17th June 

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                                                                                                    COVID-19 UPDATE

                                         COMMANDER, TASMANIAN VACCINATION EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE

Updated advice on AstraZeneca vaccine –
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has revised its advice regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
The recommendations are now:
• The Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for those aged 16 to under 60 years of age
• AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended for those 60 years and over
• Those who have had a first dose of AstraZeneca without serious adverse event should be encouraged to have their second dose for optimal protection.
Eligibility for Pfizer
The Pfizer vaccine is preferred in people who are under 60 years of age, or in people over 16 years of age with the following specific conditions:
• a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,
• a history or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia,
• a history of idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal and splenic) venous thrombosis,
• a history of anti-phospholipid syndrome with thrombosis, or
• Other contraindications to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, including: o Anaphylaxis to a previous dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, or a component of the vaccine (including polysorbate 80)
o Thrombosis with thrombocytopaenia occurring after the first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
o Other serious adverse events attributed to the first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

PLEASE NOTE THAT AT THIS STAGE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN NO INDICATION OF WHEN THE PFIZER VACCINE WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO US.
WE WILL KEEP OUR PATIENTS UPDATED AS MORE INFORMATION COMES TO HAND.

15th June                                       WE ARE ONBOARD THE COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT!               

At this point in time we have only been given access to the

COVID-19 ASTRAZENECA VACCINE.

The following two links provide good information from The Australian Government on the Astrazeneca Vaccine:

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-information-on-covid-19-astrazeneca-vaccine

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-weighing-up-the-potential-benefits-against-risk-of-harm-from-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

The following link provides some good information on how to prepare for your Covid Vaccine:

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-preparing-for-covid-19-vaccination

Anyone who is aged 50+ and is a current patient of ours is able to book into one of the following Clinics:

– Sunday 27th June

– Sunday 4th July

These will be conducted at Grosvenor Street General Practice only.

We will have two GPs working for each of these clinics and they will run from 1.00pm – 4.00pm.

Please contact our Reception Staff to make a booking.

Our Staff will send to you the Patient Declaration Form and Consent Form which will needed to be completed prior to your appointment.

Alternatively they can be accessed via these links: –

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-eligibility-declaration-form

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-form-for-covid-19-vaccination

You will need to bring the Consent form and the Declaration form along to your appointment.

More clinics will be added at a later date, depending on the patient demand and vaccine availability.

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After you have received your First Vaccine you will have an appointment made on the day for your Second Vaccine.

We encourage you to read the following Post Vaccine Information from the Australian Government:

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-astrazeneca-vaccine

 

24th May   

COVID VACCINE ROLL OUT – ONBOARDING PROCESS UPDATE 

 The following is correspondence we received from the COVID-19 Primary Care Response Team, Australian Government Department of Health. 

We understand that while Grosvenor and Collins Street General Practices are interested in participating in the program, there is no current opportunity for a number of reasons including :

  • Following the rapid onboarding of more than 4,300 practices, the Commonwealth is currently working with states and territories to identify geographical and population access gaps.
  • Vaccine stock is limited, so available vaccine will be targeted to fill any particular access gaps in the first instance.
  • When more vaccine becomes available, there may be further opportunities for practices to participate in the program.
  • We will provide guidance on this as soon as more information becomes available.   

 

COVID VACCINE ROLL OUT – PHASE 1B UPDATE

We have been invited to participate in the rollout for Phase 1b of the Astra Zeneca COVID Vaccine.
We will keep our patients informed, and we will book you in as soon as we are able. Some Practices will be commencing their Phase 1B rollout prior to our start date.
In the meantime we encourage you to visit https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility to check your eligibility for a Covid Vaccine. This will lead you to the list of Practices and their contact details, who are participating in the roll out from next week.
You can book with another General Practice but keep in mind that each Practice participating at this early stage is only receiving a very small quantity of vaccines. You will also need to take a Health Summary with you.
We have been advised there will be a National Booking System implemented to enable easy access to participating sites to make appointment
 
 

COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT

 
We would like to inform our Patients and Community that we have submitted an Expression of Interest to the Commonwealth Government for both of our Practices to be involved in the Phase 1B rollout of the Vaccine. Our priority is to ensure our Patients can receive the vaccine in a safe and efficient manner.
Unfortunately, due to Government requirements we may not be invited to participate in Phase 1B, but we are doing our best to make sure it happens.
 
 
 
 
 

Roll Out Information – What we have been told so far!

 
Phase 1A
-The recently approved Pfizer vaccine will be used during this phase. This vaccine will be available from Hospital Hubs. In Tasmania these will be the Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital, North West Regional Hospital.
– Roll out will begin Late Feb as there are supply constraints
– The Pfizer vaccine will be for: quarantine and border workers, frontline health workers aged care staff and residents, disability staff and residents.
 
Phase 1B
-General Practice has been invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in this Phase.
-The AstraZeneca vaccine will be used during this phase. This is still to be approved by Therapeutic Goods
-A Second Booster will be required 21 days later
-Flu Vaccine needs to be given 14 days apart from the Covid Vaccine.
-This Phase will include >70 years, healthcare workers, younger adults with an underlying condition, emergency services personnel, meat processing workers and ATS Islanders who are >55 years of age.
-Roll out will commence late March/early April.
-Patients will be booking an appointment through a National Booking System, run by the Government. We await further information on how this will be implemented.
 
Phase 2A
-General Practices who are not involved in the Phase 1B rollout may be invited to participate if they have previously submitted an Expression of Interest.
-AstraZeneca vaccine will be used during this phase.
-Pharmacies have been invited to submit and Expression of Interest to be involved in Phase 2A.
-This Phase covers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are between 18-54, along with Australians over 50 years old and other critical high-risk workers.
 
Phase 2B
-This Phase includes the rest of the adult population, plus anyone from the previous phases that have been missed out.
 
Phase 3
-The final phase will be for the remainder of the population.
As further information comes to hand, we will keep our Patients and Families updated.

 

Practice Changes

Telehealth Update

CHANGES TO OUR TELEHEALTH BILLING PROCEDURE – as at 1st OCTOBER 2020.

The Government are withdrawing the Telehealth COVID-19 Bulk Billing Incentive from General Practice as at 1st October 2020.

What does this mean for our Patients?

To ensure we can continue to provide good quality health services our Doctors may privately bill your telehealth appointment from 1st October 2020.

At the conclusion of your consultation you will be contacted by our reception staff who will take your payment over the phone.

If your bank details are recorded with Medicare you will receive your refund into your account. If your details are not recorded with Medicare our staff will forward you a receipt to enable you to claim your refund.

Please contact our reception staff for information on our Telehealth fees.

Grosvenor & Collins Street Practice

We are still operating from both locations with a lot of physical changes to the internal rooms. If you attend either practice, you will find the front door is locked, this is for the health and safety of all patients, staff and doctors to allow clinical staff and receptionist to screen all patients before entering the practice.

The waiting rooms at both practices have a small number of chairs spaced out at 1.5m to comply with social distancing.

Our main reception area is fitted with a Perspex screen to protect our patients and staff. This is to comply with social distancing and infection control.

The floors are marked with tape to ensure a 1.5m barrier between yourself and the receptionist, nurse or doctor to comply with social distancing.

Our consultation rooms have been stripped back to contain only a bare minimum of supplies to assist in infection control.

Our doctors are no longer printing documents where possible, but electronically signing and faxing or emailing to yourself, pharmacy, specialist etc. This is to comply with infection control.

Please understand that this pandemic is very different to anything we have experienced before within our workplace and we are evolving new processes every day to make things flow smoothly. Please read on for our current processes.

Phone and Video Consultations

Both Grosvenor and Collins Street Practice have moved to phone and video consultations where possible. Please phone the practice to book an appointment time for the doctor to contact you, alternatively, you can book phone consultations online. Please ensure your contact details are up to date.

***Update 20/07/2020***

Due to new regulations, Telehealth and Videohealth consultations CAN NOT be claimed by patients who have not been seen at the practice within the past 12 months. If you attempt to book online, your appointment may be rejected if your last consultation was greater than twelve months ago.

Phone and video consultations are subsidised by Medicare for patients who are at risk of COVID-19:

  • required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19
  • at least 70 years old
  • if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old
  • pregnant
  • the parent of a child aged under 12 months
  • being treated for a chronic health condition
  • immune compromised
  • meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection

For all other patients, there may be an out of pocket fee. Please discuss the eligible criteria with your General Practitioner as the reception staff are not privy to your health conditions.

Face to Face Consultations

As we move through the Pandemic, we are able to see more face to face consultations as we understand that not all consultations can be resolved either over the phone or during video consultation. Our procedure for booking face to face consultations is as follows:

  • Reception will book you an appointment with your doctor or the next doctor available for face to face appointments. Please be aware that your doctor may only be taking phone consultations at this time.
  • If you have been allocated a face to face appointment we ask you to notify the staff of ANY respiratory illness on the day of your appointment:
    • Fever >38 degrees
    • Cough
    • Cold/runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
  • They will also ask you of any recent travel or contact with anyone who has travelled to the North West coast of Tasmania, mainland Australia or international travel. We ask that you answer honestly to the questions you are asked as we are protecting the health of all patients, staff and our doctors at this time.
  • The front door of the practice will be locked to allow staff and nurses to ask the above questions on your arrival before entering the practice, please phone the receptionist from your car to advise them of your arrival.
  • Once we have assessed your risk, your temperature will be taken and you will be asked to use hand sanitiser provided and to take a seat in the waiting room.
  • We are still required to keep our waiting room to a maximum of 5 people at once. As we are seeing more face to face patients, we may ask that you wait in your car until there is a seat available. We ask, where possible, that you do not arrive too early to your appointment.

Respiratory Illness

What happens if you fall ill with a respiratory illness during the COVID19 pandemic? Unfortunately, you may develop the symptoms similar to COVID19 and during our screening process when booking an appointment you will find that we will not be able to book a face to face contact with your doctor.

The reception staff will offer you a phone or video consultation with your doctor who will then determine whether or not you need any form of testing. If you do require testing, you will be booked into our Respiratory clinic at Grosvenor Street currently running on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

The reception staff will ask you to arrive at the practice and park in the car park located behind the building at your allocated time and phone reception on your arrival.   The treating doctor will see you in the room downstairs which is set up for the treatment of respiratory illness.

Payment for Consultation

If payment is required for your appointment the doctor will inform you. We are able to take payment over the phone and process Medicare rebates online, reception staff will contact your after your appointment if any payment is required.

If you would like a copy of the receipt we would prefer to email it to you, please update your email address with reception staff.

Vaccinations and Flu Vaccines

Due to social distancing regulations, we have developed a method to limit the amount of time spent in the practice for routine immunisations and flu vaccine clinics.

When you arrive at the practice at your allocated appointment time, please phone the receptionist to let them know of your arrival. They will check you in and the doctor will call your back as soon as they can to conduct the consultation over the phone which will include asking your to answer honestly to all screening questions regarding COVID19. The doctor or nurse will meet you at the door after your phone consultation and take you straight into the treatment room or doctors consultation room to administer the vaccine.

If payment is required please see the receptionist prior to leaving.

Requests to your doctor

At the time, please understand there is an increase in phone calls and requests to the practice. To eliminate pressure on Staff and Doctors, your request for a prescription or referral may be directed to a phone consultation. By booking a phone consultation with a doctor at the practice we can ensure your request is met on the day of your appointment and the requested document is sent to yourself, pharmacy, specialist etc as soon as it is possible for staff. Unfortunately it may occasionally be an hour or two delay between your consultation and documents arriving, please inform your doctor if you require something urgently.

During this time, we urge you all to not neglect your health concerns. We understand you may be apprehensive to attend a medical centre during this pandemic but please be assured we are taking all appropriate steps to keep our practice environment COVID19 free!

Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancers etc do not take a holiday because of the circulating Coronavirus, if you are experiencing anything unusual or notice any health changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please visit this page frequently to check for any other changes that we may implement along the way.

Stay safe, we look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Doctors and Staff
Grosvenor & Collins Street General Practice