Chief Executive COVID -19 Update: 18 November 2020

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Two COVID-19 positive inpatients
  • No employees with COVID-19
  • No employees in precautionary quarantine

The next steps on our COVID-safe journey

Since caring for Australia’s first COVID-19 patient, you have all shown remarkable resilience in adapting to the many changes required to keep our community and each other safe. Your commitment to rising to these challenges, while delivering the very best outcomes for our patients, can’t be underestimated, with changes required across multiple fronts including our model of care, PPE, visitation, facility and capital works, supply chain and behaviours.

We’ve come far in the last ten months and, with such low community numbers, there is cause for feeling a level of relief as we head into a phase of decreased restrictions and increasing freedom, leading to the holiday season. While some restrictions will roll back, we can’t roll back on our vigilance or let complacency creep into the organisation.

As a health service, we have a duty of care to our patients, our community and each other, and must continue to work as we always have, in a COVID-safe way. While we are into our third week of zero daily figures in Victoria, recent events in Australia show how rapidly this can change and that certain precautions must remain as part of our new normal here at Monash Health.

Those who logged into Tuesday’s Employee Forum will have heard our Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, Professor Rhonda Stuart’s valuable commentary. No matter the current arrangements or changes occurring for our patients and us, some constants remain. The overriding messages from Rhonda are to, at all times, stay mindful of:

  • maintaining physical distancing,
  • mask-wearing on-site,
  • hand hygiene, and
  • if you are feeling unwell, do not come to work and get tested immediately.

Our easing out of COVID-19 will be gradual and flexible and may change if numbers and advice change, but what cannot change is our vigilance at all times. It’s your commitment and hard work that has brought us safely to this point and which will carry us through the next phase of the pandemic.

Have your say on Christmas celebrations

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have regretfully cancelled our annual end-of-year celebration for 2020. We want to do something special with the funds we set aside for this occasion, and invite you to have your say on the best use of this budget. Survey closes Monday 23 November. Complete this one question survey to have your say.

Monash Health 2020 Annual General Meeting and Open Board Meeting

We invite you to join us for Monash Health’s 2020 Annual General Meeting and Open Board Meeting, which will be held virtually on Thursday 3 December at 2pm.

Join us to learn how we cared for our community during 2019-20. We’ll highlight new initiatives, challenges faced during the onset of COVID-19, financial results and our performance.

Following the Annual General Meeting, we’ll move into an Open Board Meeting, which will explore how we listen to consumers and partners to inform our service. We will also provide an update on the Victorian Heart Hospital.

Due to COVID-19, the Annual General Meeting will be held virtually and will be accessible via live streaming on YouTube. This link will be shared closer to the event.

This meeting is open to everyone, and attendance is free. To RSVP, visit

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive


Key Messages

Appeal to raise funds for an enhanced emergency experience for kids

Monash Health Foundation has launched its end-of-year community fundraising appeal. Funds raised will support the creation of the new Children’s Emergency Department at Monash Health Clayton. The role of the appeal is to add to the funding from the Victorian Government and create additional features that enhance care. Read more here

For more information about the appeal visit:

Victorian Government visits Monash Health to announce Better At Home initiative

Victoria’s Minister for Health, Martin Foley, visited Monash Health on Sunday 12 November to announce a new funding package for programs like telehealth and hospital in the home. You can read the full story on the COVID-19 website and watch the 9 News story via Twitter.

Beyond the Mask Episode 8 – Brooke Webb 

In episode 8, Senior Social Worker and Team Leader, Brooke Webb discusses the lift that camaraderie and support can provide during challenging times. The close-knit, compassionate nature of Monash Health employees shines through as Brooke describes the caring nature of the team, and that even behind multiple layers of PPE, they were able to use humour and kindness to put patients at ease. Listen to another instalment from our committed and talented workforce here. 

Evidence of immunisation required before employment

From Thursday 26 November, all external preferred candidates must provide immunisation evidence before they can receive an offer of employment. This process will be managed through the eRecruit system in a similar way to Police Checks. Immunisation ensures our employees and our patients, clients, and families are in a safe environment and, importantly, prevents the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Applicants need to log into eRecruit to complete the requirements. Once submitted, the evidence is manually reviewed by Infection Prevention. If the evidence is not complete, an email will be sent to both you and the applicant to advise it is incomplete and request further information.

Applicants must be cleared for Police Check, immunisation documents and have a Victorian Employee Working with Children Check (or proof of payment) before receiving an offer.

Here is more information about recruitment.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November 2020): Accurate allergy documentation 

Many patients are considered to be allergic to one or more medications, most commonly antibiotics. In some cases, these are true allergies but, in many cases, they are adverse reactions (as opposed to allergy), or are symptoms caused by the illness rather than the medication, or are reactions that happened in childhood that may be no longer relevant. In all of these cases, the risk of reacting to the medication needs to be weighed against the risks of not receiving the medication, but this can only happen if we have a good record of what the reaction was. Read more here. 

Christmas celebrations

The festive season is just around the corner. For ward and unit decorations it’s best to keep in mind that anything that can be touched could be a potential risk if COVID-19 cases were to increase.

For this reason, we are suggesting that ward decorations be placed in areas not easily accessed by employees and public – for instance, on ceilings and above doors. Additionally, when considering Christmas functions and get-togethers, be mindful that we still need to comply with DHHS guidelines, that outside spaces are better than indoor ones and that the rules of physical distancing and mask-wearing still apply.

PROMPT is getting an upgrade
A new-look PROMPT system is coming to both Monash Health and Jessie McPherson Private Hospital.

From Wednesday 25 November, we’re introducing a range of improvements and enhancements as part of a planned upgrade to Prompt. Read more here.

Clean Up Day becomes Clean Up Weeks
As requests are still coming in from across our facilities, the Clean Up Monash Health Day initiative originally organised for earlier this year has been extended. Read more here.

Changes to visitation – a reminder

Following the easing of restrictions announced by the Premier, we updated our hospital visitor restrictions from last Friday 13 November.

The changes increase the number of visitors per patient where physical distancing allows, allow people aged 16 and under to visit and remove the time limit for partners visiting maternity wards.

Complete your Deteriorating Patient (BLS/ALS) online training today

Are you a patient-facing clinician? Did you know that until the end of the year, you only need to complete the online component of your Deteriorating Patient training? Log in to Latte and complete your online Deteriorating Patient training today. Read more here.

 Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day 

Thursday 19 November is Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day 2020 – a great opportunity to increase awareness about pressure injuries and how to prevent and manage them.

The Australian College of Nursing has a webinar on Tuesday 24 November, and Monash Health now has some new resources. Read more here.

Realising workplace injuries were preventable sparked desire to undertake HSR role

Neurosciences registered nurse David Nguyen has been a Health and Safety Representative with Monash Health since June 2020. Over the years, he witnessed injuries in the workplace and heard recounts of injuries his friends and family endured in their respective workplaces. Read here about how he is now making a difference in the workplace. 

Upcoming events

Stay up to date with events on our COVID-19 website for Monash Health employees.

Paediatric Grand Round – The Hidden Victors, 12.30pm Thursday 19 November

Read more.

Employee Forum – STAR Awards, 2pm Thursday 19 November

Read more.


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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