Influenza Update 2020
April 26, 2018

What we are doing to keep you, and us, safe

Updated – 09:40 27th May 2020

With all the information on the news and social media about the COVID-19 precautions, we’ve kept ourselves quiet to reduce the noise and clutter. It’s hard enough keeping up to date without repetitive information.

What we are going to talk about are the steps we are taking in our clinic to reduce the risks of transmitting the infection, our social distancing strategy, and the current known and unknown risks to pregnant women. We’ll also provide some information about hospital access and visitor restrictions.

  1. Reducing transmission in our practice
  2. Pregnancy information
  3. Fertility information
  4. Sunnybank Private Hospital information

Reducing transmission in our practice

‘Social Distancing’ is the term used to describe limiting unnecessary interactions between people. This slows down transmission. This is particular important for healthcare workers who will need to continue to interact with many people over this period, often in close proximity. Reducing the episodes of close proximity between people is essential in containing the threat.

Social distancing includes maintaining a minimum distance unless necessary of 1.5m, and also reducing interactions. We can’t stress how important it is that everyone that visits or works in our practice is safe. If Dr Elgey becomes unwell then our practice will need to close until it is safe to return and this will impact many women who rely on him. Limiting our exposure to as few people as possible will increase the likelihood that your Doctor will be available to you.

What steps are we taking?

Our current management plan involves closing our waiting/reception room to limit your being in close proximity to other patients. This is how we will implement this by encouraging you:

  • not to arrive until your actual appointment time. We will see you immediately
  • If you arrive early, call on 3344 1656 to see if you can come in
  • scheduling longer times between appointments to allow you to rebook and speak to reception before leaving
  • arranging for all necessary paperwork and forms/referrals to be emailed and completed in advance.

Limiting appointment times and interactions in the clinic

Trying to keep consultations to less than 15 minutes and not having unnecessary people in the room is important. We understand that partners and children may need to attend.

Strict hygiene precautions

  • Please use the hand sanitiser on entry and exit
  • Please stand a little further back from the reception desk.
  • If unwell with cough, fever or breathing problems please call in advance.
  • If required to self-isolate please call us in advance so we may arrange a telephone consultation.

Telephone consultations

We may be able to arrange telephone consultations where appropriate. Most antenatal visits require assessment of baby’s heart rate, size and your blood pressure so we can’t always do these. Medicare may pay for some of these and reception can advise you.

Risks to your pregnancy

Current evidence seems to indicate that pregnant women are not at increased risk of hospitalisation or worse outcomes than similar women. The virus may pass form mother to baby, but we still don’t know if it affects the babies. It’s reassuring that no children less than 9 years have died from this infection. Our general advice for women who may be pregnant is to continue to do what you normally do and follow the precautions issued by the public health units.

Having the Influenza vaccine is of utmost importance this year as the health system may not be able to cope. Our article on Influenza and pregnancy explains more.

More advice in the form of a factsheet from our Specialty College is available here

Sunnybank Private Hospital Information

Sunnybank Private Hospital is not intended to manage people with coronavirus. It is anticipated that the hospital may be asked to manage patients unable to be seen in the local Qld Health facilities due to bed or theatre shortages, and provide urgent surgery. Arrangements regarding the use of the ICU facilities for people with Coronavirus are being negotiated. The hospital has implemented the following policies;

  • elective surgery is now being undertaken in a staged approach
  • Caesarean sections are not affected and will go ahead
  • Pre-admission screening with a comprehensive screening tool
  • No access to facility if living with an overseas visitor who is self-isolating, and not screened for coronavirus.
  • Temperature screening of all patients and visitors on arrival.
  • Visitor restrictions
    • Visiting arrangements are in place that limit to two visitors at a time
  • Visiting times restricted.
  • Ceased antenatal classes and home midwifery visits.

Information for Fertility Patients

Fertility cycles including ovulation induction and IVF procedures have now resumed. No resrictions or special arrangements are in place except for those outlined above.