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
Green Alert Issued by NSW Health
Effective immediately, NSW Health services will move from amber alert, or moderate transmission to green alert, or low transmission in line with the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Response Framework.
This advice applies to hospital and community health settings and came into effect on Wednesday 18 November 2020.
This decision follows discussion at the Risk Escalation Review Panel today which includes representatives from the Ministry, Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission. The Panel’s recommendation has been actioned in consultation with the Chief Health Officer.
The decision has been reinforced in the knowledge of no locally acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW in the past week. The Panel has determined that cases in neighbouring states remain low despite a resurgence of locally acquired cases in South Australia.
Current risk levels are monitored on the COVID-19 Risk Monitoring Dashboard.
GREEN ALERT MESSAGE FROM DR NIGEL LYONS, DEPUTY SECRETARY, HEALTH SYSTEM STRATEGY AND PLANNING
COVID-19 INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL RESPONSE AND ESCALATION FRAMEWORK
Expand each section below for further information
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 & Testing Options
NSW HEALTH COVID-19 TESTING CLINIC INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
NSW Health COVID-19 Case Definition and Testing Advice
NSW Health COVID-19 Testing Criteria
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.
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
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
Latest COVID-19 Information and Updates
AMS & ACCHO Specific Resources
Community Resources - Keep the Mob Safe
Travel Restrictions & Remote Areas
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.
Health Conditions + COVID-19 & Elective Surgery
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
NSW Ambulance Authorised Care Plans During COVID-19
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
Health and Hygiene for Professionals and Practices
Returning To Work Post-Isolation
COVID-19 Mental Health Support
Financial Support for General Practice During COVID-19
Emergency Response Management
General Practice Accreditation During COVID-19
To assist general practices and in line with social distancing measures during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is maintaining requirements for accreditation to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Standards for general practices, effective immediately. These changes are being enacted as part of the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme.
View the latest communication from ACSQHC National Standards Progam Team here
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Receive COVID-19 Updates via WhatsApp
Note: WNSW PHN is monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and update and develop our pathways and links accordingly.
If you identify any errors or inconsistencies or are aware of any new or emerging critical changes that are relevant, please email the Media & Communications Coordinator.