Cornavirus

March 2020

COVID – 19 Important Information for Clients and Families

As you know, there is ongoing and growing concern about the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus.

While we don’t need to panic, it does mean we need to respond responsibly in line with government and medical advice and begin planning for a potential worsening of the situation. We urge you to stay vigilant. Please do not attend our site or services if you are showing signs of a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever or difficulty breathing, have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19, have been required to self-isolate, or have recently returned from overseas. Please wash your hands thoroughly when you enter one of our sites or use the hand sanitiser in the waiting area

What is The Psychology Hub doing to create a safe environment?

  • We have increased the frequency of environmental cleaning
  • We have provided hand sanitiser in the waiting area
  • We are actively reminding service users (that’s you, your child and/or carers and support workers) of the importance of good hygiene (like with this letter) and of social distancing
  • Good hygiene includes covering the mouth when coughing and sneezing (preferably into the elbow), disposing of tissues, and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Where possible avoiding handshaking, hugging and other physical contact.
  • Our appointment email reminders prompt people not to attend if unwell, if they have been in contact with people who have Covid-19, have been required to self-isolate,or they have travelled overseas in the past few weeks
  • Staff or clients who have returned from any overseas travel will be excluded from the service for 14 days, and will require medical clearance before returning
  • Staff are asked to remain home if unwell- even if unrelated to Covid-19
  • Therapists have been given the option to provide telehealth services instead of coming into the clinic if they choose (see below)
  • Service users will be advised when they see or speak to their therapist next that telehealth options are available. Some service users may be able to receive government rebates or bulk billing services (see terms and conditions below*)
  • Where possible, we ask that people contact us first if they are going to attend with more than 3 others so that we can keep total numbers of people in our clinic down

If you are concerned that you or your loved one may be infected:

  • The national 24/7 hotline triages people with respiratory symptoms and those who are concerned about contact with a possible Coronavirus case. If you think you may be infected you can call the triage hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • Suspected Coronavirus patients can present in person to a GP clinic, a dedicated respiratory clinic or to a hospital ED if they call ahead.
  • Stay up-to-date on Covid-19 via the Australian Government Department of Health Website
  • Please notify us ASAP.

Telehealth Services Available

  • Telehealth services will be available for any person who would like this option. However, Medicare rebates may only apply in certain instances such as people who:
    • have a current mental health care plan and
    • the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
    • the person has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health
      Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); or
    • the person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a
      person who is:

      • at least 70 years old; or
      • at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or
      • is pregnant; or
      • is a parent of a child under 12 months; or
      • is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or
  • People who do not meet the Medicare requirements for Telehealth will have to pay the full fee (standard rates apply)
  • NDIS Participants can use Telehealth if they choose as this is funded by NDIS (usual fees and payment options apply*)
  • All Cancellation fees still apply as per intake forms and service agreements completed at initial appointments*
  • You will need to make sure you communicate your desire to use telehealth with your clinician in advance of your session so we can make suitable arrangements (email is best)
  • Your clinician will need to document your consent to provide telehealth services in your file and may ask that you complete forms or reply to an email with a specific statement to indicate this consent
  • We will only use Australian based software for teleconferencing that meets stringent security and privacy requirements of healthcare businesses
*Subject to Change as the Covid-19 situation develops

If you have never attended our clinic before but want our support via telehealth

  • You will need to download one of our Intake forms from our website if you are private paying or under Medicare
  • You will need to download one or our Service Agreements if you are an NDIS participant (or carer of)
  • The above form will need to be completed and emailed at least 24 hours prior to the
    telehealth appointment
  • For Medicare patients you will need to give consent to have your GP, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist email us your health care plan or have them send it via Medical Objects. They can also post it or fax it to thepsychologyhub@epsonconnect.com but this may not be an option if the clinic closes
  • You will also need to let us know that you are wanting to do your appointment via telehealth either by emailing us at info@thepsychologyhub.com.au or calling 1300 3666 14 at least 24hrs before your session

Easy Read Documents

A number of organisations have put together great information that is easy to read on Covid-
19 this includes:

  • NDIS
  • The Growing Space
  • The Council for Intellectual Disability

We will be providing these easy read document links on our website as well as tips for coping with Covid-19 anxiety produced by the Australian Psychological Society

What are the next steps?

  • As always, you (or a nominated representative) should feel free to contact your therapist or our admin team if you are unsure about anything
  • We will be continuing to monitor the information provided by the government to ensure the best response in keeping people safe and infection free.
  • We need to acknowledge that at some point, this may mean our clinic will need to close. We are working on contingency planning to reduce the impact on our clients and staff.
  • We will keep you informed and provide as much lead-time possible if this is looking likely.
  • If we need to close our clinic we will actively work toward providing as many of our services remotely via telehealth. However, this may mean that some services such as assessment services will not be able to take place (e.g., IQ, Learning and ADOS assessments).

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