Keeping you safe during COVID-19 | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
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Support and wellness

To help you maintain your routine and wellbeing during isolation, we have launched the LivingRoom @ Home, a Telehealth and online program to care for you at home during social distancing.

The program is designed to keep you well during your cancer treatment and recovery and allows you to access some of the vital services the LivingRoom offers from the comfort of your own home.

A message from our doctors…

Caring for you and keeping you safe

Our world is changing rapidly, leaving us with uncertainty and fear. Let us reassure you that your safety and the safety of our staff is our top priority, as we continue to care for you.

Psych-oncologist Dr Toni Lindsay helps cancer patients cope with uncertainty every day. She’s noticed some parallels lately and, in this article, she shares some of the things she’s learned from her patients about managing uncertainty. We hope these tips can help you feel settled.

As the situation evolves, we are making important changes to the way you receive your care. We are restricting visitors to one nominated person only and taking the temperature of everyone who enters the building. We’ve moved the majority of our consultations to Telehealth and we are spacing out chemotherapy and radiation therapy appointments to reduce the number of people in our clinics at one time. Our teams are working closely with regional and rural health professional to ensure care as close to home as possible in the coming months.

We understand these restrictions are particularly difficult when you have a loved one in hospital. We’ve introduced Virtual Visitor patient in-room video calling via the tablets provided in the rooms. For details see Visitors below.

By following these new practices and observing social distancing, you can help us care for you.

Our staff are continuing to work together to support and protect each other, our patients and our community. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment or Covid-19, please call the Call Centre for Telehealth on (02) 8514 1111.

What we’re doing to keep you safe

At Lifehouse

All patients, staff or visitors entering Lifehouse will have their temperatures checked upon arrival in the foyer, before they are allowed to proceed inside. Please let our friendly staff know if you are unwell, experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with a known case within the past 14 days.

Depending on your treatment, you may still need to come to the hospital in some instances. If you need to come to hospital for your chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment this will continue as planned, though we are spacing out appointments to observe social distancing. If your appointment needs to change, we’ll call you.

We have suspended the shuttle bus service between Central Station and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse for the moment. If you need to make other travel arrangements, visit this page for more information. We also won’t be able to take any physical donations at the moment, including books, magazines and gifts.

The cafe is open for coffee and food, however the team won’t be accepting keep cups. We can accommodate 50 guests at one time under current social distancing guidelines.

Visitors

To keep you safe, we must restrict visitors to one only. Patients must nominate TWO PEOPLE ONLY to visit them. For all other patients, unless you need a companion or support person, we ask you to come alone.

We do understand that this is not always appropriate so please call (02) 8514 4111 to discuss your individual situation. We know this is hard, so thank you for helping us keep everyone safe.

We’ve introduced the Virtual Visitor which allows all inpatients to make video calls to loved ones from tablets in the rooms. You will see the Facebook Messenger icon on the home screen and will need to create a Facebook account and have an email address to get started. You can then make and receive calls from these tablets, regardless of whether you have a smart phone or data.

If you can phone or make a video call rather than visiting, then that is the best choice at the moment.

It’s important to stay home if you are unwell or displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.

Thank you for playing your part in minimising the risk to our vulnerable patients.

Appointments

Where possible, appointments with your doctors will now be conducted via Telehealth. We are also delaying surgery if safe to a later date. This reduces your risk of exposure as you do not have to travel into Lifehouse, and you can communicate with your doctor via video link.

A week in advance of your appointment we will send you an SMS asking you to phone our Call Centre for Telehealth. Your call will be answered by a member of our clinical staff and calls will be triaged to ensure that patients with the most need are prioritised. We’ve taken these measures to protect your safety and you can be assured that providing you with the very best care we can remains our priority.

We have taken the necessary measures to ensure these appointments are secure and cannot be accessed by anyone other than you and your clinician.

The telephone number for the Call Centre is (02) 8514 1221 and it is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Day Therapy

We have divided our teams into two and we’ll be running appointments across a 12-hour day, Monday to Saturday, to space them out both physically and in time.

In line with the guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention we will be reducing the time you spend in the waiting room and the number of people in the room at any time. We also won’t be allowing children under the age of 15 in the unit at this time.

Where possible, we’ll ask you to get your blood tests done locally the day before your appointment at Lifehouse. You should have a Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology clinic in your area. Ask us to send them a request form. Your clinic appointment is likely to be done via Telehealth but if you do need to attend the hospital, it will not be on the same day as your treatment.

We will call you to change your upcoming appointments. If you don’t hear from us, then there is no change. Call us to discuss your individual situation on (02) 8514 0756.

Infection Control

Providing a safe environment for you to enter is critical and we have increased the frequency of cleaning rounds in high use, clinical and public areas. We adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and are working closely with state and federal government to maintain the best practices and protocols for keeping you safe.

Hand sanitiser is widely available throughout the hospital and we urge all patients, visitors and staff to practice thorough and frequent hand washing.

Contact Us

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