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: Anglican Care, Kilpatrick Court, 152 Brighton Avenue, Toronto
RSVP: 4 May 2017 to

Singleton ACE Interagency
Date: Tuesday 16 May 2017
Time: 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Venue: To be confirmed
RSVP: 2 May 2017 to

Manning ACE Interagency
Date: Thursday 25 May 2017
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Venue: Biripi Aged Care, 151 Manning River Drive, Taree South
RSVP: 11 May 2017 to

Tamworth ACE Interagency
Date: Thursday 1 June 2017
Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: Nazareth House, 80-104 Manilla Road, Oxley Vale
RSVP: 18 May 2017 to

Armidale ACE Interagency
Date: Wednesday 31 May 2017
Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: Autumn Lodge, 50 Butler St, Armidale
RSVP: 17 May 2017 to

Thank you to those Facility Managers and staff who hosted the February – March Interagency meetings.
Remember: For planned smooth transfers from hospital, please ensure your facility’s information is on HealthPathways. For help, contact the ACE team. 
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