Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 11 September


Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Nine COVID-19 positive inpatients, none of whom are in ICU.
  • 12 employees with COVID-19.
  • 50 employees in precautionary quarantine.

We are continually assessing and revising our safety measures, and have implemented a range of additional initiatives that are designed to protect and support you at work.  It’s at these times – when we may be feeling a little depleted or tired – that we need to follow the processes and procedures that keep us all safe.

Here are three important areas for your attention:


Carry out your Workplace Inspections

Workplace Inspections help prevent accidents and keep us safe. This is a task that is essential to our safety and wellbeing and, of course, includes safety measures associated with COVID-19.

If you’re a manager, please ensure that your workplace inspections are completed, and any required action is taken swiftly.

Complete your daily attestation

It was very pleasing to see the uptake of the new app today.  It is a simple step and in line with the Government’s directive.

You can complete the attestation online using a smartphone and show the result to our screening team, or fill in a paper form and submit it on entry (forms will be available at entrances).

You can also save a shortcut to the form on your smartphone to make the process faster.

Submit your Workplace Declaration form

The Employee Workplace Declaration form is a safety initiative from the Public Health Commander that requires all Victorian healthcare workers to declare their work with any organisation, including paid, unpaid and voluntary work.

If you have not completed the Declaration form, please take five minutes to do so now.

If you manage a team, please log in to the Business Intelligence Portal to check the status of your team members and encourage those who have not declared, to do so.

Students undertaking placements should complete a student declaration form.

Thank you once again for your commitment to each other and our community.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive


Key Messages

Changes to the use of disposable face shields
Monash Health has reviewed its practice of disposable shields and advises that disposable shields and goggles must be used once only, and discarded.   Shields and goggles are to be treated like a mask, discarded when taking a break or when visibly soiled, and should not be re-applied.   This means that the cleaning of face shields is no longer required.

Used face shields should be disposed of in general waste bins, unless they are removed when doffing Tier 2 or 3 PPE, in which case they should be disposed of in clinical waste bins.

Face shields offer an additional layer of protection by covering your eyes, nose and mouth, as well as helping to prevent you from touching your face. Goggles are not required to be worn in addition to a face shield as the face shield offers the eye protection required. Download a Donning & Doffing Single Use Face Shields poster here.

New COVID-19 safe daily work practices guide for medical employees 
Appropriate infection prevention practices protect healthcare workers from contracting infectious diseases in the workplace. For COVID-19, this entails standard precautions at all times, contact and droplet precautions during routine care of a COVID-19 patient, and contact and airborne precautions when performing aerosol-generating procedures.

To assist you, there is now a newly created COVID-19 safe daily work guide for medical employees. The guide provides guidance for doctors on COVID-19 safe routine work and clinical practices. I encourage you to download the guide and familiarise yourself with it.

Supporting your use of Personal Protective Equipment 
We are implementing a range of additional initiatives designed to keep you safe at work and support you in the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The changes, which respond to feedback, include additional resources and roles to support your correct use of PPE and to ensure the safety of those entering and leaving suspected COVID (SCOVID) and COVID wards. The three roles are PPE Advisors, PPE Coaches and Concierges and details of the responsibilities and related material are available on the coronavirus website for employees.

Additional precautions are no longer required for patients from Peninsula Health

Following an identified COVID-19 outbreak at Peninsula Health in August, additional precautions were put in place for employees and patients who may have been at risk of exposure during that outbreak.

The outbreak at Peninsula Health has now been controlled, with no new identified cases for over a week.

The additional precautions requiring patients from Peninsula Health to be treated as close contacts have ceased. Likewise, there are no longer additional precautions in place for employees who work at Peninsula Health and Monash Health.

Please note that contact precautions remain in place for all patients from aged care facilities.

Reducing work across Monash Health sites 

Monash Health supports decreased employee movement across our sites, to reduce risk of COVID-19 cross infection. In line with the Commonwealth’s guiding principles, working across sites within residential aged care facilities has ceased.

Working across sites outside of residential aged care is minimised as much as possible, however, in order to effectively deliver services to our community, some movement remains necessary.  Employees and managers must carefully consider if movement is required for the individual’s role. Learn more here.

Safety Alert! Ultra Feel Examination Gloves
This safety alert is to advise of faults in a single batch of examination gloves that may and frequently break and tear. The gloves may have obvious marks and dots, however, micro tears may be invisible to the eye. The gloves are in use at all sites.

The gloves are labelled Ultra Feel Nitrile – Powder Free – Disposable Examination Gloves. The affected batch is labelled Lot/Batch 2A1100221NCZA.  All sizes are affected. Please note that other batches are unaffected.

Required actions:

  • Inspect glove boxes in use and on shelves
  • Remove glove boxes – batch number 2A1100221NCZA
  • Discard this product immediately
  • Inspect all glove boxes before use
  • Advise your teams of the fault
  • Order new gloves if required

Download the Safety Alert poster here.

For further information please contact Andrew Coe, Clinical Products Manager – 0428 022 060 . For replacement gloves, please submit iProc request.

Monash Health to appear at the US Open this Sunday morning

This Sunday 13 September at 6am AEST, Monash Health’s Helen Richards will appear on ESPN, ahead of the US Open women’s singles final.

The United States Tennis Association, with help from ESPN Australia New Zealand, asked Monash Health to select a healthcare worker to be recognised as part of a “Healthcare Champions” initiative.

Helen, Director of Clinical Operations for Hospital in the Home and Residential In-Reach, was surprised with a one-on-one conversation with tennis legend Roger Federer.

Tune in to ESPN on Foxtel this Sunday morning, or keep an eye out on Monash Health’s social media to watch the replay.

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. Read more here.


A new way to give ‘virtual’ thanks  

Every day we see so many examples of kindness, excellence and employees going the extra mile. Our STAR cards are the perfect everyday way to say thank-you and acknowledge your colleagues for their hard work and dedication. It is now easier than ever with our new e-card template available for you to download, personalise and email straight to your colleague or team. Alternatively, our hard copy cards are still available to order via iproc, using the code: #174422.

If you have colleagues who deserve to be acknowledged in the July – September quarter of the STAR Awards, then now is the chance to nominate them.

Learn more by visiting the STAR page on the coronavirus employee website.


Inner wellbeing and resilience during COVID-19 

At last week’s employee forum we heard from Monash Health Clinical Psychologist, Max von Sabler, who spoke about the importance of resilience. He emphasised there has never been a more important time to be aware of our mental health and wellbeing. He also mentioned that we should move away from thinking of mental health as either good or bad. Rather, we should think about degrees of mental wellbeing and mental illness, ranging from high to low. Learn more tips here. You can also view Max’s presentation and access his slides and other wellbeing resources on the Monash Health COVID-19 website.

Kingston dishing up community spirit with Spoonville

Our community-minded team at Kingston Centre has constructed a Spoonville outside Main Reception, with more popping up outside our residential care homes thanks to the residential team and care recipients, and they’d love for you to join in the fun.  Find out what’s stirring here. 

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.

Upcoming events

We continue to run weekly Webex Events to share the latest updates and to provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Our events this week include:

Employee Forum – Tuesday 15 September, 2pm

  • COVID-19 update – Andrew Stripp, Chief Executive
  • Questions

Manager Forum – Wednesday 16 September, 2pm

  • Aboriginal Employment – Dan Carter, Director Aboriginal Health and Luke Dinon, Business Partner People and Culture
  • Positive Leadership – Linda Neitz, Senior Manager, Organisational Development and Learning
  • Questions

Employee Forum, Thursday 17 September, 2pm

  • COVID-19 update – Andrew Stripp, Chief Executive
  • Memory and Stress – Dr Brian Long – Deputy Director and Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Questions

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.

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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