Over the past nine years, the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation has awarded more than $4 million dollars in grants to research and health initiatives. This year, the Annual Grant Round offered over $500,000 across more than 40 research projects, innovations and equipment requests. Over the past nine years, the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation has awarded more than $4 million dollars in grants to research and health initiatives. This year, the Annual Grant Round offered over $500,000 across more than 40 research projects, innovations and equipment requests.

Patients attempting suicide or self-harming behaviours commonly present to Emergency Department (ED) as their first point of help. Particularly through the pandemic, the mental health of many people has declined.

Emergency Departments are also commonly a busy place, with a range of patients, risks and high-emotions. There is urgent need to enhance ED models of mental health care and enable better access to community support services.

Tackling the problem head on is Clinical Nurse Consultant of Emergency Medicine at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Wayne Varndell who is working to change the culture of Emergency Departments and create positive experiences for mental health patients and staff – from the minute someone walks through the ED doors through to when they leave the Hospital and beyond.

Thanks to the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation Grant Awards, Wayne received the prestigious 2020 Research Medal along with a $50,000 grant. The grant will be put towards trialling a Mental Health Companion Role aka Peer Support Worker within a Hospital ED as part of a larger research study, in partnership with the Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service.

Wayne’s research explores the impact of having a dedicated Mental Health Companion role within the Emergency Department caring for patients experiencing mental ill-health. Understanding the causes of mental ill-health and providing a safe and supportive experience for these patients and families will also improve the environment for ED staff. 

The funding will be used to support a 6-month trial of a specifically trained person in the Mental Health Peer Worker role in the ED. If successful, Wayne hopes that this role and training program will be mirrored throughout the entire hospital and eventually into other South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Hospitals, aligning to the Ministry of Health’s Towards Zero Suicides initiative.








In the hospital, no one person is the same and neither should be our medicine dosages. Taking this into consideration, Adriana Chubaty, Senior Pharmacist Antimicrobial Stewardship at the Prince of Wales Hospital, hopes to be on the forefront of therapeutic drug monitoring of antimicrobials by launching a one year pilot of a software program called DoseMe thanks to the $9,500 Grant Award from the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation. 

DoseMe can interpret blood test results and determine an accurate medicine dosage for each individual patient. The software helps pharmacists and doctors gauge an idea of how these drugs will work in the patient’s body and estimate a next level or dosage required, creating more efficiency and assurance for staff while lowering the risks and side effects for patients. Cleverly, the software program also reduces the number of blood tests required for an accurate indication of dosage and streamlines the testing process.

Some antibiotics have a narrow window between when they are effective and when they can be extremely harmful. DoseMe helps find the perfect balance and assesses each patient differently (dependent on age, weight, height etc).

With more resistant bugs and limited drug options to treat infectious diseases, this means stronger drugs are needed which can increase a patient’s susceptibility to side effects. There has been a rise in patients that require AUC monitoring which makes software like DoseMe more important than ever. 

Thanks to the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation grant, 20 staff including pharmacists working across infectious diseases and doctors, will have access to training in DoseMe.


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  • Since 04-05-21
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