A STRATEGY designed to help close the gap and deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal consumers has been recognised at the 2020 NSW Health Awards.
Hunter New England Health's Aboriginal Health Unit has won the Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare Award for developing a comprehensive 'Closing the Gap Framework'.
The strategy was designed to help services increase their understanding, capacity and responsiveness to Aboriginal health needs.
The NSW Health Awards, which recognise innovative and sustainable health programs that deliver better outcomes for patients, also honoured the Hunter New England Health team behind a project aimed at reducing needlestick injuries for healthcare workers.
The project took out the "People and Culture Award".
A COVID-19 testing clinic run by Belmont Hospital was also recognised for its innovative swabbing model that safely managed urgent community needs during the global pandemic.
Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley, congratulated the hospital for quickly establishing the safe and efficient service in March as the number of cases in the Hunter was on the rise.
She said the hospital had been providing telephone COVID-19 assessments that allowed the community to be safely booked into a drive-through clinic with two-minute appointments.
"It's incredible to see how our health professionals mobilised to create this model, under stressful and unprecedented conditions," Ms Catley said. "Although Belmont Hospital didn't take out the award, I'm incredibly proud and grateful to our essential workers, whose knowledge, professionalism and dedication have spared us from the scale of devastation that we've seen in other parts of the world."