COVID-19 update – 11 May 2022 (AHP)

 

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COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the last four weeks there were 67,523 cases of COVID in the region – a slight decrease of 6,469 cases over the last week. Please note that the actual number of cases is likely to be much more. For further information please go to the latest NSW COVID statistics.

Infection control and wearing masks (staff and patients) remains important. Practices are also asked to ensure that their most vulnerable populations are fully vaccinated. If you would like an infectious control consultation or any other support, please email coronavirus@cesphn.com.au.

New COVID Home Visiting Service

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN has recently launched a COVID home visiting service. The COVID@Home Service provides an in-home assessment service delivered by a Registered Nurse with the support of a GP. We are encouraging GPs to refer to this service. 

This service is aimed at COVID positive patients whose regular GP is not able to undertake home visits but where such a visit is required for medical and other support reasons while the patient is isolating. Referrals will only be accepted from GPs. Click here to find out more about the service and how to refer. If you have any enquiries please contact coronavirus@cesphn.com.au.

COVID Care Pathways

The care of COVID positive patients is increasingly being delivered by general practice. NSW Health will continue to provide care in acute settings, and Healthdirect to support patients self-manage their care at home through digital and phone services.

The Commonwealth Department of Health want to support general practice to manage their patients where appropriate, including providing anti-viral treatments to eligible patients.

As a first step, from 12 May 2022, NSW Health will refer people that have tested positive for COVID and may be eligible for oral treatments to Healthdirect for connection to GP services.

A COVID Care Pathway is being developed by the Commonwealth, NSW Health and Healthdirect with support from PHNs.

Information required from general practices to support this pathway:

To help ensure the arrangements operate as smoothly as possible, the Department, on behalf of Healthdirect is seeking information from general practices such as:

  • GP Practice contact information
  • Consultation type (Face to face and / or Telehealth)
  • GP Practice secure messaging capability
  • GP Practice weekend operating hours
  • Whether the practice is interested in providing telehealth consultations to new patients with COVID
  • Where the practice is willing to accept patients outside their geographic area.

CESPHN will be sending out an online form for practices to complete this information over the next couple of days. Please ensure your practice completes the required information to support this pathway for your COVID positive patients and the appropriate care needed. 

COVID-19: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

This newsletter covers information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, communities and stakeholders to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Upcoming webinar

COVID-19 live stream update for GPs: COVID-19 vaccine live stream for GPs – key updates and live Q&A

When: Thursday 12 May 2022 at 11.30 am

Where: Online

Targetaudience: GPs

Register: Click link to join

 

Free fit testing for GPs and practice nurses

CESPHN is offering free fit testing for all GPs and practice nurses in our region. 

Individual appointments: GPs and practice nurses can use the existing Sydney Local Health District mask fit testing booking system to book individual appointments at either Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital or Canterbury Hospital for mask fit testing services. For bookings please go to https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/covid-mask-testing/. The online booking system will be updated to include a check box to identify as a GP or practice nurse; this question will also be asked by the mask fit tester.

Group appointments: Fit testing services can be provided in the GP practice for group appointments provided there is a minimum of 20 people requiring mask fit testing. This may require practices to collaborate to ensure they meet minimum numbers. This can be arranged by calling 95625 5900 or emailing matt.barker@health.nsw.gov.au. 

Current locations

  • Royal Prince Alfred Room 6.1 Level 6 Kerry Packer Education Centre
  • Concord Hospital Centre for Education Workforce and Development Building 20A
  • Canterbury Hospital Level 4 (next to computer room)

Ordering of masks 

Masks will be supplied for fit testing however the GP practice will then need to purchase masks. Further information on purchasing masks will be provided on the day. 

Excess COVID vaccines

If your practice has an excess of COVID-19 vaccines, please notify CESPHN as we may be able to help coordinate a transfer of the stock ideally two weeks prior to thaw use by date. You should also notify the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) of your excess doses so that they may be able to facilitate transfers outside the CESPHN region. Please note in the email to VOC that you have already contacted CESPHN.

COVID-19 care in the community

A reminder to check HealthPathways regularly for the latest updates on caring for COVID positive patients in the community:

CESPHN Vax at Home service

The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster. The service accept referrals for people 16 years and over. Referrals will be accepted from GPs and from Local Health Districts. Patient self-referrals will not be accepted. All referrals must be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form. Please indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. For further information on the program, please contact us.

 

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