A message from Heathcote Health chief executive Dan Douglass
HEATHCOTE Health would like to share with the Heathcote and district community some ‘good news’ stories associated with our recent preparations and responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
As many in the community would be aware, we have introduced entry restrictions and protocols to Heathcote Health facilities to ensure the best possible protection from the coronavirus for our aged care residents and hospital patients.
This prompted an initiative by members of the local community to organise for children at home during the school holidays to write notes and draw pictures to send to our aged care residents to maintain community connections and help keep their spirits up.
In response to this initiative, Heathcote Health is organising for a new colour printer to be installed in our hostel so notes and drawings from the children can be scanned and printed in colour so they are available to our residents immediately they are received.
We would like to sincerely thank the community members who came up with this idea.
These notes and drawings will be greatly appreciated by our residents.
Heathcote Health is currently working with Be.Bendigo to set up a process for local businesses to register online offers of support for our healthcare workers during the pandemic.
This includes services such as accommodation, pet care, deliveries and the like which can be provided in ways that work in with the needs of healthcare workers working day, evening and night shifts, so they can focus on given the best possible care.
We have already received many direct offers of support from local businesses and individuals and this new initiative will provide our healthcare workers with clear evidence of the value placed on their roles by local businesses.
There have been many media reports on the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses caring for COVID-19 patients.
As a public hospital, Heathcote Health has access to PPE supplies through the Victorian Government’s central supply system.
However, there have been occasions when we have run low on PPE supplies and have needed to borrow PPE while waiting for supplies to come through the central supply system.
In particular we would like to thank the Heathcote Police Station, Heathcote Dental and Rochester and Elmore District Health Service for lending us interim PPE supplies when needed.
We also appreciate the offers of PPE from other local sources, including local sewing groups and individuals who are able to assist in making gowns, masks and headwear.
There are many other local organisations and individuals who have stepped up in the current crisis to demonstrate their commitment to the Heathcote and district community and their willingness to donate their time and resources to care for those most in need.
We can be very proud of the way our community is responding and take comfort that our health service and our community are well prepared and are working together to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively during the pandemic to meet community needs and protect our most vulnerable community members.