Coronavirus Bulletin

A Message From Smith Street Practice
Last updated - 30th July 2020

The Smith Street Practice team would like to send our sincere thanks to all of our patients and healthcare colleagues for their patience, support and cooperation as we navigate the changes that COVID-19 continues to bring. The way our local community has pulled together in these most difficult of times is really wonderful, and we are proud to be a part of it.

Our practice has now made a number of changes to ensure the health and safety of both our patients and staff. These include:

• Socially distanced waiting room areas and consulting rooms
• Availability of PPE including hand sanitiser and facial masks for our patients
• Doctors and nurses may use face masks/face shields for care that cannot be socially distanced, such as physical examinations
• Perspex screens for our reception area
• Limits on the number of people to be in confined areas at one time
• A changeover to furniture and fixtures that are readily sanitised
• A thorough triage and screening process to minimise the crossover between patients with flu-like symptoms, and patients seeking care for other reasons
• The construction of a sheltered outdoor clinical area that provides privacy for the safe assessment and screening of patients with flu-like symptoms – the “COVID Cubby”
• Rooms and high touch areas are being cleaned regularly and professional cleaners clean each evening

Smith Street Practice is keeping up to date with the recommendations for providing safe care and screening of our patients, provided by NSW Health and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Our staff are meeting regularly to review our response to COVID-19 and ensure we are providing the highest quality care for our patients.

We are also becoming proficient in the use of telehealth to ensure our regular patients who are at increased risk of COVID-19 are still able to access care from their GP. Patients with risk factors including:

• Required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with the guidance issued by the Australia Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19: or
• Is at least 70 years old; or
• If the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent – is at least 50 years old; or
• Is pregnant; or
• Is the parent of a child aged 12 months; or
• Is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
• Is immune compromised

are able to access bulk billed telehealth appointments.

Patients who do not fall into this category are also able to access telehealth consults at a discounted fee. However, it is important to remember that many health conditions are best assessed face to face – a full physical examination is part of providing the best care for our patients. We encourage patients with new or complex conditions to arrange for face to face appointments where possible to ensure they receive the best care possible. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality healthcare, and telehealth provides just one avenue to ensure we can continue to do this.

The most up to date information regarding COVID-19 is available at the NSW Health website.

This includes up to date information about current testing advice, current hotspots, and travel advice.

We look forward to supporting our valued patients throughout this ongoing challenge, and again, thank you all for your continued support.