Good afternoon all,
In today’s bulletin, I provide an update on changes to the staff attestation, changes in the Critical Care Outreach team as Western Health prepares for the resumption of elective surgeries and the availability of rapid antigen tests for surveillance testing for staff who live with a vulnerable person or who are considered vulnerable themselves.
Recent changes to Victorian Pandemic Orders mean we can now reduce the number of questions asked on our staff attestation. This attestation is completed by all staff working on site at Western Health.
From today, staff are now only required to attest to their symptom status, vaccination status and requirement to quarantine or isolate.
Changes to the Critical Care Outreach team with resumption of elective surgeries
From 21 February, the anaesthetist supporting the Critical Care Outreach (CCOR) team will return to their substantive role to support the resumption of elective surgeries. Coronary Care Unit MET responders will also return to the critical care roster.
The CCOR ICU Liaison Nurses will continue to provide full cover for MET, UCR (Urgent Clinical Review) and Rounding 24/7 across both Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals (including JKWC).
Requests for anaesthetic support (e.g. intubation assistance) should be directed to the anaesthetist-in-charge phone:
- Sunshine: 9055 3021
- Footscray: 8345 6540.
Rapid antigen tests for surveillance testing now available to staff who live with a vulnerable person
Rapid antigen tests (RATS) for surveillance testing will be available to staff who live with a vulnerable person or who are considered vulnerable themselves. The surveillance regime consists of three rapid antigen tests per week, 72 hours apart.
People considered vulnerable include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
- People 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
- People 70 years and older
- People with compromised immune systems
- People who are pregnant greater than 28 weeks’ gestation.
In addition, Western Health will commence piloting the use of RATs as a risk mitigation strategy for approved face-to-face education and training session. Exemptions for face-to-face education and training session are still required at this time, with the process currently under review. Requests for exemptions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RATs are available from the following locations at each site:
- Sunshine Hospital – COVID testing clinic (pod 1)
- Footscray Hospital – Staff Testing Clinic in the Private Consulting Rooms.
- Bacchus Marsh/Melton – see the IPC team or Urgent Care Centre after hours
- Sunbury Day Hospital – information desk 7am-5pm Monday–Wednesday and 7am-4pm Thursday and Friday and after hours from the Dialysis.
- Williamstown Hospital information desk from Monday-Friday 7.30am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 12pm-8pm andafter hours via the Williamstown Emergency.
With reduced demand, the Sunshine Hospital COVID testing clinic has now scaled down from Pod 1 and 2 to operate out of Pod 1 only. Access to the Sunshine Hospital COVID testing clinic remains unchanged and details can be found here.
Executive Director Operations (Acting)