Message from the Chief Executive
As of today, we have:
- 12 COVID-19 positive inpatients, none of whom are in ICU.
- 13 employees with COVID-19. They are in isolation at home and doing well.
- 49 employees in precautionary quarantine.
While case numbers are falling in Victoria, safety continues to play a vital role in our response – as it has throughout this pandemic.
There are three safety updates I would like to bring to your attention today:
In line with the Government’s latest initiatives towards making workplaces safer for healthcare workers, we are asked to make a daily attestation that we are well before beginning our day’s work on-site.
An attestation is simply making a declaration that something is true, and the employee attestation states that you are:
- free of any COVID-19 symptoms
- not a known close-contact of a positive COVID-19 case (except when wearing appropriate PPE)
As of this coming Friday, we will be able to submit a form online using a smartphone and show the result to our screening team, or fill in a printed form and submit it on entry (forms will be available at entrances). This takes less than a minute to complete.
We are able to save a shortcut to the form on a smartphone to make the process faster.
Asymptomatic surveillance testing for COVID-19
Another safety initiative we have undertaken is to make asymptomatic surveillance testing available to all those who work on the COVID-19 wards. Included employees are Medical, Nursing, Allied Health and support employees. This includes full-time, part-time, casual and agency employees who work on the designated COVID-19 wards.
This testing is voluntary and available for employees to take on a weekly basis for the next six weeks. Employees who are asymptomatic at the time of testing are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their results. Read more here.
Assessing our response for quality and safety
In late August, the Premier announced ‘Protecting our healthcare workers’, an analysis of healthcare infections in Victoria, with a corresponding action plan. At Monash Health, our rate of infection has been low compared to other services, but we must remain vigilant if we want to stay that way. In line with the ‘Protecting our healthcare workers’ action plan, we are working with Safer Care Victoria to undertake a detailed audit of our COVID-19 response implementation to assess for quality and safety, including infection prevention and control. I look forward to sharing the results with you when they are available.
We must all maintain the high levels of commitment and vigilance that have characterised our response to the challenges of this pandemic. Doing so will ensure that we continue to provide excellent care to those in our community, help drive the COVID-positive numbers in the right direction, and move us closer to the next phase of our recovery.
Protecting our employees: Daily Attestation Form
From Friday, we will be asked to complete a daily attestation that we are well, before beginning our day’s work on-site.
The attestation form takes less than a minute to complete. We can submit the form online using a smartphone and show the result to our screening team, or fill in a printed form and submit it on entry (forms will be available at entrances).
We can also save a shortcut to the form on a smartphone to make the process faster.
Regular surveillance testing on Monash COVID-19 wards
All employees who work on the COVID-19 wards now qualify for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
Included employees are Medical, Nursing, Allied Health and support employees and includes full-time, part-time, casual and agency employees who work on the designated COVID-19 wards.
This program does not include SCOVID wards or wards that have cared for a single COVID-19 patient.
The wards to be included are:
- Ward C Casey
- COVID-ICU Casey
- W3 Dandenong
- AAU Dandenong
- COVID-ICU Clayton
- 32 Clayton
- 42 Clayton
Additionally, employees who have worked to support outbreaks in non-Monash Aged Care facilities also qualify for this testing. This testing is voluntary and available for employees to have on a weekly basis for the next six weeks. Employees who are asymptomatic at the time of testing are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their results.
Restricting access to wards – no tailgating, please!
It is more important than ever that we don’t allow access to wards to people who are not authorised to be there or are not in the correct PPE.
If someone does not have the appropriate Monash Health ID or PPE, they must wait outside until they are provided permission to enter.
We remind all employees to be particularly careful not to allow people to ‘slip through’ while you are leaving, or holding a door open for someone else leaving the wards.
Report released on seven years of elder abuse
A recent report released by Senior Rights Victoria, in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute, has analysed seven years of elder abuse cases reported to Seniors Rights Victoria’s confidential helpline.
According to the study, more than 90% of elder abuse perpetrators in Victoria are family members, most commonly adult sons (39%) and daughters (28%). The study also found almost two-thirds of callers said they had experienced psychological or financial abuse, while 16% reported physical abuse. Read more here.
R U OK? Day: Meet the Panellists
R U OK? Day is a chance to take a moment and check in with ourselves, our colleagues, and our family and friends. Join us at 2pm on Thursday 10 September to hear from CEO Andrew Stripp, Chief Medical Officer Anjali Dhulia and our panel of experts about how to look after yourself and others in a time where you may feel heightened stress and anxiety. The panellists are:
- Dr David Moseley, Clinical Psychologist and ELMHS Psychology Discipline Senior
- Dr Sarah Barker, Senior Clinical Psychologist from the Black Dog Institute
- Andrew Jones, Converge International
Neighbours say thank you!
Having been unexpectedly thrust into the frontline of the COVID-19 response in aged care, Director of Nursing Julie White experienced the kindness of others as she juggled some huge workloads and pressure. Read more about her story here.
Celebrating World Physiotherapy Day 2020
World Physiotherapy Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the crucial contribution our physiotherapists make to helping improve the health, mobility and independence of our patients. Read more here.
‘PJ Your Way’ 2020: Raising awareness and funds for sleep health and mental health
In 2019, wanting to raise awareness and funding for sleep health, the Monash Lung and Sleep department initiated the Pyjama Fun Run. More than 500 people took part in the event which was held at Princes Park.
This year, Associate Professor Darren Mansfield and his team came up with a new twist – ‘PJ Your Way’ – the opportunity to set a personal challenge to be completed in your pyjamas. The fundraising focus for this virtual event – during the week 2-8 November – is research into sleep health and the implications for mental health. Learn more here.
Social distancing brings Aphasia support group closer together
The Aphasia Support Program, a division of the Home Based Allied Health program, has been meeting at the Cheltenham Community Centre every Tuesday for years.
Every member of the group has aphasia – an acquired communication impairment post-stroke or brain injury, which affects talking, understanding, reading, and writing. COVID-19 restrictions meant their meetings were cancelled and moved online. Facilitators Roz Shand (Speech Pathologist) and Cherie Poulter (Allied Health Assistant) trialled different methods of video conferencing to find which one was most ‘aphasia friendly’. Read more here.
Complete your workplace declaration today
It is a DHHS requirement that all employees must complete the Employee Workplace Declaration form. It’s vital that we have a clear understanding of any paid, unpaid or voluntary work you do for any other organisation, to help keep our consumers and employees safe. Please take five minutes to complete the form today.
Managers: Check your team’s workplace declaration completion rate
Please check your team’s declaration completion rate, and follow up with any of your team who have not yet completed their workplace declaration. You can check your team’s progress in the Business Intelligence Portal.
Students: Complete your student workplace declaration today
In line with the Directive from the Public Health Commander, all students who are completing placements with Monash Health must complete the Student Workplace Declaration form. Please take five minutes to complete the form today. If you require more information about this form, please contact your student co-ordinator.
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.
Here’s a look ahead at the COVID-19 Webex Events for the rest of this week.
Employee Forum, 2pm Thursday 10 September
A special Employee Forum to pause and discuss R U OK? Day.
Topic: R U OK? Day
- Andrew Stripp, Chief Executive
- Dr Anjali Dhulia, Chief Medical Officer
- Dr Sarah Barker, Black Dog Institute Clinical Psychologist
- Andrew Jones, Converge International
- Dr David Moseley, Monash Health
Catch up on Webex Events
Stay up to date with events on our COVID-19 website for Monash Health employees:
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.