Covid Messages from Russell


May 7, 2020

In the last 24 hours, you might have become aware of announcements by the Health Minister and Chief Health Officer that two aged care homes in our region, have now had staff members test positive for coronavirus.
One at Grant Lodge in the Djerriwarrh Health Service and another at Doutta Galla in Footscray.
The Doutta Galla staff member is a close contact of one of the Cedar Meats staff who has also tested positive. Unfortunately, as has been announced by the State Government this morning, the number of COVID-19 cases now linked to Cedar Meats has reached 62.
Staff in our subacute areas have been considering any related links to Western Health and assessing potential impact.
I would like to encourage all staff to think carefully about any links, whether through family or friends, that they might have to either of the two aged care centres or to staff of Cedar Meats.
By coming forward to your line manager, we can support you to be tested and/or provide you with the right support and advice.
Please click here for more information.

Thank you to the frontline staff who are NOT working on COVID preparation!

When the focus is as intense as it is and as it needs to be with COVID-19, it can become difficult for those staff who are continuing with their challenging work all along. Your commitment does not go unnoticed, your work is just as essential because it frees up those who need to directly support the response to the pandemic. Thank you all.
The photos you see here are fantastic examples of the great staff groups supporting our vulnerable patients – and all staff are a careful 1.5 metres apart!


Innovation and exercise come together

Today I’d like to congratulate Dr Cathy Said and her physiotherapy team for their work on a fantastic new website called Safe Exercise At Home. The site provides advice to older Australians about how they can increase their activity levels during the COVID-19 lockdowns and includes simple exercises that can be done at home. The project was a collaboration between Dr Said and her colleagues from 11 universities and health services across the country. It is a wonderful example of the ingenuity we’re so proud of at Western Health, and our commitment to finding new ways to care for our communities. Well done, Cathy!

Communication during COVID

Throughout this period of preparation for and responding to COVID-19, I hope you will feel that you have been receiving strong and clear communication, as far as is possible in the midst of a pandemic where changes can occur every day because the situation is constantly and rapidly evolving. The whole Executive team is committed to getting the communication right as much as we can!
Receiving positive feedback is something we all welcome and those of us on the Executive team at Western Health are no different, so thank you for some of the kind messages that have been coming our way.
Here is a compliment that came through to Natasha Toohey, our Executive Director Operations. Thank you to Mohamed, who is an instrument technician in our Central Sterilising Services Department.

Thank you so much for the prompt, clear and valuable updates and information we receive from you and the executive team. I admire and value those updates as well as my colleagues.
I have not been working long at Western Health and I have worked at many other organisations, public and private sector and have not felt, professionalism, well organised, supportive and well-structured organisation like Western Health. I am proud to be working here and wished I joined Western Health many years ago.
Have a wonderful afternoon, you and the executive team well deserve a BIG THANK YOU TOO !!!
Kind Regards,

International Day of the Midwife

Over the past year in the new Joan Kirner building, our wonderful midwives have been just a little busy! They work in one of the busiest and largest maternity services in the state and yesterday it was their special day – the International Day of the Midwife in 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife. So double congratulations.

Video message

This week, just for something different, I have recorded a short video message. Please also share this with your colleagues who might not have such easy access to this online bulletin.

COVID Catch-Ups

This week I have had the pleasure of catching up with three different groups at Footscray for more audio editions of COVID Catch-Ups with you know who! I really enjoy the opportunity these are providing for me to sit down and have a decent conversation with small groups of staff at a time caught up with some of the team from our surgical ward, 2East at Footscray; representatives of our Footscray ED; and some of the Nutrition team, who are doing some amazing work to prepare to support COVID patients. These recordings will be available next week.

CovidSafe app at work

There has been some confusion about whether staff caring for COVID-19 patients (either confirmed or suspected) should leave the CovidSAFE app on while at work. This is because staff will be contacted through the app when they come into contact with cases that are already known to Western Health and DHHS. Our advice from DHHS is that should not be a concern, so please feel free to leave the app activated – if you have chosen to download it – at all times.