I’d like to end the week with a shout out to the many staff and teams across Western Health who are continuing to do an incredible job as this pandemic continues.
As Victorians, we’ve made our way through another lockdown and seen a steady decrease in the number of cases. However as Western Health staff, the hard work continues, and I want to let you know that your endurance – and tireless dedication to our patients and communities – is appreciated.
While Victoria’s fifth lockdown officially ended this week, Western Health – like all metropolitan health services – remains under the guidelines of the COVID Active (Red) rating. This Department of Health risk rating system governs our decisions around important topics such as the use of PPE and visitor restrictions. That’s why it has not been possible for us to ease the rules around visitation, for example, this week. I look forward to letting you know when that changes. Movement across sites is still restricted to when essential for clinical care, and face-to-face training is only allowed for mandatory training.
Today I have some exciting news out about our vaccination teams. This morning they’ve hit a major milestone – the delivery of 400,000 vaccinations. This includes more than 100,000 at the Melbourne Showgrounds and almost 140,000 at Sunshine Hospital.
Congratulations to Lisa Smith, Project Director of the West Metro COVID-19 Vaccination Program, and her entire team. It’s been a monumental effort to set up and run our hubs (which will soon include extra pop-up hubs in the Melton region), and there are also a range of strategies to make COVID vaccination more accessible to our communities, including our new inpatient vaccination program.
Can I remind everyone that Pfizer is available to every single Western Health staff member, regardless of your age. You can make your booking here.
As explained by Shane Crowe earlier this week, this message also applies to pregnant women. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend the Pfizer vaccine for pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy. Yesterday, Melbourne Showgrounds vaccination hub nurse unit manager Allison Lamb gave Victoria’s deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Clare Looker a tour of the site. Dr Looker, who is pregnant, then received the Pfizer vaccine herself.
I’d also like to thank the Western Public Health Unit, which continues to investigate a number of positive cases, close contacts and exposure sites, as well as the COVID staff enquiries helpdesk team, who have worked to support a large number of furloughed staff over the past fortnight.
Finally, I’m pleased to hear that compliance around the daily attestations has improved, and that the security guards who need to check them upon entry are now being shown the respect they deserve.
QR code stickers will be made available at the manned hospital entry points from tomorrow to make it even easier to do your attestation.
Thanks for keeping updated.