17 Mar Health and Safety Update – 16th March 2020
As you know, the health of our clients, our team and the community are first and foremost of our focus. With this in mind, along with the cold and flu season drawing closer and with COVID-19 occurring we wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you and share the proactive measures we are currently undertaking to protect everyone.
We know that both mental AND physical health are closely linked which is why we want to allow our services to be as accessible as possible. For children especially, maintaining their routine as much as possible can be a protective factor around stress and anxiety. Contact with their trusted therapist is often part of their routine and can be an anchoring influence in their life.
We believe that this notion extends not just to our child clients, but to clients of all ages.
What are we doing about COVID-19?
While we have always had rigorous health and hygiene practices at Nala Hub, we have implemented precautionary measures to ensure that this environment is safe.
- We have set up extra seating outside of the waiting room to ensure that you are able to adhere to the recommended 1.5 metre social distancing. We encourage you to sit at the different zones in our waiting room including the bench/stools near the kitchen. There are also a few parks surrounding us which are peaceful areas to spend time in while waiting.
- We will be using disposable cups for anyone that needs hydration or tea/coffee.
- We are regularly disinfecting public areas such as the waiting room, bathroom and therapy rooms. We have also placed hand sanitisers in each room.
- We also adhere to a strict wellness policy and have reinforced with our employees that they must stay at home if they are showing any signs of illness. We will adhere to policies of the Department of Health around travel, social distancing and ensuring our own personal hygiene. Fingers crossed; at the moment all our staff are well!
What can you do?
We request you follow the guidelines and recommendations set by the Department of Health including self-isolation for two weeks after travel or coming in contact with a person diagnosed COVID 19. We also ask that you not attend the practice when you are unwell regardless of whether you think this may be COVID-19 or a cold or flu.
Please make sure you are regularly washing your hands (20 seconds of washing is the recommended amount of time) and containing bodily fluids. These practices are the best defence against the spread of colds, flus and COVID-19.
Can I opt for a Telephone/Video session instead of coming in?
Yes, absolutely! All our staff are set up with “Zoom” video conferencing and this can easily be arranged by our Administration team. If you normally claim a Medicare rebate for sessions, this will not be an option for telephone or video conferencing. HOWEVER, the good news is as of Friday 13th March, NSW Health has confirmed new bulk-billing for *vulnerable/isolated people and vulnerable/isolated allied health workers (psychologists).
While Nala Hub does have a strict cancellation policy, if you would like to avoid a cancellation fee (which is the full cost of a session) please cancel outside of the cancellation period (11am of the previous business day). If you are cancelling due to sickness, there will be no fee charged however, we urge you to please provide us with as much notice as possible as we do have a high volume of clients who are waiting for appointments.
If you meet the criteria as a vulnerable/isolated client, we may provide you with telehealth options (if suitable to the client). Please provide us with at least 24 hours’ notice for this where possible so we can set up an online/phone session. If your psychologist becomes vulnerable/isolated as an allied health worker, we may contact you and offer you a telehealth session.
We are committed to being at the forefront of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and providing the best possible service to you.
Our team at Nala
* Vulnerable/isolated patients are those where at least one of the following apply:
(a) the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
(b) the person has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); or
(c) the person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a person who is:
(i) at least 70 years old; or
(ii) at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or
(iii) is pregnant; or
(iv) is a parent of a child under 12 months; or
(v) is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or
(d) the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
A health professional at risk for COVID-19 means a person that:
(a) has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
(b) has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee
Please note: psychologists who are in isolation for possible COVID-19 infection will also be able to continue to provide mental health services to their clients during the period of their isolation using telephone or video conferencing.