April 7, 2020

As many of you will have noticed, delivery of the containers for PPE reprocessing began this morning.
Within a few days, all wards and clinical areas across Western Health will have received three containers each. As detailed in yesterday’s bulletin, this is a key step in Western Health’s PPE Conservation Strategy. We ask that you familiarise yourselves with this new policy – full details below – and begin depositing your used PPE as soon as your containers arrive.Your cooperation is appreciated because as we are all aware, the global PPE shortages are likely to present significant challenges for us all.

Today also marks a significant milestone in our COVID-19 preparations. The Incident Management Team has just concluded a Go/No Go Assessment for the planned opening of Ward 2G tomorrow. This involved all of our COVID-19 leaders coming together to work through the readiness checklists. This assessment is all about mitigating risk and enabling best care. Please see below for more details.

Finally today, we have also made the decision that patients will be discouraged from taking day leave, in a further effort to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Thanks for keeping yourself updated.




COVID-19 Daily Summary

• Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday: 90
• Numbers of individuals tested for COVID-19 at Western Health to date: 3240
• Numbers of individuals tested positive to date: 70
• Numbers of current inpatients with COVID-19: 6

Updated case definition and testing guidelines

Further updates last night Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton regarding the case definition and testing guidelines for COVID-19. These include the expansion of testing criteria to: firefighters who have undertaken emergency medical response; childcare and early childhood staff; and primary and secondary school teachers.
Please click here for full details.

PPE reprocessing

Yesterday we announced significant changes to Western Health’s PPE Conservation Strategy – and it’s starting today. The delivery of three labelled containers to all wards and clinical areas began this morning and will continue over the next few days. These containers will be used to collect masks and gowns after they have been worn, to then be taken for reprocessing.

The three individual containers will be used for the following:
• N95/P2 masks
• Surgical masks
• Isolation gowns

We ask that staff start disposing of their masks and gowns into these containers as soon as the containers arrive. The discarded PPE will be collected throughout the day by support staff.

Command Centre’s Go/No Go Training

During today’s Command Centre meeting, the Incident Management Team used our new Surge Management Plan checklists to assess readiness for the opening of Sunshine’s Ward 2G tomorrow morning.
While the capacity of 2G is not yet required, 16 beds will be opened as part of our COVID-19 preparedness strategy.
The IMT tested the four checklists – Logistics, Operations, Workforce and Quality and Safety – for 2G, as would be required for all surge assessments in any area of hospital.
Today’s “Go/No Go” assessment for 2G was a very valuable exercise for our COVID-19 leaders, as we prepare for all possible scenarios.

Patient day leave

While we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, day leave is being discouraged for all patients unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis and documented in the patient’s EMR by their home team.
Where day leave has been granted because of extenuating leave, the patient should be re-screened using the COVID-19 Screening Tool prior to returning to the hospital.

Scrubs guidelines

A large number of Western Health-issue scrubs are still not being returned. We would like to remind staff of the following guidelines for use of scrubs:
• Take ONE pair at a time
• Do not take scrubs out of the hospital. They must be left for our laundering service.
• Do not wear scrubs unless you are working in high-risk areas and have direct patient contact and/or you work in an area that usually wear scrubs.

For those not working in high risk area you can purchase your own scrubs – please look up Stay Safe – Work Clothes in the Quick Reference Guides section of our coronavirus microsite.