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Royal Far West Blog

Quick Updates

John Back - Tuesday, December 03, 2013

All the latest updates on everything that has been happening at RFW in the past few months

Sponsorships and partnerships

Sponsorships and partnerships have been setting a fast pace over the last few months. Here’s a quick summary of recent activities: 

Port Macquarie Half Iron Man

The Royal Far West team of Ridge Grimsey (swimmer), Jake Kauffmann (cyclist) and Hamish  MacDonald (runner) set a cracking pace in the Port Macquarie Half Iron Man to both win the event overall, and – with the support of generous sponsors and donors – raise over $10,000.   

This fundraising effort was key to bringing the Green Hill Public School kids down to Manly for a school camp and health screening (see other story in this newsletter). 

DAFF trivia night

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) hold an annual end-of- year celebration and fundraising event.  Each year they nominate a charity to which they donate funds raised at the event.  This year it was Royal Far West. 

The event attracted some 300 guests and included a trivia competition as well as other fundraising activities. CEO Lindsay Cane and Debbie Brunner, a parent of a former RFW client and a great supporter of ours, spoke at the event.  Board members Richard Hattersley and Peter Veenstra also attended with their wives. 

The evening raised $10,000 for Royal Far West. Lindsay attended a cheque presentation in DAFF’s Canberra office last week. 

SCG Luncheon

The SCG Luncheon is an annual fundraising event organised by the Sydney Tigers Cricket Club.  Royal Far West is now the selected charity of Sydney Tigers, so they offered us an opportunity to be involved in the luncheon this year.

The event was held last week and attracted around 250 guests from the corporate and cricketing communities. Comedian Mick Meredith entertained, and speakers included celebrated batsman Simon Katich and retired fast bowler Mike Whitney. Richard Colbran spoke on the work of Royal Far West and Lindsay Cane, Julie Wright and other senior managers also attended.  

Live coverage of the 2013 Ashes Series was screened and there was also a raffle as well as live and silent auctions where prizes included tickets to the Ashes. 

Warren Year 12 students

As part of the Schools Partnership Program, high school students from Warren Central School participated in a range of fundraising activities – including raffles, a car wash and door knocking – to raise the amazing amount of $4,492 for Royal Far West. 

Mercure Room for Hope

Room for Hope, a charity program set up by the Schwarz Foundation and championed by Greg Brady, General Manager of the Mercure Sydney has raised close to $50,000 for children’s charities in the last three years. They recently presented a cheque for $5,000 to Royal Far West.

The Room for Hope program involves participating Accor hotels inviting their guests to donate one dollar in addition their room rate, with 100 percent of funds raised going directly to charities. 

Participating hotels include Ibis World Square, Mercure Canberra, Mercure Sydney, M Gallery Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Novotel Newcastle, The Sebel Surry Hills and Victoria Hotel Melbourne – all of which will continue encouraging their guests to donate for these worthy causes.

In other news, Regional Express Airlines (REX) has generously donated two return tickets anywhere in the Rex network worth $2600 to Royal Far West. 

New payroll system

The new payroll and HR system went live in mid-November without any major issues. Its key components are:

  • Payforce, the master file database for payroll which contains all of the information required to process the payroll every fortnight – such as personal information, pay rates and tax scales. Only Finance and HR employees have access to Payforce. 
  • Ezlabor Manager (EZLM), the electronic time and attendance system installed to replace Timeteq. It captures and records hours worked for employees who use the proxy swipe card system. EZLM allows employees to view and check their schedule plus actual hours worked.It also allows applicable employees to apply for leave but does not display leave balances. EZLM directly feeds hours worked into the Payforce system, thereby removing the need to have a payroll officer input hours into the system.  It also does away with the need for paper time sheets.All employees who are paid under the Enterprise Agreement and use the proxy swipe card system can access EZLM.  Supervisors who have employees that are under the Enterprise Agreement will also have access. 
  • Employee Manager Online (EMO), is the Employee Self Service module that was rolled out across RFW last week. It provides all employees with access to update their personal data such as address, phone, emergency contact and bank account details. It also allows users to view leave balances (all staff) and apply for leave (only those who do not use EZLM), therefore doing away with the need to fill in paper leave forms.  EMO also allows viewing and printing payslips and payment summaries. Any changes made in EMO will feed directly into Payforce, thereby doing away with the need to contact payroll or HR to update your details. 

Progress on accreditation

The EQuIP National Quality Program has begun.  Royal Far West has completed Phase One: Self- Assessment. This is where new members provide a self-assessment against the 256 criteria of the National Safety and Quality Health Care Standards (NSQHS) and the 111 EQuIP National (EQuIP) actions – allowing us to compare what we are doing with what is required. We have also submitted our Risk Register and Quality Improvement plans.

Phase Two is the Organisation Wide Survey. This will be take place in March/April, 2014. We are currently revising and updating our policies and systems to match the recommendations that were generated from the findings of the Self-Assessment.

The recommendations which will include embedding the Charter of Health Care Rights and the National Open Disclosure Policy in our Complaints Policy and  pathway, Clinical Handover Policy, Privacy Policy, Credentialing & Scope of Practice, By-Laws, Medication Policy  and Medical Record policy.

The Infection Control Committee is reviewing and attending to the Hand Hygiene audit for staff. The Hand Hygiene Initiative for the children at the school has been promoted by the teachers. An Immunisation program will be revisited, and an Infection Control Competency Program will be up-dated for Oral Health, along with an Anti-Microbial Stewardship Program for the Dentists.

A framework has been developed for partnering with consumers and a working party will be developed to review and develop this framework. Consumer satisfaction forms have been piloted. Families are now joining us to improve the safety and quality of our service. 

Schools Partnership Program well received

Earlier this year it was decided to ask schools in NSW – those which had been or wanted to access RFW services – to sign a ‘Friendship Agreement’ as part of formalising our relationships and service offerings.

The rationale behind this is to have schools and their communities contribute to the services provided to the children, providing a model of sustainability and development of what we can offer.

In the couple of months since this project started, 32 schools have signed a Friendship agreement which amongst other items, invites them to conduct a fundraising event for us and help to raise our profile in their community. From RFW side, we will start to prioritise services to those schools who truly wish to work in partnership. 

Recently RFW staff have visited schools in Moree, Gulargambone, Coonamble, Collarenebri, Walgett, Goodooga, Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, and Nyngan, and also presented at a Catholic Schools Conference in Forbes. 

This program is important to the future of how RFW engages with schools. The response to the concept has so far been very positive.