The information on this page is the latest information and resources to provide AMS and ACCHO Support.

The Western NSW Primary Health Network recognises and appreciates the unique role our Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations play in delivering health services and support tailored specifically to meet the needs of Aboriginal communities in our region. We endeavour to do our best to support you during the COVID-19 response.

We have created this section of our website specifically for AMSs and ACCHOs to access relevant resources and information specific to Aboriginal people and health services.

We encourage you to download these resources, visit these websites and to regularly check the Department of Health and NSW Health websites for the latest COVID-19 updates.

Healthdirect Hotline: 1800 022 222

Public Health Unit: 1300 066 055 

If you require clinical advice on matters relating to Communicable Diseases or other Public Health issues outside of normal hours, please contact your nearest Public Health Unit.

Bathurst: 0428 400 526

Dubbo: 0428 400 526

Broken Hill: 0419 917 426

 

Amber Alert Issued by NSW Health

Given the current context of local transmission, NSW Health has advised LHDs / SCHNs to escalate to a moderate risk level (Amber).

This requires all health workers to wear a surgical mask if they are within 1.5m of patients. Patients are also required to wear a mask, where possible.

This advice applies to hospital and community health settings and came into effect on Friday 24 July 2020.

RACGP is supporting this new directive from NSW Health for all healthcare workers to wear a face mask when physical distancing is not possible. This applies to all face-to-face consultations, regardless of symptoms.

MESSAGE FROM NSW HEALTH SECRETARY, ELIZABETH KOFF

COVID-19 INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL RESPONSE AND ESCALATION FRAMEWORK

COVID-19 INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL AMBER ALERT POSTER

AMBER ALERT FAQS

WNSW PHN SURGICAL MASK REQUEST FORM

 

Expand each section below for further information


Patient Care

For people with suspected infection:

If a patient calls you, check any recent overseas travel history when assessing symptoms.

If a patient presents to you without calling:

  • Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask and move them to a separate room.
  • Use standard, contact and airborne transmission precautions, including a P2 (N95) mask, disposable gown, gloves, and eye protection if available, when entering the room.
  • Immediately contact your Public Health Unit (1300 066 055) who will arrange a phone risk assessment and advise on next steps. If further assessments and testing are recommended, this will generally be arranged at a hospital emergency department.

COVID-19 TASKFORCE SUSPECTED CASE FLOWCHARTTALKING TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ABOUT COVID-19CLINICAL EVIDENCE TASKFORCE - CARING FOR PEOPLE WITH COVID-19

ACTIVATING FAMILY NETWORKS DURING COVID-19

ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES - CULTURALLY SAFE PRACTICES  

chILD PROTECTION RISK ISSUES AND PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS 

PARTNERING WITH WOMEN AND CHILDREN EXPERIENCING VIOLENCE

Approved COVID-19 Testing Practices

COVID-19 TASKFORCE SUSPECTED CASE FLOWCHART

WNSW PHN urges all Health Professionals to abide by advice from NSW Health in relation to testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 patient journey and testing options
NSW Health COVID-19 case definition and testing advice
COVID-19 - CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units


When considering methods of testing it is important to understand the pre-test probability, the sensitivity of the test regarding what you are testing for, the interpretation of results and accuracy of that interpretation. It is easy to get this very wrong, and the ramifications are very serious.


On the advice of Dr Dan Stewart, Director of Emergency Medicine, Dubbo Health Service:

Point of Care COVID-19 Serology Testing:

The current version of the POC Serology Test suffers from an unacceptably low sensitivity for COVID-19, and therefore has no clinical utility and should not be used.  

Public Health Laboratory Network Statement on Point-of-Care Serology Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Self-Swabbing

The process of obtaining an acceptable oro/nasopharyngeal sample is extremely uncomfortable for a patient and requires considerable technical skill.  Patients are incredibly unlikely to possess the necessary technical skills to perform the test, and it would be almost impossible for a patient to tolerate a self-collected nasopharyngeal swab. 

Self-swabbing would, therefore, increase the risk of false-negative test results due to sampling error, and false-negative test results are worse than not performing the test in the first place.  I strongly recommend against self-collection. 
 
Guide to Getting Patient Test Results

NSW Health has provided details on how Testing Services can send, and patients' regular GP can have access to, patient COVID-19 test results.

Any practices experiencing difficulties in accessing patient test results are asked to provide this information to WNSW PHN COVID-19 Coordinator, Tabitha Jones, by emailing:   Tabitha.Jones@wnswphn.org.au

ACCESS THE PATIENT RESULTS ACCESS GUIDE HERE

Respiratory Clinic Referral Documents

Template

Date Effective

Word Doc

PDF

Best Practice

Medical Director

Respiratory Clinics                                                                              May 2020 Word PDF

WNSW PHN RESPIRATORY CLINICS FAQ'S

BATHURST RESPIRATORY CLINIC FLYER

COBAR RESPIRATORY CLINIC FLYER

DUBBO RESPIRATORY CLINIC FLYER

MUDGEE RESPIRATORY CLINIC FLYER

AMS & ACCHO Specific Resources

If you need to contact the Western NSW Primary Health Network in regard to COVID-19 or areas of support within your AMS or ACCHO during this time, please contact WNSW PHN on 1300 699 167.

If you require assistance printing any resources, please contact WNSW PHN who will mail the required resource.

COVID-19 Checklist - Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People

NACCHO COVID-19 Primary Healthcare Guidance

Management and Operation Plans for Indigenous Populations

AH&MRC PANDEMIC TOOLKIT

AH&MRC Influenza Toolkit

AH&MRC COVID-19 Information and Resources

Health Infonet Covid-19 Updates and Information

NACCHO COVID-19 Information and Resources

Influenza Vaccination - FAQ'S FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE

NSW Aboriginal Land Council Food Relief Registrations

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council is providing relief packages of food and hygiene items to communities affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. We are particularly targeting Elders in remote communities.

The social distancing measures and restrictions on travel to stop the spread of the disease have made it difficult for many older Aboriginal people to obtain essential supplies.

NSWALC has purchased 1000 Woolworths Basics Boxes of groceries and the NSW Government is providing an initial 500 Service NSW Emergency Relief packages.

Priority will be given to Aboriginal people over 60 living in a NSW community identified as being at particular risk from COVID 19 measures. We aim to get as many boxes to as many vulnerable people as possible in the shortest possible time.

Register for NSWALC Support Here

Travel Restrictions

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 governments are restricting the movement of people in and out of remote areas.

The decision to restrict access to remote communities follows advice from Indigenous leaders, decisions by a number of Indigenous communities and the Western Australian and Northern Territory Governments to implement similar measures.

Travelling to other towns and cities could increase the chance of community members getting sick. It could spread the virus between communities.

Community members are encouraged to return to their own community as soon as possible.  Anyone returning to community will need to self-isolate for 14 days, outside of their community, before they can return.

Statement by The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians

All travellers entering Australia, including Australian citizens, must self-quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days after arrival. 

A travel ban is in place for all non-residents and non-Australian citizens, effective 9 pm Friday, March 2020, until further notice.

Electronic Prescribing

Commencement of Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Prescriptions) Regulation 2020

Community pharmacists in NSW can now dispense a prescription for most medicines using an image of the prescription received by email or fax, rather than requiring a paper prescription.

This temporary measure will better support patients, prescribers and pharmacists during the COVID-19 response, and allow better integration of the prescription and supply of medicines with the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 response telehealth reforms.

NSW Health Image-Based Prescriptions for Medical Practitioners Information

NSW Health Prescribing Advice for Health Practitioners

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - ELECTRONIC PRESCRIBING INFORMATION

Cancer + COVID-19

Temporary Suspension of Routine Breast Screening by BreastScreen NSW during COVID-19

BreastScreen NSW has temporarily suspended routine breast screening as of COB Friday March 27.

  • Women will continue to be notified of screening results. If the woman has provided consent, her nominated doctor will receive a letter confirming the results.
  • Women who have been recalled for assessment will be assessed as usual and within the COVID-19 response requirements.
  • Women who had their appointment cancelled, or who become due for a mammogram will have their breast screening invitation reactivated by SctreastScreen NSW at the resumption of service.
  • BreastScreen NSW will provide regular updates via Basecamp, the Breastscreen NSW website and Facebook pages as the situation unfolds.


Enquiries to BreastScreen NSW can be made by calling 13 20 50.

National Cervical Screening Program

The cancerscreening.gov.au website has been updated to provide Healthcare Providers with guidance about managing cervical screening participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended management of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the cancellation of elective surgeries

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Chris O`Brien Lifehouse remains COVID19 free and is NSW’s dedicated cancer-only hospital. GPs can access multidisciplinary cancer teams, including Telehealth consults across all tumour streams for their patients.

Their aim is to ensure access to timely cancer treatment options and plans during this pandemic, we will ensure patients receive care and treatment close to home as we work closely with all medical and radiation oncology teams across NSW.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse Website

High-Risk Therapies During COVID-19

The ACI Respiratory Network has responded to queries and concerns raised by clinicians about the use of respiratory therapies that generate aerosolised particles by developing a range of Factsheets.

These therapies are capable of transmitting respiratory viruses including COVID-19; thus they are considered high risk.

Not all will be related to general practice; however, nebulisers might be for some practices. 

High-Risk Therapies - Non-Invasive Ventilation Factsheet

High-risk Therapies - High Flow Nasal Pring Oxygen Factsheet

High-Risk Therapies - Nebulisers

Safety of Corticosteroid injections during COVID-19

Dr Joel Riley (Consultant Rheumatologist and General Physician, Dubbo) strongly advises that intra-articular, soft tissue, and perineural steroid injections should be avoided whenever possible during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the risk of reduced immunity to viral exposure.

At present, in his clinical practice, he is not performing or referring for any parenteral steroid injection for degenerative diseases (degenerative disc disease, trochanteric bursitis, facet joint arthropathy, etc). In inflammatory conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, etc) he is attempting to use the absolute minimal steroid dose possible to get disease under control.

This is in line with the British Society of Skeletal Radiologists' advice on corticosteroid injections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Society of Skeletal Radiologists Report

Advice for Immunisation Services During COVID-19

Updated advice has been provided by NSW Health to assist with planning and managing vaccinations clinics while coinciding with the COVID-19 response.

Immunisation providers should continue to offer immunisation services with enhanced infection control measures.

NSW HEALTH - IMMUNISATION SERVICES DURING COVID-19

Advice for Immunisation Services During COVID-19

CLINICAL ADVICE FOR VACCINATION PROVIDERS

FAQ's for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

2020 SEASONAL INFLUENZA VACCINES

2020 NATIONAL IMMUNISATION PROGRAM (NIP) INFLUENZA VACCINES

DRIVE-IN INFLUENZA VACCINATION CLINICS

Printable Resources for your Patients and Clients

DON’T TAKE THE RISK THIS SEASON Brochure

DON’T TAKE THE RISK THIS SEASON Poster

FLU IN KIDS CAN BE SERIOUS Poster

LET’S KEEP OUR MOB SAFE FROM FLU Poster

NSW Ambulance Authorised Care Plans During COVID-19

In response to the current demand on services regarding COVID-19, NSW Ambulance Models of Care Unit is changing the processing, endorsement and return of Authorised Care Plans.

Plans can be submitted via ambulance-authorisedcareplans@health.nsw.gov.au
Plan information can be accessed here

Letter of Notice - Change of Process from NSW Ambulance

NSW Health Secondary Triage Information for RACFs

COVID-19 Dementia Help Sheets

Dementia Australia has released four Help Sheets outlining tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers.

Access the Dementia Australia Help Sheets Here

Masks & PPE and Ordering

The Australian Government, through WNSW PHN, is distributing Surgical Masks for General Practices and, in the case of a lack of local commercial supply, Community Pharmacies.

Medical staff should be using either P1/surgical or P2/N95 masks, and be sure to be utilising the appropriate protection for the relevant circumstances.

WNSW PHN Mask Order Form

PUTTING ON A MASK

REMOVING A MASK

Principles of Fit-Checking

PPE APPLICATION AND REMOVAL SAFETY SEQUENCE

CEC COVID-19 PPE TRAINING VIDEOS

CEC Basic PPE Training Videos

PPE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALLIED HEALTH

Hand Sanitiser Ordering through Practice Managers Network Group

Recent studies into various Mask designs have concluded that Cloth masks do not prevent the wearer from being infected from viral infections.

READ THE CENTRE FOR EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE REPORT HERE

READ THE BMJ OPEN REPORT HERE

COVID-19 Mental Health Support


The COVID-19 outbreak may generate a range of impacts on the community and individual mental health and wellbeing.

To support the community during this period the Life in Mind team at Everymind has worked with the suicide prevention and mental health sectors, and in collaboration with