Kirrawee Family Medical Practice is changing the way we function as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Our main focus is to continue to provide a safe environment for our patients, doctors and staff.

 

To date, we are not aware of ANY of our patients having tested positive for COVID-19, nor have any of our administrative staff, nurses or doctors tested positive.  Thank you to everyone for your early action and cooperation which helped us achieved this significant milestone.

 

As the number of COVID cases has decreased sharply, we are again re-adjusting the way we operate as a practice.

 

We have implemented several new procedures to reduce the spread of the disease and to protect you, our staff and our doctors.

The new approach is covered under the following headings:

TELEHEALTH

 

In keeping with limiting all non-essential travel, we are doing many consultations via telehealth (phone or video).

 

We are still offering standard consultations using Telehealth – either by phone call, or where necessary, video conferencing.  If you are having a video conference, you will be sent a link which you can activate with your phone, IPad, Tablet or computer (if it has a camera and microphone).

 

Referrals to specialist and clinics, medical certificates, pathology and radiology referrals and prescriptions can be done via fax or email.  In some cases, you are now able to collect these items from the practice.  If you need to pick up these items from the practice, please call from the parking lot and someone will bring the relevant item to you.

 

Patients are encouraged to book Telehealth appointments online via our HotDocs booking system. One of doctors will then call you back around the appointment time.  Alternatively, please phone the practice and make an appointment over the phone as usual.

 

We recognise that not all General Practice Services can be done via Telehealth.  Sometimes after the doctor has consulted with you by phone, you may then be asked to come in to the clinic at a later time to diagnose and manage your illness more appropriately.

 

We will still be offering Influenza Vaccinations, Prolia injections, childhood immunisations, antenatal care, cervical screening etc. at the practice.  Any patient who feels their condition cannot be managed effectively by telephone or video consultation should call the practice to arrange a face to face appointment.

 

The practice will no longer be open on Saturday mornings.

 

FACE TO FACE CONSULTATIONS

 

Important changes to patients attending the clinic for face to face consultations

 

All patients arriving at the clinic have been provided with chairs in the car park, which are 2 metres apart.  You may also wait in your car, if you prefer.  These chairs are wiped down after each patient uses them.

 

Ideally, you should come alone to the appointment and if this is not possible, one carer only should accompany you.  This is in keeping with social distancing measures announced by the Government.

 

Once in the car park, ALL patients must call the practice on 9521 6261 and either your doctor, or the receptionist will call you in to the practice. You will not be able to walk in without being escorted by a staff member.

 

Once in the practice, please go straight to the toilet and wash your hands, before coming into the consulting room where there will also be hand sanitizer on the desk outside the room and your temperature will be checked before you are seen.

 

People will be seen in the two consulting rooms closest to the glass sliding door entrance.  There remains no access to the practice via the wooden gate in Oak Road.

 

We will spend the minimal possible face-to-face in keeping with common sense social distancing.

 

On leaving the practice, please sanitise your hands again.  If you are a fee paying patient, we request that you then please ring reception to organise payment by credit card after your consultation

 

We are working hard to keep the practice virus free. We have put in place appropriate measures to ensure that it remains this way. We clean the reception area, waiting room and other high contact areas regularly with accredited cleaning agents.

 

Patients with cold and flu symptoms, fevers or other respiratory symptoms are asked to phone for a telehealth consultation, where you will be triaged and together with your doctor, a plan for your management will be determined. This may involve being directed to a COVID collection site, being managed over the phone, or attending for a face-to face, or in car/carpark appointment.

 

These patients will be seen at designated times in a dedicated area. In these clinics we apply the appropriate infection control measures and our doctors will use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (masks, glasses, gloves and gowns).

 

ALL consultations are limited to less than 10 minutes and we are asking that only patients and essential company to attend the practice to further limit the number of people being required to travel.

 

 

CALLING THE PRACTICE FOR APPOINTMENTS

 

All patients calling the practice will be asked the following questions:

 

  • Have you travelled internationally in the past 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Have you have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?.

 

How can I help stop the spread of the disease?

 

Washing your hands often and properly is the best way to stop yourself from catching COVID-19. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice). Clean your hands often, particularly before you eat and after you go to the toilet. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

 

You should also try not to touch your face. This can be harder than it sounds, because we naturally touch our faces often! See if you can pay attention to how often you put your hands on your face, and then gradually try to do it less.

 

 You should try to stand 1.5 metres away from anyone, to stop any droplets getting into your system. How far is 1.5 metres? It’s about the length of a shopping trolley, a giant tortoise or the height of Kylie Minogue. Imagine keeping one of these things between you and anyone else.

 

 

Don’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

Work from home if possible.

Limit all social gatherings, if possible.

 

There is good advice on the NSW Health website:

https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/social-distancing

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Documents/social-distancing.pdf

 

Remember – anyone can have the disease – even those with NO symptoms.

 

What can you do to help the practice?

 

  • Please call ahead before entering our practice. Especially if you are suffering from cold or flu symptoms.
  • Be honest with our staff when we ask you about your symptoms and recent travel.
  • If you think you have COVID-19 please call our practice for advice OR attend your nearest Coronavirus Screening Clinic at The Sutherland Hospital or St George Hospital, or at the COVID drive through testing facility at 123 Flora Street Sutherland.

.

Please be patient with our staff during this time. We have put in place patient screening measures which includes being asked about symptoms when you book your appointment, when we confirm appointments and when you enter our building. Although this can be frustrating please keep in mind we are doing it to keep all patients who enter our practice safe.

Please be aware that due to a huge increase in phone calls and emails we have decided to turn our phones off between 12:30 and 1:30 pm each day.
This is to allow time for our staff to keep up with normal administrative tasks.

 

Where else can I go for advice?

 

Coronavirus Hotline -  The hotline for general advice on Coronavirus is 1800 080 080.

 

If you would like to speak to a Registered Nurse regarding possible symptoms please call the Health direct helpline on 1800 022 222, available 24 hours a day.

 

For advice on any upcoming travel please check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website.
https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

 

Getting tested for Coronavirus

 

NSW Health recommends that anyone with respiratory symptoms or unexplained fever should be tested for COVID-19.

 

This is especially important for:

 

  • anyone who lives or works in a high risk setting, including healthcare facilities, aged care and other residential facilities, schools, prisons, and other closed   settings
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people who are close contacts of a confirmed case or who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • anyone admitted to hospital
  • people who reside in areas for increased testing and surveillance (Note: these areas are updated weekly).

 

Please make sure any health care or aged care workers or residents are noted on the laboratory request form so their test can be prioritised.

 

Asymptomatic people do not require testing, except in special circumstances such as recovered cases wishing to return to work in a health care facility, aged care facility or other high-risk clinical setting, or the person is part of a public health unit outbreak investigation.

 

People without symptoms should not be tested.

 

In order to stay within these guidelines, we are unable to provide referrals for COVID-19 tests unless you fit these criteria. This ensures that the currently inundated pathology and screening centres will be able to keep up with demands for testing. We will update this information as the criteria change.

 

For more information on COVID-19

 

NSW Health

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/protect-yourself.aspx

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-update.aspx

 

Department of Health

https://www.australia.gov.au/

 

Closest Emergency Departments

 

The Sutherland Hospital

Kingsway & Kareena Rd, Caringbah NSW 2229

(02) 9540 7111

 

St George Hospital

28a Gray St, Kogarah NSW 2217

(02) 9113 1111

 

 

 

This page was last updated on 24/5/2020 at 2pm AEST

 

 

 

POLICIES & PROCEDURES             Copyright 2019 Kirrawee Family Medical Practice rev.29/07/2020