Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The COVID-19 situation is evolving every day, and we continue to work out the best way to care for all our patients.   We aim to avoid the practice being a source of transmission and are using many strategies to do so.  Please read our COVID-19 page for updates 

To help keep our staff and patients safe we are asking that every patient  book a phone consultation with our doctors. This allows for an extra level of screening, so that we can be prepared for any patient coming into the practice.  You will need to be ready with your phone in a quiet place when we call, as if it were a face to face consultation. After an initial consultation your doctor might request that you come into the practice. We are taking bookings for children’s immunisations, Antenatal visits and newborn checks, as long as patients and their parents are well.

We are asking all patients to report their cold/flu symptoms and any travel history when they call. Click here for a self-assessment guide.   

If you have travelled anywhere overseas in the past 14 days OR have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, and are concerned about cold/flu symptoms – you should quarantine yourself at home. Please DO NOT attend the practice. Phone us on 9557 2266 and we will arrange a phone consultation with one of our doctors.

If we do ask you to attend the practice please follow our advice :

. wait outside until the doctor is ready, (will will SMS/call you)

. use hand sanitiser provided

. put on a mask as you enter the practice if you have any cold/flu symptoms

If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history. Health Direct 1800 022 222 can provide advice if you have symptoms of concern and can’t get in touch with us. Click here for a self-assessment guide.  If you have mild symptoms, you should just stay at home and follow the self-isolation guide.

NSW Health  and the Commonwealth Department of Health are providing updates and resources about the novel coronavirus

For general information on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) you can call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

For the latest updates on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), visit the Department of Health website or WHO.

My Health Record

My Health Record is an online summary of some of your health information. Health information stored in your record can include information from you, your healthcare providers, and Medicare. It can be accessed by you through mygov.au, by any GP through their practice software, and hospital staff through their IT systems.

From 16 July 2018 the Government has decided to implement the My Health Record as an “opt-out” system, meaning that you will have a My Health Record created for you unless you decide to opt out. You will receive a letter from the Government (to the address associated with your Medicare card) in July 2018 advising you of this.

The initial period to opt out of having a My Health Record runs until 15 November. After that time you will have a My Health Record but this will not be activated until a health provider adds information. You can still choose to cancel you record after that time, so that information is not uploaded to it.

If you are interested in creating a My Health Record now you can register through the mygov.au website, or we can do it for you at the practice (an easier option).

Read more here

COVID vaccination

COVID Vaccination information

Erskineville Doctors is receiving 50 COVID vaccines per week for the phase 1b. We are inviting patients to book an appointment according to the eligibility groups determined by the Commonwealth Government. If you are in that group we have opened some appointments online via Automed. Please choose the COVID vaccine dose 1 appointment. You will be sent a link to information and a consent form. If you have more questions about your particular situation, please book a separate time to discuss this with your doctor, particularly if you are under 50. Patients in 1b under 50 can receive the Astra-Zeneca vaccine but should discuss this with their doctor.

The Commonwealth Government has announced plans to extend the roll-out in general practice to anyone over 50 from 17 May, and we can vaccinate people in this age group earlier if necessary. We will continue to prioritise the 1b group where possible.

The Sydney West Vaccine Clinic is now provide vaccines to anyone aged 50 and over. The process here takes less than 30 minutes. If your GP is not offering the COVID vaccine, you can book an appointment at this practice. Please ask your regular GP to upload a Shared Health Summary to your My Health Record, or provide you with a hard copy of your Health Summary.

How to get ready for vaccination

Read about the vaccine here and here.

Complete the consent form that is sent to your phone. This can also be done with your doctor at another consult, and we recommend you do this if you have more questions. If it hasn’t been done in advance you’ll need to turn up about 5-10 minutes early to read and complete this.

Don’t plan anything important the next day – about 1 in 4-5 people are finding they are unwell enough to need a day off. Plan for someone to be around and check on you.

Plan to wear a top that allows you to easily expose the top of your arm.

Which vaccine is available?

Astra-Zeneca vaccine is currently the only vaccine is available in general practice. Updated information about the Astra-Zeneca COVID vaccine is available at health.gov.au See here for a decision-making aid.

ATAGI have provided updated advice about safety concerns. Vaccine safety data is being collected daily in Australia – patients being contacted via SMS after their vaccine to check on side effects. The reports are updated here.

Note that Commonwealth Government has advised that the Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for under 50s, but has not indicated when this will be available. You should discuss any concerns with your doctor at a separate consultation.

Where else is the vaccine available?

If you are in the 1b eligibility group or aged 50 or over appointments are available Monday to Saturday at Sydney Olympic Park (run by the GP Respiratory Clinic) https://www.sydwestvac.com.au/. This is set up in a medium sized medical centre and the process will take about 30-40 minutes. Call them if you need to organised a disability parking spot.

If you are in the 1b group want to check other practices for vaccine availability you can go to the VACCINE CLINIC FINDER here. You should plan to have both vaccines done at the same clinic – your second dose will be due in 3 months. If you are a healthcare worker under 50 please contact the CESPHN for advice about where to book for a vaccine.

If you do get an appointment at another practice and need proof of your eligibility due to chronic medical conditions, please email reception@erskinevilledoctors.com.au : Name, Date of birth, which practice you will be attending, and your permission for a health summary to be uploaded to My Health Record (if you have one). You should also read this advice about preparing for your vaccine and this fact sheet. .

Roll-out phases

Phase 1b includes people over 70, indigenous people over 55, other healthcare workers and emergency services workers and younger people with chronic medical conditions (see below)*. From 17 May this will be extended to everyone aged 50+. You can use the ELIGIBILITY CHECKER to see whether you are in this group.

We are expecting that the vaccine supply will increase over time and when that happens we will be contacting our patients in those groups to advise them about vaccine availability and appointments.

Phase 1b –

  • Adults aged 70 years and over
  • Other health care workers (includes non-clinical staff of a healthcare facility and essential carers (paid and unpaid) including carers who are also family members of someone with disability or an elderly person, and disability support volunteers who provide support to people in their homes, in respite care, or in educational, employment and leisure settings.)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55
  • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing
  • Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability*
  • *The list of medical conditions includes (as per the eligibility checker)
  • solid organ transplant recipients who are on immune suppressive therapy
  • adult survivors of childhood cancers
  • bone marrow transplant recipients, people on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy
  • immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • haematological diseases or cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, diagnosed within the last 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
  • non-haematological cancers, diagnosed within the past 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
  • chronic inflammatory conditions on medical treatments, including people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated with Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies. This generally does not include people living with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or similar non-immunocompromising inflammatory conditions.
  • primary or acquired immunodeficiency, including congenital causes of immunodeficiency and HIV/AIDS
  • severe mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder
  • chronic renal (kidney) failure, but not including mild to moderate chronic kidney disease
  • heart disease including ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension
  • chronic lung disease including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, cystic fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. This doesn’t include mild or moderate asthma
  • diabetes
  • severe obesity, with a body mass index of 40 or over
  • chronic liver disease
  • some neurological conditions, including stroke, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy. This doesn’t include migraine or cluster headaches
  • poorly controlled blood pressure (people taking two or more medicines for blood pressure control)
  • people with Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, or traumatic brain and spinal cord injury

Patient resources:

COVID-19 vaccination – Information on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine | Australian Government Department of Health

Preparing for COVID vaccine

After your vaccine

If you are interested in more detail about potential vaccines, the NCIRS has a dedicated page here. See also the DOH website.

Flu vaccine has arrived

The National Immunisation Program supplies influenza vaccine for the patients listed below*. We also have some flu vaccine to purchase if you are not eligible under those criteria.

You can receive a flu vaccine at any time you are at the practice for a normal consult. Please mention this to our staff when you book or on arrival.

Please note, if you have had a COVID vaccine or are having one soon, there will need to be at least 14 days between the two vaccinations. See our other post for more information about COVID vaccines.

Our online booking system is open to allow you to book for a quick flu vaccine only consultation. This will send you a link with some further information and a consent form. Please choose a flu vaccine appointment for this (child, 5-64 Govt, 5-64 private, 65+)

Eligibility for free influenza vaccine (NSW Health)

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza: 

  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age (including Aboriginal and medically at risk)
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:
    • cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
    • chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
    • other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
    • chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
    • impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
    • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy

Further reading

NSW Health – Influenza vaccine FAQs

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance –Influenza vaccines for Australians

Easter Break and doctors on leave

Wishing you all a happy Easter and hope you all enjoy the break. The practice will be closed on Good Friday, all weekend and Easter Monday. Our usual after hours advice applies.

Dr Patti is having an extended leave to do some work in the NT, and will be away from 6th April and returns to work 17th May. She will hand over her patients as needed for that period to other doctors in the practice.

Dr Nicolette is away from 6th April and returns to work on 13th April

Dr Jenny is on leave from 12th April and returns to work 19th April

Dr Wee-Sian is away from 19th April and returns to work on 9th May

New online booking system

As of Monday 1 March we will be moving to a new online booking system – Automed. Automed has several new features that will help us manage booking, appointment reminders, results and reminders, and online ordering for repeat scripts/referrals.

You will be able to use Automed from our website or by downloading the AMS connect app.

Not all of the features will be immediately available, but we will be adding things over the next few weeks.

We appreciate your feedback if you are encountering any issues as we transfer to this new system.

Electronic prescriptions

You can now receive your prescriptions in an electronic version directly to your phone. We can do this either during a telehealth consult or when you are in the practice.

An e-script comes to your phone as an SMS that opens a link to a QR code. The pharmacist scans the code to unlock your prescription. Repeat scripts are sent back to your phone as another SMS. You can save scripts in a Notes folder on your phone or in one of various apps (many pharmacies are creating their own)

https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/electronic-prescriptions

If you do not have a Medicare card you will not have an Invidual Health Identifer number that allows us to do e-scripts. You can however apply for one here.

COVID alerts – Victoria

Please check all the latest alerts from NSW Health pertaining to travel from Victoria. If you have been in Victoria in the past 2 weeks there are some sites of concern, including Melbourne airport. If any of the following applies to you, please do not attend the practice. You can call for a phone consult if you need advice. Testing sites are listed on our website.

Victorian sites of concern

NSW Health has been advised of new venues of concern related to recent confirmed cases in Victoria. In response, NSW Health is calling on anyone in NSW who was at Melbourne Airport, Terminal 4 (Jetstar) from 4:45am – 2pm on 9 February to immediately isolate, get tested and remain in isolation for 14 days since you were there, regardless of the test result. Out of an abundance of caution, NSW Health is asking anyone who is a household contact of someone who visited Terminal 4 on 9 February at the above time to stay in isolation until that person receives a negative result.

In addition, anyone who attended any terminal at Melbourne Airport on 7 and 8 February must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. NSW Health is currently contacting approximately 7,000 people who have entered NSW from Victoria after attending these venues of concern, to ensure they are aware of the requirements.

If you have been to any of these locations at the times listed you are at risk of COVID 19 so please follow the health advice provided. People who have been to these venues are required to get tested immediately and isolate for up to 14 days. If you were at one of these venues, you can call your local NSW Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for further advice.

PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT – RECENT VICTORIAN ARRIVALS

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has issued a public health order to ensure that anyone who has recently entered NSW from Victoria follows ‘stay at home’ rules, following the announcement by the Victorian Government of a five-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown. The new order will require that anyone in NSW who has been in Victoria at any time on or after 11.59pm on 12 February 2021 remains at their home or place of residence for the five-day period announced by the Victorian Government.

People arriving in NSW from Greater Melbourne by road will also be required to complete a declaration form: https://apply.service.nsw.gov.au/nsw-entry-vic-declaration. This is addition to persons arriving from Victoria by air or rail. The Victorian restrictions become effective at midnight tonight, and under current arrangements will expire at 11.59pm on Wednesday 17 February.

The NSW Order will ensure that the same requirements will apply even if people have left Victoria before it comes into effect. People now in NSW who have been in Victoria on or since 12 February will be permitted to leave their places of residence for the same four reasons allowed under the Victorian restrictions. These are: – shopping for essential items,- medical and other care and caregiving,- exercise,- and essential work. NSW strongly advises against all non-essential travel to Victoria at this time.

COVID Testing Clinics

See here for a link to all the NSW Testing Clinics. This information is also on our Coronavirus Page.

Please note that you do NOT need a GP referral to attend the 4Cyte drive-through clinic at Stanmore.

Tests are usually been returned in about 24 hours, and are sent to you via SMS.

Staff changes

So some good news and bad news…..

Our Practice Nurse Amy, has left to take on a new challenge, training new graduate nurses among other things. Fortunately Ping is taking on two more days at the practice, so will be working Mon, Tues, Wed, and Friday. We anticipate filling the other day so that we have a nurse to assist us daily.

At our front desk we have had to bid farewell to Kara and Sigourney, both of whom are off to full-time study. Starting this week we have two new receptionists – Stephanie and Grace.

Covid Testing Clinics Holiday Opening times

To check the latest information see the NSW Health website or here.

These clinics are open on public holidays: RPAH, Canterbury Hospital, Concord Hospital (except xmas day), Sydney Eye Hospital (until 31 December), Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Building 25 at the end of Salisbury Rd, Off
Missenden Rd, Camperdown Follow signs from the main hospital
Behind the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse – No booking required.
8.00 am – 10.00 pm daily open public holidays 

Summer Hill ‘Drive-through’ 7 Prospect Rd, Summer Hill – No booking required. Stop at covered area and wait for staff instructions

8.30 am – 4.00 pm daily Closed public holidays

Stanmore 4Cyte Pathology ‘Drive-through’
Side Carpark, Cyprus Community Club of NSW,
58/76 Stanmore Rd, Stanmore
Patient or Doctor to email Request Form to covid19@4Cyte.com.au OR telephone on 0435 085 052
See website for details: Stanmore COVID-19 testing
8.00 am – 5.00 pm, Monday – Friday
11.00 am – 2.00 pm Saturdays and Sundays  Christmas hours 24 Dec 8.30 am – 5.00 pm; Closed 25, 26, 27, 28 Dec; Open, 29,30,31 Dec from 8.30 am – 5.00 pm and then closed on 1 jan

Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital
8 Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW, 2000
10am – 6pm 7 days a week (until 31 December 2020)
Closed 1 – 3 January 2021
From 4 January 2021, open 10am – 6pm, 5 days a week, closed weekends and public holidays
Testing for children 1 year and over.

Canterbury Hospital

575 Canterbury Road, 2194, Campsie

Open Mon-Sunday 10am – 8pm
Open public holidays

Sydney CHILDREN’s Hospital
Outpatients Department, entrance via Hospital Rd (off High Street), Randwick, NSW, 2031
8.30am to 4pm 7 days a week
Open Christmas Day 12pm – 4pm
COVID-19 testing to children and their accompanying parent/carer

Concord Hospital
Hospital Rd, Concord West
Across road from ED in Sports Institute Building. – No booking required
8.00 am – 4.00 pm daily open public holidays except closed Christmas day from 11.00 am – 4.00 pm

St Vincent’s Hospital (East Sydney Community and Arts Centre)
34 – 40 Burton St, Darlinghurst (enter from Palmer St entrance)
Children must be ≥16 years old. Otherwise, they should attend Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick for testing
9.00 am – 4.00 pm daily Christmas hours closed 25 Dec, 26 Dec, 1 Jan, 26 Jan

 Inner West GP Respiratory Clinic
 The Inner West Respiratory Clinic will close from 1pm on Thursday 24 December and reopen on Monday 4 January. These changes will be reflected on the website

Five Dock 4Cyte Pathology ‘Drive-through’
155-157 Parramatta Road, Five Dock
Drive into side carpark and do not get out of your vehicle at any time.
No booking required. For further information, please refer to 4Cyte Pathology
8.30 am – 5.00 pm, Monday – Friday, 10.00 am – 2.30 pm weekends Christmas hours 24 Dec 8.30 am – 5.00 pm;  25 Dec closed; 26 Dec 8.30 am – 5.00 pm; 27 Dec 10 am – 2.30 pm; 28 Dec 9.00 am – 2.00 pm; 29, 30, 31 Dec 8.30 am – 5.00 pm and closed on 1 jan

Marrickville Medlab Pathology (need referral and mask)
322 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
Ph: 02 8095 8990
8.00 am – 1.00 pm Monday – Saturday (arrive by 12.45)
(Christmas hours closed 25, 26, 27, 28 Dec and 1Jan)

Homebush Drive-through Clinic

Underwood Road, Bressington Park, 2140, Homebush, NSW, AU

Last patient will be triaged at 3:30pm to allow staff time to finish assessing patients, Closed public holidays

See also for SESLHD opening hours

https://www.cesphn.org.au/documents/communications-1/coronavirus/3632-20201224-qr-code-flyer-v5-city-eastern-suburbs-final/file

Christmas Opening Hours

Cardinia Leisure Christmas Opening Times | Cardinia Leisure
Date Opening Hours 
24/128:00 – 12:30pm – Doctors Cara, Shereena, John, Joe
25/12CLOSED 
26/12CLOSED 
28/12CLOSED 
29/12 8:00 – 12:30pm – Dr Jenny
30/128:00 – 12:30pm – Dr Jenny
31/128:00- 12:30pm – Dr Jenny
1/1CLOSED 
2/1CLOSED 
4/1 Resume normal opening hours 

Dr Jenny will be on leave for the first 2 weeks of January, returning on 18 January

Dr Annabel will be on leave for the second half of January, returning on 31 January.

Dr Nicolette will be on leave 22-29 January.