Albury Wodonga Health Media Guidelines

The AWH Communications Department manages all media enquiries and requests relating to all AWH locations.

We are the first point of contact for any media enquiries, including patient condition updates, interview requests with AWH staff acting as medical experts, escorting film crews and photographers and permission to film on hospital grounds.

Media opportunities are subject to approval and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Media enquiries:

Weekdays - 8:30am-5:00pm - journalists can email or call 02 6048 1160 

Requests to film

  • All interviews, photography and filming on AWH premises must be approved prior to the media entering an AWH healthcare facility.
  • A Communications staff member will escort media during approved visits, including for interviews, filming, and photography.
  • All AWH staff directly approached by media outlets will, in the first instance, redirect enquiries to the Communications team.

Patient conditions

  • When enquiring about a patient condition update, we are guided by the Health Services Act 1988. This legislation, limits the amount of information that can be released without written consent from the patient, or where appropriate their next of kin.
  • When categorising the condition, we use the following descriptions: stable, serious and critical. Due to patient privacy, we cannot provide any patient details, such as name, age or injuries.

Patient interview requests

Interview requests to individuals on AWH property must be done through the Communications Team. Our team will not approach a patient on the day of admission. It is important to us as a health service to ensure our patients and their families feel safe and supported when in hospital. or call 02 6048 1160 

Live or Simulated Live crosses

Media are permitted to film AWH facilities from public walkways and footpaths, however, we ask to be notified via the AWH Communications Department prior to arrival so that security on location can be advised.

Additional media resources

Reporting on Mental Health

Reporting on People with a Disability

Reporting on Violence against Women and Children

Ten psychiatrists have joined Albury Wodonga Health in the past eight years, an increase the health service is celebrating this Mental Health Week.

World Mental Health Week is held annually in the second week of October and Monday (October 10) is World Mental Health Day.

Medical director of mental health services Dr Elizabeth McArdle said when she first joined AWH in 2014, there was a low number of psychiatrists compared to her former Melbourne health service, but there had since been an "extraordinary uplift".

"Back in 2014 we had about eight and-a-half doctors working in the mental health service across both states and now we're sitting at 28," she said.

"Where there might have been considerable waits to see a psychiatrist before, now people are able to see a psychiatrist in a much more timely manner.

"It also means that we have more psychiatrists able to provide leadership to the staff across the service and also be involved in quality improvement and service development activities."

Dr McArdle said during COVID-19 many health services across the state struggled to fill medical positions, but Albury Wodonga Health had filled all of its registrar and consultancy positions.

"The good work that's happening and the good culture the service is developing is drawing really good people to it," she said.

"An example of that is that we've had a considerable number of registrars and consultants who've come to work for the service for a short period of time and who've had such positive experience here with both the culture and the clinical work.

"So they've elected to relocate to the region to take on permanent positions with us."

The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists recently awarded Albury Wodonga Health the position of rural director of training - the first position of its kind in Victoria.

Dr McArdle said it would help the region attract and retain more psychiatrists in the future, with benefits for the whole community.

"It will improve access to training for regional doctors who want to live and work and train in regional settings like ours," she said.

"That will result in our communities having training psychiatrists, who when they finish their training, are coming out and working in the communities they know and which they're part of and which they're invested in."

This article originally appeared in The Border Mail, authored by Victoria Ellis and is re-published with permission.

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