Respiratory Illness Protocol
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, Summerdale Medical Practice needs to take measures to protect our staff and patients . It is important to avoid face to face contact with all potentially infectious respiratory viruses whether they are Covid-19 or not, in order to minimise impact and illness on our staff and patients. Infections being passed to our doctors and other staff may create workforce shortages and therefore impact our ability to offer sufficient appointments to meet our patients’ needs. We also have many patients with compromised immune systems, and spreading respiratory infections to them may result in severe illness.
To combat these issues, we have the following protocol in place for all patients with respiratory symptoms including (but not limited to): fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, sinus pain, earache. This protocol applies regardless of whether or not a patient is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
- Any patient with any of the above respiratory symptoms is advised to comply with current Public Health guidelines and get a Covid-19 swab as soon as possible. The patient must isolate at home until a negative result is returned, or symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer. Swab results are currently being returned within 24 hours.
- If a patient with respiratory symptoms has a negative Covid-19 swab result, they can be offered a face to face appointment in the practice, however they are required to phone upon arrival, wait in the car until called in, and wear a mask whilst in our building.
- If a patient’s Covid-19 status is unknown (i.e. they have not been tested, or their results are pending), they will initially be booked for a telephone appointment. The doctor can make an an initial assessment over the phone and organise any appropriate initial treatment. If a face to face assessment is required, this will be deferred until a negative Covid-19 swab result has been returned (generally this means a follow up appointment the next day).
- If, during the telephone appointment, the doctor determines that the patient is sufficiently unwell to require urgent assessment without waiting for Covid-19 swab results, they will organise a face to face appointment at the practice as soon as possible. The patient is required to phone upon arrival, wait in the car until called in, and wear a mask whilst in our building. The doctor will wear full Personal Protective Equipment, and may elect to conduct the examination outside in the patient’s car in order to avoid to the risk of contaminating the building.
We understand this protocol may make seeking medical attention more difficult than you are used to, however during the Covid-19 Pandemic all precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of our staff and patients.
We appreciate your co-operation.
From October 1, 2020 our normal billing policies will apply.
The government recently announced it was withdrawing the incentives that allowed increased bulk billing for the first 6 months of the pandemic. Phone and face to face consultations will have the same gaps and we recommend face to face consultations unless you have respiratory symptoms.
Online appointments will only be available for face to face consultations. Face to Face Consults can be booked online here or by phone on 03 6344 7177. Please call the surgery on 03 6344 7177 if you require a phone consultation, due to respiratory symptoms.