Western District Health Service (WDHS) is limiting access to residential aged care and hospital facilities and clinics to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced changes to visiting access at residential aged care facilities across Australia today. These new measures are seen as necessary to limit the spread of the virus to those most vulnerable in our community.
WDHS Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald says the changes will also affect hospital visitors and some clinics at WDHS, to protect patients, clients and staff.
“We see this as an important step in meeting the healthcare needs of our community whilst recognising that at this time safety is our first priority.
From Thursday 19th March, no more than two visitors at a time should visit WDHS aged care residents and patients in hospital. Visits will be limited to a short period only.
Social distancing measures are seen as the best defence in delaying the spread of the virus, so visits can no longer take place in communal areas.
We are very mindful of the different healthcare needs and circumstances of our patients and clients and will create exceptions for palliative and maternity patients to ensure that family members and friends are given every opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.
Mr Fitzgerald says effective immediately WDHS will also be ceasing all group activities across its facilities, including social support, exercise and rehabilitation groups.
“We understand this may cause concern for some members of our community and we are currently investigating how we can continue to support people who need access to these services. This will involve our clinicians working to identify the most vulnerable people in our groups and implementing a plan to ensure they continue to receive one-on-one services.
WDHS in collaboration with the Southern Grampians Shire and the Reverend Peter Cook has also established a ‘helping hands’ hotline to assist people who may be vulnerable and who require additional support at this time. Please contact 1800 943 131 or email email@example.com
Unfortunately due to evolving COVID19 situation, the April WDHS School Holiday Program has also been cancelled.
Facilities affected include:
- Hamilton Base Hospital
- The Birches Residential Care
- Grange Residential Care Service
- Hamilton House Allied Health
- Penshurst & District Health Service
- Coleraine District Health Service
- Merino community Health Centre
- Frances Hewett Community Centre
- National Centre for Farmer Health
- Youth Services
If community members need any further advice they should call the WDHS Switchboard on 03 5551 8222.