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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Health authorities say they are prepared

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As the Delta variant moves the goalposts globally, local health authorities say they are confident they are prepared for any case surge.

Yet when asked how many ventilators are on hand in the region, a Northern NSW Local Health District spokesperson said they did not have that information.

Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, told The Echo her department has a ‘detailed escalation and surge plan for COVID-positive patients within our district’.

Ms Weir says, ‘In NSW, we have a large, highly-integrated, networked health system with sufficient surge capacity to ensure all patients who require intensive care will receive it’.

‘In our District, there are more than 20 intensive care (IC) beds spread across our three major hospitals in Grafton, Lismore and Tweed, with plans in place to surge staffing and intensive care capacity, if and when required, across all our health facilities. Throughout the early stages of the pandemic, we sourced additional equipment, including ventilators, in the event it’s required for any surge in intensive care patients that may occur in our region.

‘From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern NSW Local Health District has been actively increasing its staffing and upskilling its workforce in readiness to care for COVID-19 patients in our region.

‘An additional 62 nurses were recruited across the District, including Assistants in Nursing, Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses.

‘Additional training programs were developed for nurses, midwives, and allied health staff, with more than 265 staff attending surge training in Intensive Care, Emergency and Immunisation specialties to provide additional capacity to care for patients.

‘In June this year, an additional staffing allocation of 3.7FTE was added to the Lismore Base Hospital Intensive Care Unit, which is currently being recruited to.

‘We regularly review our stocks and supply chains of resources, including PPE and pharmacy items, to ensure adequate supplies’.

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  1. Meanwhile I can’t get the Pfizer shot because Gladys took them back from the regions to use in southwestern Sydney. I can’t have the AZ because I’ve recently had blood-clotting events.

    We have a bunch of incompetent politicians trying to close the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

    Vote them all out at the next opportunity!

  2. Those ICU beds, and every other bed in those ‘major’ hospitals are perpetually fully occupied with intensive care cases that aren’t Covid19. Queensland perpetually treats serious and critical emergency cases from Northern NSW as facilities and services are woefully inadequate for our current population.
    Politically influenced announcements like this are misleading to say the least. There’s no way Northern Rivers hospitals could cope with an outbreak of Covid19, and it would be quite unfair to expect Queensland to endanger it’s medical facilities and population with the results of the LNP and Sydney’s foolishness and selfishness.
    Get real, shut down and do the same for NSW as Victoria, Qld, ACT, WA, SA, Tas and NT are doing for their communities – protect us LNP, you’ve failed us in every other way!
    As Gordon said – vote them out ASAP!


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