September 27, 2021

After what has been a particularly challenging few weeks, I’d like to start today’s bulletin with some great news. Western Health has just reached a big milestone – as of today, 90 per cent of our staff at a minimum have been vaccinated with their first dose. Many of you are of course double vaccinated.

It’s very reassuring to know that the vast majority of our staff are protected as we continue to face the ongoing challenges of the Delta wave. For those of you who are not yet vaccinated, all Western Health staff are reminded that you can simply turn up to any of our vaccination hubs – you don’t need to book.

Just over one week since Western Health began accepting COVID-19 patients, we are now caring for 40 COVID patients at Sunshine Hospital. We are also caring for a number of other COVID patients through our Hospital in the Home (HITH) program and COVID pathway monitoring program. Thank you to all staff for your extraordinary efforts and contribution as we implement the strategies of our surge plan which includes the more than 320 staff who have recently enrolled in upskilling programs.

Today I’d like to advise you of a new resource that has been put together by the Critical Care Outreach team that outlines the resources available to support patient care and increasing acuity, particularly in the COVID Streaming wards at Sunshine.
As during last year’s outbreak, the Sunshine ICU Liaison team, Sunshine Intensive Care Registrar and Sunshine CCU Nurse Team have again combined to support all rapid clinical responses at Sunshine Hospital. In addition, the Sunshine Anaesthesia staff will rejoin this team, providing expert clinical and medical support and airway management if required to all areas including the Sunshine Emergency Department. More details on this initiative can be found here.

Best practice around PPE also remains a key priority at Western Health. We’re asking staff to re-familiarise yourself with the PPE educational resources (specifically for N95/P2 masks) on our PPE site, which includes posters and videos for staff. Please read the Fit Checking QRG and remember to fit-check your N95/P2 masks at the start of every shift to ensure a proper fit.

If you are interested in becoming a PPE Spotter, you can now complete the ‘PPE Spotter’ training module on WeLearn. Please contact Maureen Canning at Maureen.Canning@wh.org.au if you’re interested in becoming a PPE Spotter. The ‘PPE Spotter’ module is in addition to the ‘Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions’ module on WeLearn.

Finally, I wanted to let you know about an initiative to celebrate staff who are wearing/donning/doffing PPE correctly. This week, coffee vouchers will be handed out to staff exhibiting good and safe PPE behaviour across our sites. Let’s keep up the GREAT work so we can continue to protect each other and our communities.




John Ferraro

Acting Executive Director Operations



Fit testing

If you haven’t been fit-tested for your N95/P2 mask, please make a booking through these links: JKWC JKWC1 WCHRESunshine Footscray

Appointments get booked out very quickly so please check these links frequently.

If you can’t find a well-fitting N95/P2 mask while you wait for your fit-testing appointment, please wear a surgical mask with a face shield to keep yourself safe. Please refer to this process for escalating concerns regarding a poorly-fitting N95/P2 mask.

For any questions regarding fit-testing please email covid.fittest@wh.org.au or for urgent queries, call Helen Morton on 0421 977 979.

Contacting staff enquiries

Email whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au and include the following detail:

  • Name
  • Role
  • Work location
  • Exposure site and date/ Enquiry Reason
  • Contact number/s


*Any staff who are identified as having attended a Tier 1 site must contact the COVID-19 Staff Enquiries helpdesk.

CHO update