The Vision for Life (VFL) project is a joint initiative of NSW Health and
Variety, the Children's Charity. The project aims to put NETS specialists
and other experts in neonatal and paediatric care "into: special care
nurseries (SCN), children's wards (CW) and paediatric bays in Emergency
Departments (ED) by using high-quality video technology to augment the
consultant and retrieval process for sick or injured babies, infants and
To date, Variety has provided 66 VFL cameras and is working to fund
others across NSW.
Armidale - SCN, CW
Auburn - ED, Nursery (commissioning pending)
Balmain - ED
Bathurst - SCN, CW, ED
Belmont - Birthing room
Blacktown - ED, SCN (commissioning pending)
Blue Mountains - ED, SCN, CW (headsets pending)
Campbelltown - SCN, CW, ED
Coffs Harbour - SCN
Dubbo - SCN, CW, ED
Glen Innes - Nursery
Gosford - SCN, CW, ED
Grafton - SCN
Hornsby - SCN, ED
Kempsey - Nursery (ED pending)
Lismore - SCN
Lithgow - SCN, ED
Maclean - ED
Maitland - SCN
Milton/Ulladulla - ED
Mount Druitt - ED, CW
Moree - ED, Nursery
Mudgee - ED, Nursery
Muswellbrook - SCN
Nepean - ED, CW
Nimbin - ED
Orange - SCN, CW, ED
Port Macquarie - SCN (ED, CW commissioning
Royal Prince Alfred - ED, CW
Royal North Shore - CW, ED
Ryde - ED
Shoalhaven - ED, CW, SCN
Singleton - Birthing Room
St George - ED, SCN, CW
Sutherland - SCN, CW (ED pending)
Taree - SCN, ED
Wyong - ED
NETS also has access to general-purpose cameras in the Emergency
Department of 111 other hospitals.
Variety, the children's charity, is targeting the needs of children by
funding the provision of cameras to special care nurseries (SCN - 18),
children's wards (CW - 10) and paediatric bays in Emergency (ED - 13).
How does it work?
Clinical staff in a local hospital call the NETS Hotline by telephone. A
telephone conference call is immediately established with a NETS
consultant. Where a video camera is installed and available, a decision
is made for the local staff to press a button to activate it. They don't
have to do anything else; allowing them to return to the bedside to care
for the child. In order that the calling clinician can readily move
between the telephone, hospital information systems and the patient,
calls are made using a cordless headset provided as part of this package.
Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) is used to maximise the voice
quality and range.
Vision can be seen at the NETS State Headquarters by NETS Consultants and
authorised NETS team members. NETS consultants can see vision when
working off-site on call for NETS.
In addition, doctors in hospitals likely to receive the patient
(children's hospitals in Sydney and Newcastle and neonatal ICU
in Canberra) have access to the system.
VFL has improved patient care by:
Helping local doctors and nurses treating the patient apply the
expertise of regional and tertiary hospitals to provide the required
level of care
Reducing unnecessary retrieval and lengthy transport of patients and,
Keeping sick and injured babies and children closer to home and family
as much as possible
For hospitals or clinicians wishing to acquire this equipment or to
trouble-shoot an existing installation, click here.
NETS has prior experience with the lower resolution cameras in place in
many small hospital emergency departments. Use in those locations has
regularly tipped the scales in favour of local care or regional transfer.
Previously, such cases would have resulted in medical retrieval. Vision
has built confidence in these decisions; both for the NETS' Consultant as
well as in convincing others of the plan (accepting regional doctor,
ambulance paramedics and flight nurses.
Second stage extended the VFL program;
starting in the NSW North Coast where existing cameras (CCC*) were
converted to permit NETS VFL to operate via NETS as well as their
intended regional CCC function.
Now, new cameras are being installed in
neonatal nurseries, children's wards in hospitals selected by their LHD.
While the technologies vary, NETS has been able to 'piggy-back' onto
these various systems.
Feedback from clinicians during the pilot stage of VFL
"Really very useful tool which provides more information about the
clinical condition of the child"
"Allowed NETS doctors to make an informed assessment, and in this case,
allowed a very significant change in management"
"In this instance it enabled a child to be referred to a base hospital
as well as enabling the patient to be assessed to be appropriate for a
ambulance transfer as opposed to utilising a NETS team"
"Great concept with a little more experience and opportunities should
be easy to adapt"
"By having this it helped us reassure parents we are getting the best
advice, also it was useful to train other Emergency Staff Adults and
CCC = Connecting Critical Care = A video system linking several small
hospitals with their regional Base Hospital Emergency Department.
Variety = Variety, the Children's Charity = World's largest
children's charity. Variety supports children with special needs and
services helping injured or sick newborns, infants and children.