IN response to current events surrounding COVID-19, Kyabram District Health Service has taken measures to ensure every available resource is dedicated to managing the pandemic and planning for the coming months.
Some key current measures in place include the suspension of all group activities, such as the social supports program, ceasing the valued volunteer program, the closure of the Courtyard Café, face-to-face consultations and staff meetings being held using video/conference systems, and staff returning from overseas being put in self-isolation.
In an attempt to support the community, resources have been diverted to a Community Wellbeing Service.
Staff, including social workers and other health team members, will be available to support those isolated in their homes through regular phone calls and other small tasks that make it easier for those vulnerable persons, whatever the circumstances, and would benefit with someone checking on them.
KDHS chief executive Anne McEvoy said staff were well equipped to respond to any changes likely to occur over the next few months.
“KDHS appreciates that this is a very difficult time for everyone, and we are working with other health services in the Loddon Mallee and Hume Regions to ensure a consistent and co-ordinated response,” she said.
“At the same time, we are also implementing our localised response and where possible we will try to meet the needs of our local community, particularly those who are in greatest need of support.
“I ask that that anyone who could benefit from our Community Wellbeing calls please contact us on 585 702 36, leaving a message if necessary.”
KDHS has also tightened its visitor restrictions to ensure the highest level of safety for patients, residents, staff and families.
At Sheridan Aged Care and on the ward, visitor times are strictly between 2pm to 3pm daily for 10 minutes at a time and only one visitor is permitted per patient or resident.
While that is in place, KDHS will work with patients, residents and their families on other ways of communication, such as FaceTime and Skype.
At the time of writing, KDHS theatre elective proceduralist schedule is still going ahead — some lists maybe cancelled, however, but they are working closely with the Visiting Medical Office.
At this stage KDHS has not enacted a designated fever clinic.
These types of services are available at Echuca Regional Health and Goulburn Valley Health, with further clinics in the planning stage via Murray Primary Health Network.
KDHS will continue to touch base with local GP practices as well as monitor any increases in presentations.
If you are feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms, KDHS has urged patients to phone ahead on 585 702 00 to support their ability to manage the presentation through Urgent Care appropriately.