August 24, 2020

It’s great to start the week with a very significant drop in the numbers of community transmissions, down to 116 over the past 24 hours. In line with that, we have also seen the number of patients currently in hospital and intensive care also reduce across the state. At Western Health we currently have 48 inpatients – the lowest number we have seen in many weeks.

Whilst the number of inpatients that Western Health is currently caring for is slowly decreasing, sadly Western Health’s Aged Care Liaison Team continues to support end-of-life care for a significant number of people, several of whom passed away on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I want to acknowledge every single member of our exceptional in-reach teams. No amount of clinical experience changes the fact this is extremely challenging work. Our aged care doctors and nurses are not only providing excellent clinical care to residents, but also vital emotional support – for the individuals themselves and their families.

If you haven’t already seen this clip, I’d encourage you to watch this story from the Sunrise program on Friday. It gives us all some insight into the difference our in-reach teams are making for residents, their families, and our communities. Well done, team.

As the pandemic continues, I’d also like to acknowledge the work of our mental health teams, as presentations in this area are particularly high at the moment.

A reminder that our Employee Assistance Program, provided by Caraniche, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1800 099 444 or make an online booking at https://work.caraniche.com.au/make-a-booking/
Another option is the Black Dog Institute, which is providing support to health care workers (both clinical and non-clinical) through its TEN – The Essential Network app.

Finally, I’d like to share some tips from Terri Butcher, our Infection Prevention Clinical Nurse Consultant, on how we can all continue to minimise our risk of infection and keep ourselves and each other safe. This valuable advice can be found in the bulletin below.

Thanks for reading.




COVID-19 Daily Update

  • Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday – all sites: 435
  • Numbers of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 48
  • Wards/areas closed due to outbreaks: Hazedlean
  • Numbers of staff who have tested positive for COVID 19: 168
  • Numbers of staff who are currently on leave for COVID 19: 81
  • Numbers of staff who have returned to work post COVID 19: 87

'Tips from Terri'

  • Don’t eat or drink at the nurses station
  • Don’t leave a drink bottle unattended, leave it in your bag or locker
  • Have a PPE buddy, ask the people you are working with to let you know if they see you touch your mask or glasses
  • Don’t remove masks in patients rooms, ALWAYS outside of the room
  • Don’t share food from home
  • If you haven’t cleaned it, it’s not clean.  Remember those frequently touched surfaces in the tea room – fridge handle, microwave handle, door handle. Always clean your hands after touching these surfaces and ideally clinell wipe the surfaces before and after you use them
  • If you use or touch any pieces of equipment, including those in patient’s room, clean it. This includes pens, WOWS, sats monitors and obs machines
  • Anybody could have coronavirus, even you.  Protect your friends and colleagues by socially distancing, wearing marks and cleaning your hands and surfaces after us use them.

Contractors at Western Health

For updated guidelines regarding contractors working at Western Health, please see the relevant QRG.

Hotels for Heroes program

Information about the Hotels for Heroes program, which provides emergency accommodation for staff who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine due COVID-19 and don’t have a suitable home environment, has been updated on our microsite. Please click here for more details.

COVID-19 Staff Enquiries Helpdesk

Western Health has a dedicated COVID-19 Staff Enquiries Helpdesk, which is available to both individual staff and managers. Confidentiality is assured.

Email is recommended as the first point of contact where possible:
Emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

Telephone contact: via Switch 8345 6666, choose option 1 for COVID – then request Staff Enquiries Helpdesk.