Many rural practices have been highly innovative in ensuring the safety of patients and staff and adapting to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This page shares examples, knowledge and preparations between rural practices and health professionals throughout Western Australia.

Immunisation clinics

St Luke's Family Practice, Katanning

St Luke's flu clinic

Staff at St Luke's Family Practice in Katanning prepare for their alfresco immunisation clinic as a way to observe social distancing. The face masks were provided courtesy of their local hardware. This clinic was well received by the community and turned out to be the busiest flu clinic they have ever held.

Plantagenet Medical Group, Mount Barker

Plantagenet Medical including inset

The Plantagenet Medical Group is providing drive-through flu clinics with their first clinic held at Sounness Park in Mount Barker. They also plan to provide the drive-through clinics in Frankland and Cranbrook.

Pictured: Nurse Cath Lanigan and Dr Sarath Moosani at Sounness Park, Mount Barker. Judging by the queue, this clinic was well attended.

Personal Protective Equipment

Thinking outside the box proved successful

When Panaceum Group couldn't find face shields at the beginning of the pandemic, they contacted Geraldton Grammar because they knew they had a 3D printer and thought they might be able to help. The school trialled making the headbands on their 3D printer, but it proved to be inefficient and costly so they decided to laser cut them and achieved a good cost-effective outcome.

Panaceum Post CROPPED

Resources

Medicare Benefits Scheme information and reference guides

Covid-19 bulk billed MBS Telehealth Services fact sheet (Department of Health 1 April 2020)

Covid-19 Telehealth MBS quick guide (Australian Doctor 30 March 2020)

Protecting and supporting staff

Top 10 messages for supporting healthcare staff (Williams et al 2020)

Jobkeeper Payment fact sheet for employees (Department of Health 11 April 2020)

Jobkeeper Payment FAQ (Department of Health 11 April 2020)

Mental health resources (DHASWA December 2019)

Mental health (DHASWA information)

Register of temperature for staff during isolation (Esperance Family Practice)

Working within the GP practice keeping all staff safe (Esperance Family Practice) 

Telehealth resources

Becoming Telehealth enabled (PracticeAssist fact sheet December 2017 v1.1)

Getting started with Telehealth (ACRRM fact sheet)

Guide to providing Telehealth consultations (RACGP guide updated 6 April 2020)

Telehealth consultations in general practice flowcharts (RACGP guide)

Telehealth consultations in GP respiratory clinics (Department of Health flowchart infographic)

How to do a high quality Telehealth remote consultation (ACRRM fact sheet v1.0)

Clinician information

Covid-19 information for clinicians (Department of Health FAQ 4 March 2020 v.1)

Clinician advice for pharmacists supplying medicines during Covid-19 (WA Department of Health 1 April 2020)

Covid-19 identifying the symptoms (health.gov.au infographic)

Covid-19 checklist (PracticeAssist form)

PHLN guidance on laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) (PHLN guidance 1 April 2020 v.1.4)

Caring for older patients
Caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

Management plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations (emergency response plan for novel Covid-19 for A&TSI populations from March 2020)

Key updates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (includes restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 - from 31 March 2020)

Covid-19 GP fact sheet for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations (includes wellness checklist for A&TSI patients)

Covid-19 advice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations (digital banner for A&TSI referring to www.health.gov.au)

Caring for very unwell patients
Patient communication resources

Covid-19 simple steps to stop the spread (health.gov.au poster)

Covid-19 good hygiene is in your hands (health.gov.au poster)

Covid-19 keep that cough under cover (health.gov.au poster)

Covid-19 keeping your distance (health.gov.au poster)

Covid-19 make mental health a priority (health.gov.au poster)

Financial information

Jobkeeper Payment information for employers (last updated 11 April 2020)

Covid-19 primary care package practice incentive payments (Department of Health fact sheet)

Covid-19 financial support measures for general practices (PracticeAssist fact sheet 1 April 2020)

Ordering and distribution of surgical masks

Information on the use of surgical masks (Department of Health fact sheet 26 March 2020 v.5)

Distribution of PPE through PHNs - tranche 1 (Department of Health fact sheet 8 March 2020 v.1)

Distribution of PPE through PHNs - tranche 2 (Department of Health fact sheet 17 March 2020 v.2)