Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 3 July

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • No COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • Two employees with COVID-19. They are both in isolation at home and doing well.
  • Twenty-six employees in precautionary quarantine, as a result of three separate potential exposures. As is usual practice, all people who are possible contacts have had a discussion with the Infection Prevention team; if you have not been contacted, you are not a potential ‘close contact’ and therefore not at risk.

Ten postcodes in the north and inner west have returned to stage three lockdowns until at least 29 July 2020. For those living in these locations, there will again only be four reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if people can’t do it from home.

For our employees, it is important to understand that there is no change to your situation. There is no restriction on essential workers from these postcodes attending work where this is required in person. There are also no changes to our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines.

For our patients, there is no limitation on those from restricted postcodes attending healthcare facilities to seek medical treatment – including elective procedures and outpatient appointments. If patients need to come to Monash Health, they can.

For our visitors, including those from restricted postcodes, they are permitted when required for caregiving and compassionate reasons, as per our current visitation criteria. Visitor screening remains in place at all Monash Health sites.

Of course, the above only applies if employees, patients, or visitors are well. If you are unwell, stay home and get tested.

Additionally, as part of the state screening program, we encourage all employees, patients and visitors from restricted postcodes to be tested for COVID-19, even if they feel well.

We are experiencing high demand for testing across our six COVID-19 screening clinics and have swabbed 16,276 people over the past week alone. Our pathology teams are working hard, 24 hours a day, to process test results quickly and accurately. To assist, we are using additional labs to help process tests.

The expected turnaround times for public results is typically five business days, but some test results may take longer at present. Healthcare worker results are being delivered between 24 and 48 hours, and inpatient results are being delivered within 24 hours as per usual.

We talk a lot about the importance of hand hygiene and wearing appropriate PPE, but the most important thing that we have on our side in the fight against COVID-19 is you, and your colleagues.

Attracting hard-working and talented people to our team is critical in our pursuit of excellence. That’s why it’s been so pleasing to see the success of our Nursing and Midwifery team’s virtual expo for graduate nurses over the past week. The team showed outstanding adaptability in producing two engaging online events, which attracted over 1,000 attendees. I’m sure we will see many new nurses look to start their careers with us, joining around 400 graduates who did so earlier this year.

Earlier in the year, the World Health Organisation named 2020 as The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. While this is coincidental rather than prophetic, this year has certainly highlighted the key role our nurses play in caring for our community.

While our 7,500 nurses and midwives represent a significant proportion of our total number of employees, they don’t work in isolation. None of us do. Creating, building and maintaining strong connections with each other allows us to work at our best and to deliver the best possible care.

I thank all of you for your ongoing dedication and commitment.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive


Key messages

Getting ready for tax time – payment summaries 

As we move into the new financial year and you start to gear up for tax time, remember this year’s 2019-2020 Payment Summaries are coming by mail.  For employees of Monash Health, payment summaries are expected to be delivered prior to 14 July 2020, depending on Australia Post workloads. Read more here.

2,000 employees still need a flu shot

We are 13% – or almost 2,000 people – short of our target for flu vaccination, with six weeks to go.

At 87.3%, we are close, but not close enough. At Monash Health – as with all Victorian health services – 100% employee vaccination or declaration is mandatory as of this year, particularly in higher risk areas such as ED, ICU and NICU. Read more here.

Strong agenda for equity and inclusion 

The implementation of a disability employment plan, improved patient experiences for our diverse consumers, and LGBTI+ inclusive practice training for managers feature as part of a strong action plan for 2020-21, to continue to deliver on the promise of the Monash Health’s Equity and Inclusion StrategyRead more here.

Monash Health aims to help our Gender Diverse community to feel safe and welcome 

Monash Health has established its first all-gender toilet at Monash Medical Centre, in the corridor opposite Mr Clayton’s gift shop. The intention is to have one such toilet at each of our hospital sites, helping our Gender Diverse community feel safe and welcomed. Read more here.

Always Was, Always Will Be – NAIDOC Week 2020

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

To help celebrate this significant and continuing connection, all employees are invited to a very special Webex Forum on 9 July 2020, to hear AJ Williams-Tchen talk about Aboriginal cultural awareness, followed by an interactive Q&A. Read more, including event details, here.

Could you help in the fight against COVID-19?

Monash Health has joined Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in a multi‐centre trial of COVID‐19 prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine in front line health and allied health care workers.

If you are a health care professional (doctor, nurse, allied health worker) or a paramedic involved in the care of COVID‐19 patients, you should register your interest to participate in this clinical trial, which is now recruiting. Click here to register or for more information.

The EMR upgrade is here

We have rolled out a range of improvements and enhancements within the EMR. Please ensure you keep up to date and make yourself familiar with the latest updates and resources.

Continue to take advantage of wellbeing resources

Take advantage of the health and wellbeing resources we have available for you, including the Call a Psychologist service and the employee assistance program. Don’t forget the basics of your physical health and remember we have links to resources online for you and your teams, including a helpful guide to stretching at your desk, wherever that desk might be.

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.

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