COVID Operations Bulletin – 31 July

July 31, 2020

As the need for Western Health to provide care to our community increases in line with the spike in cases of COVID 19, we have made the decision to mobilise our Incident Command Centre 7 days per week. This is supported by a broader management and senior clinician staffing model to manage specific issues as they arise throughout the week and weekend. This team will work alongside the usual Director on Call and AHA structures and support immediate response to any emerging issues.

In addition to this, we are implementing additional measures of clinical support across our high acuity ward areas in response to the increasing volume and complexity of hospital activity. This is being supported by the expanded scope of the Critical Care Outreach Team and also by our educators. More detail is provided below.

Staff safety continues to be our top priority. We have seen a dramatic improvement in staff use of PPE in recent days however this is a challenge for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff working on night shifts are reminded to remain extremely vigilant with distancing and PPE, even when staff numbers at those times are much smaller.

In areas where you are now required to wear P2/N95 masks, if you are unfamiliar with this form of PPE, it is essential that you go through the FitChecking process for these masks to be of maximum benefit.

Our Aged Care Liaison Service and the Nursing and Medical At Home teams continue to provide a remarkable and extensive service responding to major residential care outbreaks across our region and beyond. This is challenging work in circumstances where there is significant pressure and concern and where there are often sad and difficult conversations with distressed families. Thank you to the teams undertaking this work. You continue to provide a compassionate, caring and dedicated service 7 days per week that is making a difference to many. Today we have a set of images which capture some of the team’s work in recent days. (See below).

The spectrum of the virus is reflected in the fact that at Western Health, we are caring for a number of young patients who are COVID positive at this time. I know this is also challenging for our clinicians, who then face a whole different range of considerations.

I want to thank you all for the continuing commitment, compassion and kindness you are providing to our patients, their families and each other through this time.



COVID-19 Daily Summary

Number of tests conducted across all sites by Western Health: 845

Number of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 66


Boosting educational support for high acuity areas

To support higher acuity workloads on COVID wards, our education team will be extending their support hours commencing tomorrow 1 August.

From this weekend there will be two educators at Sunshine Hospital, one in the COVID wards and 1 in ED. Footscray will have one educator across Wards 2 C+D.

From Monday 3 Aug there will be two education teams at Footscray and Sunshine. Team A will commence at 0730 and Team B at 10am.

Educator huddles will be held at 1000 daily next week to distribute workload, ensuring support is directed to the clinical areas in highest need and they will liaise with the ICU liaison nurse to identify higher clinical acuity areas and to plan their day to complement each team’s work.

SIM centre activity has also decreased and the SIM centre educators have been supporting Sunshine ED.

Nursing and Medical At Home teams in action

This week we have been capturing some of the work of Western Health’s dedicated Aged Care Liaison Service and the Nursing and Medical at Home inreach teams as they carry out their challenging work across our communities.