MPS has plans in place for pandemic
Health professionals in the HNEH area, which includes the Guyra MPS, have plans in place if the current COVID-19 crisis escalates. HNEH Executive Director, Rural and Regional Health Services, Susan Heyman said that local health professionals have been working on a pandemic plan since January.
“All of our facilities, including the Guyra MPS, have done pandemic planning and are prepared if suspected cases present to the facility,” Ms Heyman said. “Staff have been trained to prevent the potential spread of the disease and if someone presents with symptoms they will be isolated from others patients and swabs will be taken.”
Ms Heyman said that these protocols are in place to protect staff as well as other patients. Testing is currently available for those in high risks categories or who present with symptoms such as a dry cough and high temperature.
“If anyone is concerned about their symptoms it is important that they contact their normal GP for assessment,” she said. “The good news is that they can do this without leaving their home by phoning and setting up a telehealth consultation.”
“After testing they are advised to self-isolate until their results came back – if they are positive, and have mild to moderate symptoms, they will be medically assessed and could remain at home and be monitored by phone as to how their symptoms progress,” she said. “We will maintain regular contact and if their condition deteriorates, we will then reassess and provide the appropriate care they need.”
Patients requiring hospitalisation will most likely be treated at either Armidale or Tamworth Hospital depending on their condition. With a high proportion of aged care residents, there are currently visitor restrictions in place at the Guyra MPS to ensure the safety of everyone.
“The MPS is basically their home and we need to ensure appropriate protections are in place, which means restricting visitors,” Ms Heyman said. “As of the weekend no visitors are allowed and while this is a strong move it is important for residents and their families.”
“We are also screening everyone who comes into the facility to see if they are in the high-risk groups and, as you would expect, we are encouraging a high level of hygiene amongst everyone who enters.”
“Personal Protective Equipment is available for all staff and they have been trained in how and when to use it. I would encourage everyone to continue to follow advice such as regular hand washing, social distancing and staying at home. This will help prevent the spread of illness and keep our smaller communities healthy for as long as possible.”