Honouring hospital staff
NURSE manager Brett Hayes from York took home the top gong on May 12 at the WA Nursing and Midwifery Awards.
The WA Country Health Service ( WACHS) employee developed TelePalliative Care in the Home, an end- of- life support service for people living in remote regions.
He was named WA Nurse of the Year and has been a nurse for 10 years.
Mr Hayes, who works only in the Wheatbelt region, said he felt privileged to work in rural WA after starting his career in the city.
He also won the award for excellence in regional and remote nursing.
“There is quite a contrast between metropolitan and regional nursing. Here, we’re encouraged to think innovatively and given freedom to explore new ideas,” he said.
He said listening to patients and their families had been fundamental to the development of telehealth technology and had proven important when supporting patients in the final stages of their life.
“Telehealth, whereby our patients can reach us using audio and visual links over the internet, means those in rural and remote areas can access specialist services without the need to travel,” he said.
“It has made such a difference to supporting our patients with end- of- care life.
“Previously, only 7 to 14 per cent of those in the Wheatbelt wanting to die at home were able.
“This has increased to 70 per cent simply because we can now interact with them face to face via video conference. Our service has well and truly become mobile.”
He developed the remote health care service in 2016.
WACHS head of nursing and midwifery Marie Baxter said Mr Hayes was “absolutely deserving” of Nurse of the Year status.
“Brett has achieved phenomenal results in allowing people to stay at home in their final stages of care,” she said.
“He has been persistent and committed in building better options for palliative patients and works with them and their families to achieve the best outcome,” she said.
The TelePalliative Care in the Home service expanded to the Midwest in April and will begin in the South- West and Great Southern in the next couple of months.
Meredith Walker from the WA Nurses Memorial Charitable Trust and Health Minister Roger Cook flank Nurse of the year winner Brett Hayes.