Jan

07

2022

Managing general practice staff exposure to COVID-19

The rapid transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant is affecting many businesses due to illness or isolation requirements.

Local general practices have raised questions about staff exposure to COVID and returning to work. Healthy North Coast has compiled the following guidance.

Managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in general practice

Primary Care Impact offers a quality improvement activity on managing the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This activity supports practice teams to undertake education on the new COVID normal, read the latest guidelines on infection prevention and control, and conduct team debriefs on exposure management processes.

For staff with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (positive RAT or PCR test)

Patients can be released from isolation if they have had no sore throat, runny nose, cough or breathlessness for the last 24 hours of their isolation period. They do not need to await an SMS message for release as long as it is more than 7 days since their swab.

If patients continue to have these symptoms, they are advised to phone the NSW Care at Home support line (1800 960 933). In the event where a general practitioner is contacted, the current recommendation is:

  • if symptoms are mild, continue with release from isolation
  • if symptoms are significant, continue isolation with clinical monitoring and escalation if required; plan release from isolation at day 14 if there has been substantial improvement in respiratory symptoms (or earlier after 24 hours of symptom resolution)
  • if the patient is immunocompromised, seek infectious diseases specialist or hospital-led COVID service advice.

Once medically cleared from isolation, the patient can continue to care for their household contacts without being considered a close contact, unless they develop new symptoms or have an exposure outside of their household.

If a person has previously recovered from a COVID-19 infection and there is a new infection in their household, they will still be considered a close contact.

Further de-isolation advice is available on the COVID-19 Care of Low-Risk Self-Care Patients HealthPathway (username: manchealth password: conn3ct3d).

For more advice, see the NSW Health fact sheet on release and recovery from COVID-19 (PDF, 114KB).

There is no requirement to test before returning to work if the patient has been symptom-free for 24 hours prior to leaving isolation.

For staff who have been exposed to COVID-19

This information is available on the COVID-19 PPE, Infection Control, and Exposure Response HealthPathway (username: manchealth password: conn3ct3d).

For all exposures where the furloughing of a staff member presents a critical risk to safe service delivery, a senior health service manager can approve a COVID-19 exposed staff member to continue work with risk mitigation measures, including a daily rapid antigen test (RAT) for at least 7 days post-exposure.

Where daily RATs are recommended and neither RAT nor PCR testing is available, staff must not attend the workplace for seven days after exposure.

Testing

From 5 Jan 2022, a positive RAT result does not require confirmation with PCR testing.

People who receive a positive RAT result should follow the same isolation rules as people with positive PCRs tests.

Offering telehealth options to patients Telehealth services for patients are the preferred option for GPs who cannot attend their workplace or when the practice is closed due to COVID impacts.

For more information, refer to  our latest telehealth news.

Update provided 21 April 2022.

As you know, Lismore Skin Clinic in Molesworth Street was destroyed in the recent floods, and we are trying to rebuild the site as soon as we can.

In the meantime we will be moving to St Vincent’s Hospital Specialist Medical Centre – Level 4, Suite 12 – 20 Dalley Street Lismore.

We hope to be up and running in the next two weeks (by early to mid May 2022) and our receptionists will soon begin calling our patients to rebook their appointments and catch up with their needs.

Once we have a firm opening date we will update this notification.

Our email address – [email protected]u and our phone number – 02 6621 3500 will remain the same as in the past. Only the address changes for a while.

We look forward to seeing you soon in our new premises.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these heartbreaking times – stay safe.

Dr Gudmundsen and the Team from Lismore Skin Clinic

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Contact our Education Team

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Nigel Cronin
Senior Manager, Education
[email protected]
0437 169 786
02 6627 3390
Based on Bundjalung Country in Lismore

Bronwyn Thirkell
Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation and Education and Events Coordinator NNSW
[email protected]
0437 027 751
02 6618 5445
Based on Bundjalung Country in Ballina

Krissi Devlin
Education and Events Coordinator MNC
[email protected]
0447 407 473
02 6659 1808
Working days: Monday Thursday.
Based on Gumbaynggirr Country in Coffs Harbour

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.