Victoria COVID-19 Lockdown Update

UPDATE: 11 June 2021

For sector guidance for the health care and social assistance sector within Victoria click here. Please note all previous advice is superseded by current restrictions which require staying with telehealth/WFH where possible. No group sessions at this point.


As most people would be aware Victoria has recently announced a lockdown. PACFA hopes that all our members and their families in Victoria are coping well with today’s announcements.  
 
As the PAFCA office is in Melbourne, our staff will now be working remotely once again. Our phones and mail have been diverted to home-based staff members.  
 
June – July is a peak period for PACFA due to renewals. Please be aware that we are experiencing a very high volume of phone calls and email enquiries. If you have an enquiry that does require a personal response, there may be a short delay before the PACFA Office responds. Please rest assured, however, we will do as much as we can to assist you during this challenging time. If your query is urgent you can contact our CEO Johanna de Wever on (0487) 698 218.
 
Please click here for a full list of restrictions for the 7 day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown.
 
We look forward to continuing to engage and support our members throughout this period. Please email admin@pacfa.org.au for assistance in the first instance.


Impacts of Victoria's 7 Day lockdown for Allied Health services and students as advised by the Allied Health Professions Australia:

For full detail of the Acting Premier’s statement please see: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-acting-premier-1

A summary of this advice is outlined below; (key information highlighted by PACFA).

Definition of Authorised Health Services:

  • Pharmacy and urgent services are permitted to open under circuit breaker restrictions.
  • Allied Health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied Health workers professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; or
  • Allied Health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options
  • Allied Health professionals providing mental health services in hospital; or
  • Allied Health professionals providing mental health services in community settings by telehealth, or by face-to-face (but only for urgent care where telehealth is not clinically appropriate)
  • Students, medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.

Definition of Authorised Workers:

Authorised workers pertains to work considered essential and includes:

  • The continued operation of Allied Health students on placements, when undertaking critical training and examinations
  • Allied Health working in private or public community services, whether clinic or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate. e.g orthotists and prosthetists providing services such as fitting a brace post-surgery
  • Immunisation and vaccination providers including pharmacy immunisers and Aboriginal Healthcare Workers.

For this purpose, essential clinical care is defined as:

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services)
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients whose care have been delayed as a result of previous restrictions, with any further delay likely to result in deterioration in functional independence or adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

 
Routine care is not permitted.

Clinical Placements

  • Essential adult education services including health care worker and aged and disability care clinical placements is permitted under the Circuit breaker lockdown.
  • Further updates to student clinical placement guidance are pending and will be released in the next 24 hours.

Information supplied by Donna Markham and Sharon Downie of the AHPA