Daily Bulletin – 3 April

April 3, 2020

Hi everyone,

As we move to the next phase of COVID-19 readiness I thought you might be interested in a broader view of our testing processes and demographics to date.

  • Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday: 88
  • Numbers of individuals tested for COVID-19 at Western Health to date: 2793
  • Numbers of individuals tested positive to date: 63
  • Numbers of current inpatients with COVID-19: 6

I will continue to provide this data daily.

Today we’re announcing additional strategies to minimise COVID-19 transmission risk on our sites.

New restrictions will now apply to staff accessing our Intensive Care Units at Sunshine and Footscray. Effective immediately, only “essential staff” – that is, medical, nursing, allied health and support staff actively rostered to ICU – are permitted to enter ICU. New restrictions also apply to visiting teams. Please see the bulletin below for full details.

Today we are also asking for staff assistance in ensuring visitors adhere to our visitor restrictions and safety measures. We understand visitor restrictions are very difficult for families and loved ones, however Western Health is committed to taking all measures possible to protect our patients, staff, volunteers and visitors as we face the challenge of coronavirus spreading throughout our community.

Finally, I’d like to finish the week with a lovely reminder of why we do what we do, from young locals Rafael and Luiza. Their beautiful drawings, below, were attached to this letter sent to staff at Footscray this week:


We’re in West Footscray, so Footscray Hospital is our local hospital.
We’ve been lucky so far, no-one near us has caught COVID-19, but the kids can’t help pick up on the constant news and concern.
The kids were thinking about Footscray Hospital because we pass it often, but they’re also conscious of all of the people working in all hospitals, including in Brazil where their relatives are. I hope you all get the support and recognition you deserve.

Thanks, Reuben”

Thank you all for another week of hard work.



Changes to ICU access for staff

The following restrictions now apply to staff accessing Western Health Intensive Care Units.

ICU Staff: Only essential staff are permitted to enter the ICU. Essential Staff are defined as Medical, Nursing, Allied Health, and Support staff actively rostered to ICU. ICU staff not actively rostered to a shift are not permitted to enter.

Visiting teams: ICU medical staff will provide visiting teams with daily updates of patients admitted under their units. If bedside review of a patient is required, only one representative of the visiting team will be permitted to enter the ICU. This representative should be a medical practitioner employed at a minimum of Registrar level.

The ICU administrative staff are instructed to enforce these restrictions. Thank you for your cooperation.

Staff assistance in monitoring visitor restrictions

Western Health has implemented restrictions on visitors to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes ensuring all visitors use public entries only – so they can be screened, temperature checked and do not exceed the permitted number of visitors per patient, per day.

We have been advised that some visitors have been entering our hospitals through swipe-card entry doors strictly designated for staff, by walking in behind staff. We are asking for assistance from all staff to ensure our visitor restrictions and safety measures are being followed.

If you observe visitors not complying with our restrictions, politely re-direct them to the public entry of the hospital (if you feel comfortable and safe to do so). Otherwise please call security immediately:
Footscray – 0417 037 873
Sunshine – 0432 758 929

Click here for more information about our current visitor restrictions at Western Health.

Management of cardiac arrest in COVID-19 patients

The Australian Resuscitation Council has recently revised guidelines for the management of cardiac arrest in COVID-19 patients. Click here to see the key modifications to the management of Basic Life Support at Western Health.

Microsite Upload Requests

As we continue to increase our preparedness, so too does the amount of documents that are being published and updated on our COVID-19 microsite.  To assist managing this demand, we are implementing some changes on how we receive and action upload requests, with some changes also to the approval process for COVID-19 QRG and Clinical Guidelines.

From today all microsite upload requests are to be submitted to the following email address: COVID-microsite@wh.org.au
Please note a triage of urgency process has been implemented to enable prioritisation of upload requests to the microsite.

In addition, all QRG’s and Clinical Guidelines will require documentation that demonstrates engagement with an appropriate sponsor and stakeholder consultation processes. Upon approval from the document sponsor, the author is required to submit the document for upload with a completed Microsite QRG and Clinical Guideline Submission Form found here.

Once a QRG or Clinical Guideline with completed paperwork has been processed and uploaded, the author will be informed and a slack message will be sent to the COVID leadership group on our newly established microsite channel so relevant team communication can then occur. All other upload requests will be confirmed via email response only.

To support the above processes, three new templates have been developed. Please ensure you use the appropriate templates which can be found in the QRG section on the site under M for Microsite templates.
1. Microsite Template – Clinical Guideline
2. Microsite Template for QRG or other content – Portrait
3. Microsite Template for QRG or other content – Landscape

Please note the whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au email address remains active for the purposes of staff enquiries.

Update on ICU training

As has been written in previous bulletins, staffing our intensive care and critical care units is a key priority of our COVID-19 surge planning.

We’re pleased to say that so far, 36 ICU-certified staff members have completed the ICU refresher retraining program.

From Monday, we will be beginning a pilot training program for staff without ICU certification.

A reminder that we urgently need nursing and medical staff who are interested in being upskilled and retrained to work in this environment. We can provide immediate training for appropriate candidates.

Details can be found in the Critical Care Refresher Information for Participants.

For more information, please email Joy Turner.

RAC opening hours this weekend

A reminder that the opening hours of Sunshine’s Respiratory Assessment Clinic will be reduced this weekend. The clinic will be open to both staff and the public from 10am-6pm tomorrow and on Sunday.

Weekday hours remain the same: 8am-10am (staff only); and 10am-10pm (public and staff).

Social distancing and hygiene

With growing evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia, it’s important that we all remember our individual responsibilities to practise physical distancing and good hand hygiene, as well to cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.