Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 15 May

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Message from the Chief Executive

Message from the Chief Executive

We currently have no COVID-19 patients in our care or healthcare workers in isolation. We had only one positive case (a member of the public), out of approximately 9,000 tests undertaken by Monash Health as part of the screening blitz.

Following wide consultation, from Monday 18 May, there will be changes to the PPE requirements for Code Blue, Code Grey and MET response. To keep everyone safe, please review and ensure you are familiar with how to respond to Code Blue, Code Grey and MET calls and the changes that are being made.

From this weekend, we will also adjust some of our visitor restrictions. We know the important role loved ones play in consumer treatment and care, so we are pleased to be able to modify the restrictions a little while maintaining safety for all involved.

On Monday, we take another step forward, with the opening of Casey Hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit. This will significantly change the way Casey Hospital operates, with a higher acuity of patients able to be treated onsite. This will have benefits across other Monash Health locations as well, with fewer transfers required and more people able to be treated close to home. The Casey team have done a remarkable job preparing themselves and their new facility, and we look forward to Monday’s opening.

Another achievement to celebrate is that of Dr Hashrul Rashid, who has been named Trainee of the Year for 2020 by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians after completing his advanced training in cardiology.

In response to the changing situation, we are making a number of adjustments:

  • As part of the response to COVID-19, we had to reduce elective surgeries and services. This meant that many of our casual and part-time employees didn’t receive the regular shifts they would have, should these services have continued running. In response, the Employment Stability Payment has been developed. Those employed with Monash Health, on a ‘regular and systematic basis’ from 1 January 2020 will be entitled to the stability payment, which will be back-paid to 1 April 2020.
  • Following DHHS guidance, we have reverted to symptomatic testing. The Cranbourne and Pakenham screening clinics will reduce their hours to Monday to Friday, and the Moorabbin screening clinic will close.
  • Demand for the Monash Health employee hotline has reduced, and it will now operate from 7am to 4pm.

I will continue to keep you informed on key developments as the situation evolves.

Thank you as always for your hard work and commitment.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive

Key Messages

Changes to PPE requirements for Code Blue, Code Grey and MET response – Effective Monday 18 May
Currently, within Monash Health, all patients with any symptoms of COVID-19 are tested and managed as suspected COVID-19 in droplet precautions until cleared.

Based on recent guidance from the Australian Health Protection Principle Committees​, the Health Incident Command Team, in consultation with the Executive Committee and senior clinicians, have reviewed the PPE requirements for Code Blue, Code Grey and MET response, and decided that there will be changes made, effective Monday 18 May. Read more here.

Changes to visitation restrictions

From 11.59pm Friday 15 May 2020, we will change our visitor restrictions to increase access to people in our care. The principle that we have followed is that no consumer should be isolated while at Monash Health except under exceptional circumstances. Should we see an increase in COVID-19 positive presentations, visitor restrictions will be tightened again. Read more here.

Stability payments for casual and part-time employees
Casual and part-time employees (clinical and non-clinical) who have been disadvantaged by changes to work patterns as a result of COVID-19 disruptions may be eligible for the Employment Stability Payment. Those employed with Monash Health, on a ‘regular and systematic basis’ from 1 January 2020, will be entitled to the stability payments, which will be back-paid to 1 April 2020. Read more here.

Update to Emergency Accommodation criteria
The eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Emergency Accommodation program have been updated. Employees who regularly operate in an environment with consistent exposure to COVID-19 patients may be eligible for accommodation on compassionate grounds and because they cannot safely isolate at home. Read more.

Models of Care
In response to COVID-19, we have adapted our models of care to suit the changing requirements. As the situation continues to evolve, we will make adjustments as required to deliver the best possible care. In line with this, the inpatient and ICU Model of Care is under review, and the details of changes will be announced next week, while the Emergency Department Model of Care will continue and be reviewed in four weeks.​

COVID-19 Screening Clinics update
The Victorian Government will continue screenings, with the goal of 150,000 additional tests completed by the end of May. Screening clinics are open for symptomatic staff and the public in Clayton, Dandenong, Berwick, Cranbourne and Pakenham. No appointment is necessary for testing. For details click here.

Dr Hashrul Rashid receives top honour
Monash Health is thrilled to announce that Dr Hashrul Rashid was awarded the prestigious Trainee of the Year Award for 2020 by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) upon completion of his advanced training in cardiology.

This award, bestowed by the RAC Fellowship Committee, recognises the highest achieving trainee who has shown significant leadership and contribution to education and training. Read more.

Jessie McPherson moves hearts and minds for COVID-19 

As part of the pandemic response, all bed capacity on Level 3 at Jessie McPherson Private Hospital was to be transitioned into a COVID-19 Admission Ward for suspected positive patients awaiting test results. In a mere five days, Wards 31 South and 31 North transitioned from mainly caring for cardiac patients to handling stroke victims, among others. We took a moment with Jennine Harbrow, to discuss the formidable work it took to move from ‘hearts to minds’. Read about it here.

Exit points at our services 

While employee thermal scanning and site access changes are in place, you can continue to exit our buildings through any designated exit. There is no need to be re-scanned. Please ensure you do not let anyone in and that the door remains locked from the outside. For more information, click here.

Nursing and midwifery registration deadline – 31 May

The deadline is fast approaching for all nurses and midwives to renew their annual registration. To practise in Australia, all nurses and midwives must hold current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and meet the NMBA’s registration standards. Registrations can be renewed online, and are due by 31 May. Find out more here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness eLearning now live
Monash Health’s eLearning training will build your understanding of Aboriginal people, history and their experiences in our health system. The package is mandatory for all employees. Details are on Latte here.

Parking access changes 

As of Tuesday 5 May 2020, there is a new process for employees who wish to change their car parking access. You should:

  • obtain a blue parking form from your site Security Office;
  • have your Manager sign the form in the box marked for People and Culture to sign, and then
  • return both copies of the signed blue form to Security, who will take both copies and provide you immediate access to the car park.

Read more here.

Employees cheer as last COVID-19 patient is discharged

Cheers and fist-bumps from Dandenong Hospital employees is what Mr Adbul Kusdian experienced on Wednesday afternoon as he was discharged to Kingston Centre after recovering from COVID-19.

Our last remaining COVID-19 patient had been in ICU, intubated and ventilated for three weeks showing plenty of fight, and was the recipient of excellent care. Read more here.

Remember to take care of yourself
Please continue to prioritise your health and wellbeing. There are a range of resources available to you on the Monash Health employee website specifically tailored to our teams.

A recent addition is a suite of psychological tools, which can be accessed here.

Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice
The information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice by referring to the Monash Health Employee Coronavirus website. To make accessing the site quicker, you can create a shortcut on your smartphone by following these instructions.


All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.

This website is for Monash Health employees. Please be mindful before sharing links.Learn more