Staff news

Some lighter news for a change….

We are pleased to report that Dr John has welcomed his baby girl into the world on 2 May. He is now back at work, as of today 25 May, presumably with a renewed empathy for all those parents of newborns!

Speaking of people with new perspective on parenting, Dr Shereena has also returned, working on Mondays and Thursdays. She continues her work at Tresilian on some other days.

The not so good news for us – our nurse Catherine, who had returned from maternity leave, has now moved to Queensland. We wish her and her family all the best.

International Nurses Day

A couple of days late for International Nurses Day, but we really need to thank our Practice Nurses – Amy and Ping, for all their hard work. It’s not always apparent to patients, but our nurses really keep the place running in so many ways.

Phone consultations at Erskineville Doctors

In order to keep patients and staff we are asking every patient book a phone consultation with our doctors for any issue. After an initial consultation, your doctor may decide that it’s appropriate to bring you in for review or to manage your health issues over the phone. There are situations where really need to see you in person and we can make arrangements.

Fees will apply for phone consultations. Medicare rebates are now available and we are able to bulk-bill patients in a number of categories.

The exceptions to a phone consultation are: pregnant women needing a check up, newborn babies and children for scheduled immunisations, contraception procedures (Implanon/IUD). We might do some portion of these visits over the phone, and limit your time at the practice. If you think your medical issue will require a doctor to see you in person please discuss this with our reception staff.

If you are very unwell, please call rather than book online for a phone consultation. Our staff will ask you some screening questions to work out the urgency of your request.

Please note, you will need to be ready at the appointment time with your phone in a quiet place, just as you would for a face to face consultation.

What we are doing to protect patients already:

  • asking people to wait outside until your doctor is ready
  • clinical staff are wearing masks, gowns and gloves for examining patients
  • alcohol handrub is available all over the practice
  • wiping down surfaces in rooms between patients
  • implementing social distancing between our staff within the practice

Please note that Healthdirect – 1800 022 222 has a phone service for advice regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and can direct you as to where best to seek medical advice if you are not sure.

If you have severe difficulty breathing please dial 000 and notify the operator of any travel history or potential contact with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

If you are just after general information regarding the outbreak and how it applies to you, please visit the Healthdirect website https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

Anzac Day

We are closed for the Public Holiday for Anzac Day this Saturday, 25 April. Please go online to book for appointments next week.

The COVID clinics are operating over the weekend. You should present yourself for testing if you have fever or any respiratory symptom, even something like a mild sore throat.

Easter Break

We are closed for all of the Easter long weekend, and re-open on Tuesday morning. You can book online appointments for next week via the websiter or the Appointuit app.

The after hours number is 137425 for home visits. If you become unwell over the weekend with an urgent problem you should present to an Emergency Department as you otherwise would. They are well set up to screen and manage patients.

We are constantly updating our website and will email you with any significant updates. Please check the Latest News and the Coronavirus page

We wish all our patients a Happy Easter, and hope you all get some time to switch off, connect with the people you love and do some exercise. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve had from patients as we have had to quickly find new ways to do things.

Flu vaccine update

Flu vaccine now available – currently we have vaccines for anyone aged 6 months to 64 years of age (both the private ones and those provided by NSW Health)

We are expecting another delivery of vaccines for over 65s in the next couple of weeks

If you are in one of the categories listed below you are eligible for free vaccine. We are aiming to vaccinate our higher risk patients in a timely manner, but please note that if you are keeping yourself safe from coronavirus you should also be protecting yourself from flu.

We will be contacting priority patients to book them in for an appointment. To do this safely we will arrange specific times when we can organise to get people in and out with minimum contact time.

Before your appointment

Once you have booked your appointment, please read the information below about flu vaccines for 2020 and the checklist. If you have concerns about anything on the checklist or if you fell unwell on the day of your appointment, please call and make a time to speak to one of our doctors. Please print a copy if you can and bring it with you to your appointment. Download checklist here

On the day of your appointment

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our clinic is taking measures to protect the community.  It is vital that all instructions are followed:

  • Only one parent/guardian should accompany a child into the session
  • People must not attend the session if they or their child have symptoms of a respiratory infection (such as fever, or a sore throat, or a runny nose, or shortness of breath or a cough) or have returned from overseas in the past 14 days or have been told to self-isolate
  • Please don’t arrive early for your appointment
  • Wait outside the practice until you receive a call/SMS to ask you to enter
  • Please don’t use our toilet facilities unless absolutely necessary

When you enter the practice

  • Use hand sanitiser provided at the entrance to the reception or waiting area
  • Your temperature will be checked as you enter the practice
  • We will ask you to read the checklist again and give your consent for the vaccine
  • Please follow all instructions given by our staff

After the vaccination

  • We will ask you to wait for 10 minutes on a designated chair
  • If there is a payment for vaccine required we will phone to arrange payment.
  • You will receive an SMS the following day from Smartvax to check on any adverse reactions .You can also call the practice to report any concerns.

Note that there will not be any other patients entering the practice during flu vaccination clinics. We will continue to clean all areas as we go, and use any protective equipment as required.

Eligibility for free influenza vaccine

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

  • 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
  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over

Is the influenza vaccine safe?

As with any medications, vaccines can have side effects. The most common side effects following influenza vaccination include mild fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and injection site reactions. These can occur in the first three days after vaccination and can generally be managed safely at home.

Serious side effects are rare. In Australia, we have a system which monitors the safety of vaccines including seasonal influenza vaccines. This system uses a short SMS survey to ask patients, or parents of children, in a large number of general practices around Australia, if they experienced any health issues in the first few days after vaccination. In 2019, 93.9% of people that participated in the survey reported no adverse events following immunisation. Of the 6.1% of people that reported an adverse event the majority were generally mild and short lived.

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.

COVID-19 screening sites

The following places are screening and testing people who have travelled overseas in the past 14 days OR have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 AND have relevant symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).

You do not need a GP referral to attend one of these clinics, but you should fit the criteria outlined above, wear a mask to attend, and follow the guide for self-isolation before and after attending. If you have severe symptoms, like increasing shortness of breath, you should call you local Emergency Department and present there either by Ambulance 000 or taken by a family member. You need to let people know that you fit the criteria for suspect COVID-19 case so that they can treat you appropriately.

COVID-19 screening clinics

Click here for the latest list in NSW. We have included some locally located sites below:

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 8.00 am until 10.00 pm daily, follow the signs to TPU on Gloucester Drive, level 3 (this runs off Missenden Rd)

Canterbury Hospital 8.00am-10.00pm Monday to Friday 575 Canterbury rd Campsie

Concord Hospital 8.00am until 6.00pm daily – across road from ED in Sports Institute Building

Prince of Wales Hospital 10.00am to 8.00pm Monday – Friday, 10.00am to 1.00pm Sat/Sun – Building 14B Avoca St, Randwick

St Vincent’s Hospital 10.30am to 6.00pm daily. Enter via main hospital entrance and follow the green line to the Flu Assessment Clinic.

Sydney Children’s Hospital 5.00pm to 9.00pm Monday to Friday 1.30pm-9pm Saturday and Sunday High st Randwick

Sydney and Sydney Eye Hospital 8.00am-9.00pm Monday- Sunday 8 Macquarie st Sydney

Keeping everybody safe from infection

There are various respiratory illnesses circulating all the time in our community. This poster is a good reminder about how to protect other people if you feel sick. We have tissues, alcohol handrub and masks just inside our door for you to use when you attend the practice. Phone ahead if you have any concerns.

Advice re novel coronavirus

You will have heard information through the media about a new coronavirus strain originating from Wuhan city in China. Due to global travel, the illness has already spread to countries in south-east Asia and the USA. There have been a few confirmed cases in Australia, in people who have travelled directly from China.

If you have travelled in Hubei province of China in the past 14 days and develop any of these symptoms – fever plus shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat you should:

  • Phone Healthconnect on 1800 022 222
  • or phone us at Erskineville Doctors and let us know you have flu-like symptoms
  • Make it clear to staff that you are concerned due to your recent travel.

One of our nurses or doctors can talk to you on the phone to decide on the best course of action. If you are very unwell we may need to send you to the emergency department for investigation and care.

If we make an appointment for you, please follow our instructions to limit the time you need to spend in the waiting room. On arrival please use alcohol rub and don the mask provided. Place any used tissues in the yellow bin at the front door.

If the illness is mild, stay home from work or school and wear a mask if you need to go out. Observe standard precautions below

Standard precautions to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing or use of alcohol hand rub, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, (cough/sneeze into your elbow), thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

For further and up-to-date information from NSW Health please check the link below:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/default.aspx