Health Professionals

 

Important Information for Health Professionals Regarding Services Provided by Hospice Waikato

Hospice Waikato Services and COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

It is very important to us that we protect the wellbeing of Hospice Waikato's patients and their family members, as well as our staff and volunteers. Because of the current risks related the COVID-19 virus, we have had to make changes to how we provide many of our services. These changes are temporary, and we are now working on how we can return to our normal services in a safe and appropriate way. Here’s an update on what we’re doing at Alert Level 2 -

Hospice Waikato continues to closely monitor our own staff, ensuring appropriate screening of staff is undertaken and strictly following all Ministry of Health guidance on infection control and hygiene.


REFERRALS
We continue to take new referrals and these are reviewed each weekday morning. Because of our reduced face to face visiting, patients who are palliative but stable may be accepted but not visited in person initially. Patients with unstable symptoms or are end of life will be prioritised for hospice care at this time.

TELEPHONE ADVICE
Hospice Waikato will be maintaining a telephone / telemedicine advice service.
• Main phone line (07) 859 1260 – this number will be answered by Reception Staff from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and afterhours by a Registered Nurse.
• Fax (07) 859 1266
• Palliative Care SMO on-call: via Waikato Hospital switchboard (07) 839 8899
• Hospice Community doctor phone 027 809 3186 (Mon – Fri, 08:00-17:00 hours)
• Email for clinicians: gpadvice@hospicewaikato.org.nz

IN-PATIENT UNIT
The In-Patient Unit (IPU) is open for admissions. The IPU has vulnerable patients who are at risk of serious complications from COVID-19 infection. Therefore, the number of visitors allowed, and visiting times, remain limited to protect patients and the staff providing care. All visitors are required to provide their contact details in case contact tracing is required.

Visitors are not allowed in if they have:
o Cold or flu symptoms
- this includes any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip, loss of sense of smell; with or without fever.
- visitors should be free of cold or flu symptoms for at least 48 hours before visiting IPU.
o Been in close contact with a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days (these people should be in self-isolation).
o Returned from overseas in the last 14 days (these people should be in managed isolation).
Visiting hours are 10 am to 4 pm seven days a week
o IPU doors will be locked outside visiting hours.
o Only 2 people may visit the patient at any one time.
o Close family members may visit outside these hours by agreement with the senior nurse on duty.
All visitors must sign in using their name and contact details and complete COVID-19 screening. This is to ensure Hospice can provide Public Health with contact tracing details if required.
• Visitors must stay in the patient’s room
o To maintain physical distancing, visitors may be asked to leave the room when staff are carrying out a procedure.
One support person may stay overnight with a patient
• All communal areas in IPU remain closed

o This is to reduce congregation of visitors.


COMMUNITY VISITS

HOME VISITING BY HOSPICE STAFF
Hospice staff will be doing more home visits in-person, in particular for new patients and those with specific needs that cannot be dealt with by phone or video call. Our staff will still be doing telephone and video calls with patients and clients where this is possible and appropriate. Your Hospice Nurse, Doctor or Family Services Team member will discuss the best way of staying in contact with you.

You will be contacted before any home visit to check if there is any risk of exposure to COVID-19. If there is a risk, the visit can still happen if essential, but staff will be required to wear special protective equipment and you may be asked to wear a mask.

We will be doing our very best to ensure any patient or family member who needs an in-person visit will have a Hospice staff member visit them.

If you, or anyone in your home, is in self-isolation or has cold or flu symptoms, please let us know so that staff can take appropriate precautions.



AGED RESIDENTIAL CARE
Hospice Waikato’s aged residential care liaison clinical nurse specialists are available by telephone/video call between 08:00am and 8:00pm for advice on the care of residents who are palliative or in the last days of life. They can be contact via the main Hospice Waikato number. The telephone advice numbers listed above can also be called for advice.

OUTPATIENT CLINICS
Hospice Waikato Outpatient Clinics are currently available on Tuesday each week at our site on Cobham Drive. Your nurse will discuss clinic bookings with you if needed. The clinics will increase as demand grows and we are planning towards running rural clinics again soon.

PATIENT, CARER AND BEREAVEMENT GROUPS
You will be contacted when these groups start again.

Individual support (counselling, social work, spiritual care) will continue.

If you are visiting our premises, Please DO NOT enter if:
• You are unwell (for any reason).
• Have had close contact with anyone with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19.
• Have arrived in New Zealand within the last 14 days prior to your planned visit.
• Have been in close contact with anyone who has arrived in New Zealand within the last 14 days.
Everyone visiting Hospice Waikato will be asked to sign in and complete a COVID-19 screening checklist.
And remember, you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following these steps:
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
• Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
• Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
• Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
• Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
• Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.


CLINICAL GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION

1. Hospice Waikato website: www.hospicewaikato.org.nz
Healthcare Professionals: Clinical resources, including Covid-19 resources, can be found on the Clinical Guidelines & Drug Protocols page
• Clinical guidelines and drug protocols: https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/clinicalguidelinesdrugprotocols
• Symptom Response Kit: https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/file/file5c3ba805a2fbb/open

2. Te Ara Whakapiri: Care in the Last Days of Life guidance document and tool kit (symptom management flowcharts from page 14 on): https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/file/te-ara-whakapiri-care-plan-inpatient-and-residential-care/open

3. Hospice New Zealand website: www.hospice.org.nz
• Covid-19 response support: https://www.hospice.org.nz/resources/covid-19-response/

4. What to expect when someone is dying information leaflet https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/file/file5c16d936b562d/open

5. Authority for subcutaneous administration of medications: https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/file/file5c3ba8aaa587e/open

6. Palliative Care Handbook (downloadable PDF): https://www.hospice.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Palliative-Care-Handbook.pdf

7. Ministry of Health COVID-19 related advice: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

8. COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care https://apmonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-and-Palliative-End-of-Life-and-Bereavement-Care-22-March-2020.pdf

This information is subject to change without notice, so please check back regularly

Last updated: 14/05/2020