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Rapid rollout throws lifeline to hotspots

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27th September, 2022

At the height of the Delta surge, NSW Health Pathology faced the incredible task of setting up six rapid testing clinics in Sydney and community testing in Far North West NSW in a matter of days.

It would usu­al­ly take weeks or months to attract, recruit, onboard and train staff and set up clin­ics with enough capac­i­ty to test thou­sands of peo­ple a day.

But NSW Health Pathology’s Human Resources, Work­force Risk and Point of Care teams joined forces to achieve this, work­ing sev­en-days-a-week and on week­ends they’d usu­al­ly spend with their families.

Their inde­fati­ga­ble com­mit­ment enabled us to test in hotspots and for some of our most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties at a crit­i­cal time in the Delta outbreak.

With­in three days they had estab­lished rapid test­ing for 15,000 Year 12 stu­dents from areas of con­cern receiv­ing pri­or­i­ty vac­ci­na­tions at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Are­na, help­ing alle­vi­ate HSC stress. With­in five days, they opened a rapid test­ing clin­ic at Lakem­ba, and oth­ers at St Marys, New­cas­tle, Ash­field and Lalor Park in the two weeks after.

They arranged for two staff to fly at short notice to remote Wilcan­nia to pro­vide rapid test­ing there and also pro­vid­ed rapid sup­port to Moree at a crit­i­cal time for these affect­ed com­mu­ni­ties. Team mem­bers not only organ­ised these clin­ics by rapid­ly recruit­ing the new staff to run them – they sourced and set up the equip­ment, induct­ed and trained the staff, and then man­aged the clinics.

They remained hands-on in the months fol­low­ing, a time of huge test­ing vol­umes and sus­tained pres­sure on us to deliv­er. They exceed­ed expec­ta­tions in pro­vid­ing inno­v­a­tive, qual­i­ty ser­vices and out­comes and per­son­i­fied our RITE val­ues of Respect, Integri­ty, Team­work and Excellence.

In recog­ni­tion of their efforts, these teams have been named as final­ists for keep­ing peo­ple safe and healthy in the 2022 NSW Health Pathol­o­gy Awards.


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