Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health is paramount. This means we must consider not only the health and well-being of our staff and our patients, but also that of the wider community we touch when we leave the rooms.
It is not business as usual, but we are working hard to ensure that people are being seen and treated safely.
Information about COVID-19 changes almost daily. How we determine which patients we can see, and when and how to see them, is dictated by this information. We ask for your patience and tolerance during this period, as we are not able to see everybody in the usual way, or within our usual timeframes.
All our staff have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
GENERAL UPDATE: from Monday, 11 October 2021 the following applies:
- We are open to all patients. Please contact us on 02 9821 2284 if you are unsure whether you should attend your appointment.
- Do not attend if you are unwell. If you exhibit flu-like symptoms or are otherwise unwell, we will ask you to reschedule your appointment.
- Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. You will be asked to wait outside or in your car if you arrive early.
- You must wear a face mask at all times within The Hand Centre. If you cannot wear a face mask, you must wear a face shield. This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.
- Physical distancing is in place. Come on your own if you can, and if you can't, please limit the number of people accompanying you. Be aware that they may be asked to remain in the waiting room or outside during your consultation.
- You must check-in using our QR code or, if you do not have a smart phone, by completing our manual check-in form.
SURGERY UPDATE: from Monday, 4 October 2021 some elective surgery can proceed:
- Emergency, urgent and day-only procedures are proceeding.
- Whether your surgery is urgent is assessed according to national guideliness and will be discussed with you at your appointment.
- If your surgery has been postponed, we will call you as soon as we are advised that your surgery can proceed.
If you have any questions or concerns about these measures, please call us on 02 9821 2284.
Below is some general information about how we are currently working.
Who are we seeing?
We are seeing as many patients as we can, subject to government restrictions and transmission risks within our premises.
In deciding who to see and when to see patients, we take into account a number of factors, including:
- risk factors such as age and general health;
- the range of treatment options and attendant risks; and
- the urgency of the condition.
How are we seeing people?
We are seeing people face to face, by appointment.
Hand conditions and injuries, unfortunately, are not usually suitable for remote consultations.Telephone and video consultations are more likely to be available for physiotherapy than for surgical consultations, and for follow-up rather than initial consultations.
What steps are we taking to ensure the health of our patients?
- Fully vaccinated.
- Following all government regulations in relation to overseas, interstate and intrastate travel.
- Monitoring the health of all our staff, including:
- minimising travel between home and the rooms;
- arranging for staff to work from home when practicable;
- excluding all staff member with flu-like symptoms; and
- requiring strict hygiene practices.
- Managing the number of people in the practice at any one time by staggering appointments each day.
- Screening patients and visitors for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or contact with potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Providing hand sanitiser and ensuring its use by all patients and visitors.
- Requiring social distance spacing in the waiting room, consultations rooms and treatment areas.
- Ensuring meticulous cleaning of all surfaces and equipment before and after every patient use.
- Providing purpose-built Perspex hygiene screens at our reception counter.
- Wearing face masks where appropriate.
How are we keeping up to date with COVID-19 information?
We are monitoring both the Federal and NSW Department of Health websites daily to ensure that all our actions are commensurate with the latest government regulations and guidelines.
We receive regular updates from our professional bodies, via email and webinars, regarding the application of government guideleines to our particular fields of expertise.
What does this mean for me?
The impact on you will depend on the nature of your condition and whether you are a new patient, a returning patient, or a visitor.
You may be asked to do some or all of the following:
- Provide your referral before an appoinment can be made. This helps us to manage the flow of people through the rooms.
- Disclose whether you have travelled or visited a COVID-10 hotspot in the past two weeks.
- Disclose whether you have had any flu-like symptoms in the past two weeks, and whether you have been in contact with anyone with suspected COVID-19, or with flu-like symptoms.
- Undergo a temperature check, and reschedule if you have a fever.
- Leave immediately if you display flu-like symptoms while in the rooms.
- Sanitise your hands upon entering and leaving, and at any other time as required by a staff member.
- Maintain your distance from other people in the waiting area - even if they are family.
- Wear a face mask.
Please be aware that we must limit the number of people in the waiting area, therapy bay and consulting rooms. If you can, please come on your own. If you are accompanied, your companion(s) may not be able to join you in the therapy bay or consulting room. If we have too many people to maintain adequate physical distancing, we may ask you to wait outside or in your car.
When will I be able to have surgery?
From Monday 23 August, 2021 all non-urgent private elective surgery was suspended at a number of private hospitals across Sydney. This includes Sydney Southwest Private Hospital. Depending on the urgency of your surgery, you may have to wait until the restrictions are lifted before your surgery can proceed.
From Monday 3 October, 2021, day-only private procedures are permitted. If your procedure does not require an overnight hospital stay, you may arrange your surgery at a time convenient to you, subject to any further COVID-19 restrictions.
Why should I wear a mask?
The main value of wearing a face mask is to protect other people. Wearing masks in the community is not generally recommended as protection against COVID-19, unless you are in a region where community transmission is occurring and physical distance is difficult to maintain. In these circumstances, wearing a mask can reduce the chance of infecting other people.
As of 26 June 2021, community transmission is occuring in and around Liverpool. You must wear a surgical or cloth mask while you are on our premises, regardless of your vaccination status. Depending on the applicable NSW Health orders, the nature of their roles and their level of interaction with patients and colleagues, various members of staff will also wear masks.
Please remember that masks alone will not be effective to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus; staying home if unwell, physical distancing and good hand hygiene are also necessary. If you have any cold or flu symptoms at all, such as a headache, fever, cough, sore throat or sniffle, then we ask that you cancel your appointment and get tested for COVID-19.