To our residents, patients, families, carers and supporters,
I am writing to give you a further update about how we are working to protect our residents and patients during the current outbreak of coronavirus. Since introducing restricted visiting hours to our residential aged care facilities and acute hospitals in early May, the rate of COVID-19 infection across the State has remained low. We are closely watching outbreaks in residential aged care homes and elsewhere, but for now feel the time is right to further extend visiting arrangements for families and friends.
We really appreciate your understanding and support of the changes we have made as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. I know this has been a difficult and challenging time but I want to thank you for your feedback as it has helped us plan for the next phase of increased visitor access.
From 2 June 2020 our residential aged care homes and acute hospitals will introduce extended visiting hours, in line with the recent guidelines from the Victorian Government: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/visiting-care-facilities-covid-19
Residents and patients can have a total of two visitors for up to a total of two hours each day.
Visits will still need to be prearranged directly with the facility however there will be increased number of booking slots available. Residents and patients will be able to have several prearranged visits per week, and these can be extended into the evening or weekend, as needed.
The specifics hours for each facility will differ to best suit day-to-day operations and the local community. Please continue to use the booking portal or contact the manager directly to arrange a visit.
As always, the individual circumstances of the patient and resident will continue to be of paramount importance and we encourage you to speak to the manager at your facility about any specific needs.
Despite the relaxing of visitor restrictions, we must remain vigilant.
All visitors must agree to:
- Complete a pre-entry screening questionnaire on arrival at the facility
- Provide written evidence of their 2020 influenza vaccination (residential aged care facilities only)
- Agree to have their temperature checked
- Be 16 years of age or older
- Keep socially distanced from the resident, patient and employees, at a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart at all times
- Have no more than two people visiting
- Only visit in the designated space, agreed with the manager
- Keep visits to a short period of time
What to expect during your in-room visit?
- Visitors are asked to arrive at the facility 10 minutes prior to their appointment time, giving enough time for the pre-entry screening process
- Visitors are to wait outside the facility, until a team member collects them
- Visitors will need to sign the visitor register, complete the pre-entry screening questionnaire, including having their temperature checked and wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
- Visitors will then be escorted by an employee to the relevant area
- At the end of the pre-arranged visit, visitors will need to sign out of the visitors register. They will also have the opportunity to book another visit through reception and provide written feedback.
How to make a pre-arranged booking?
- All visits will need to be pre-booked by using the portal or by phoning the facility directly.
Our visitation program will always be governed by the relevant Victorian Government directions and we continue to review our visiting restrictions on a regular basis. We hope we will not need to take a step backwards with visitor restrictions but know this may be an unwelcome possibility should circumstances change.
Thank you for your ongoing support and please free to contact me or the manager of your facility should you wish to share any feedback.
Maree Cuddihy, CEO
Central Highlands Rural Health