COVID-19: Positive approaches to Keep everyone safe
Welcome to the HHMP COVID-19 updates page. This page is intended to be your source of up to date information on how Hunters Hill Medical Practice, doctors and staff are managing the COVID-19 epidemic to ensure the highest level of patient care and safety. Please visit this page on a regular basis for the latest information. Call us on 9817 2080 if you have specific questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a novel Corona virus, meaning that as a species we do not have immunity or a vaccine for it. If left unchecked, it is able to spread quickly causing many people to become ill and overwhelming our health system. An overwhelmed health system will mean patients that could be supported through their illness might miss out. This is why the social distancing and similar measures have been taken. While the virus, has caused significant health (physical and mental), economic and social disruption, by working together we can slow the spread and begin to get back to some normality sooner.
If you have respiratory symptoms, such as cough, fever, sore throat, temperature or shortness of breath, please do not come into the practice. Please call us first to have a telehealth review and get appropriate advice about what to do and how to go about it.
Hunters Hill Medical Practice – Remains open with our usual days, usual hours and usual doctors. Some consults can not be performed by Telehealth such as vaccinations, lacerations and injections. We are open with multiple protocols in place to ensure appropriate social distancing and efficient patient flow.
Available Consults types
- In person – usual consults in our rooms for injuries / vaccines etc. We book less consults so doctors are more likely to be on time minimising wait time. Alternatively patients could wait in their car until called. Masks are encouraged.
- In person consults for patients with respiratory symptoms – these patients are screened by telehealth first and ideally managed remotely. If the patient needs to physically present, they stay in their car and communication occurs via mobile phone. The masked patient is then directed to an isolated room with its own entry and exit accessible from the car park. They do not go through the practice and at no stage do they come in contact with other patients. They are examined in the isolated room by a doctor in full personal protective equipment (PPE) and sent back to their car. The doctor then calls them by mobile to report findings. Scripts are sent directly to the pharmacist for pick up or delivery. The isolation room is cleaned between patients and staff follow infection control protocols.
- Tele-health for at risk patients – this is conducted by video or phone to patients who may have COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19 or meet the government criteria. For example, patients over 70, pregnant women, the immune-compromised or those with children under 1 year of age. These consults are BULK Billed, with no fee to the patient.
- Tele-health for other patients – consults are conducted by Video (Eg: Zoom) or phone to other patients who need it. To book, please call 9817 2080.
- Home visits – will be organised for patients who need them. Doctors follow appropriate infection control protocols.
- Nursing homes – We will continue to look after patients in nursing homes with appropriate infection control protocols in palce.
- Required procedures such stitching, iron infusions etc continue with as much social distancing as possible. Masks are encouraged.
- The best way to book a consult is to call our staff on 9817 2080.
Social distancing and our waiting room
- Our waiting room has been altered to account for social distancing guidelines as have our doctors rooms.
- Extra blocks in the appointment books have been put in to try and keep doctors closer to time and patients waiting less (waiting in the car allowed).
- Additional infection control measures have been put in place during the COVID-19 epidemic. Staff clean the waiting room multiple times per day using Viraclean and hand sanitiser is available at all access points and in doctor’s rooms.
- Normal childhood vaccination is essential and even more so now. All vaccines are in stock and patients are encouraged to maintain this up to date.
- FLU VACINE – more important this year then ever! This is available from HHMP. We are encouraging patients to have this even though influenza cases have been low due to travel restrictions. This is especially important for a risk patients such as the elderly and those with chronic disease. The last thing one needs is COVID-19 on top of Influenza or vice versa. If you have not had your fluvax yet, please call 9817 2080 to book.
- Pneumonia vaccination – the rules have recently changed and we will be contacting all eligible patients to come in and get their vaccines when government stock becomes available.
- We continue to administer other vaccines such as whooping cough, tetanus and meningococcal for those who need them.
- Vaccination can be booked by calling 9817 2080 or online via the healthengine app.
- Some pathology companies have stopped testing for respiratory viruses such as RSV and influenza due to a shortage of reagents
- HHMP has a private RAPID INFLUENZA TEST that gives the result within 20 minutes from a simple nasal swab. This helps guide decision making in regards to starting medications.
- Patients deserve to be seen and looked after, no matter what the financial situation. If you are facing financial hardship, please discuss with your doctor.
- Allied health providers at HHMP remain open and are using a combination of techniques to manage patients during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes, phone and video consults, online classes, home visits and of course clinic visits with social distancing considerations.
- Please call 9817 2080 to book an appointment with the physiotherapist, podiatrist, dietician or psychologists. Various specialists also continue to operate in a hybrid system with telehealth and physical consults. Please call us for advice.
- The COVID-19 situation is dynamic and rapidly changing. We are constantly adapting and putting in place policies and procedures to deliver the best possible care and minimise risk to our patients.
- Please call 9817 2080 if you have a question or email email@example.com
- For further information please see the NSW Health COVID 19 Website which has a wealth of information on it.
Update regarding COVID-19 vaccine rollout
The Australian Government is bringing forward the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine from Mid March 2021 to Mid February 2021. The full vaccine roadmap can be seen here. The aim is to vaccinate the most at risk populations first and then progressively work through the rest of the community
The Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that General Practice clinics can be involved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout from phase 1b and will be administering the AstraZeneca/Oxford University candidate vaccine, pending approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). While this vaccine candidate has lower rates of efficacy than other COVID-19 vaccine candidates it is based on proven vaccine technology and processes. It is a safe vaccine that has been shown to stop severe cases of COVID-19. Further to this it does not need the extremely low temperatures that other vaccine require which make it more suitable for administration in the community.
General practices are expected to submit an expression of interest to become a COVID-19 vaccine administration centre. HHMP will be submitting such an expression of interest as soon as this becomes possible with the aim of bringing the vaccine to our patients as quickly and safely as possible.
Our doctors, nurses and administration staff will work together to identify patients who meet the criteria and contact them. We expect to be using our recall systems, SMS messages, local advertising etc to advise patients about the availability of the vaccine and the best ways to make a booking. Especially important will be rebooking patients for their booster shot at the appropriate time. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with this process.