Health Professionals

 

Important Information for Health Professionals Regarding Services Provided by Hospice Waikato

Hospice Waikato Services and COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

At Alert Level 1, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and transmission in the community in New Zealand is very low. This means that generally, people can fully participate in society without any COVID-19 related restrictions. This also means that Hospice Waikato has now returned to normal service delivery.

However, we know that our vulnerable patients remain at risk of serious complications from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, therefore, we will be maintaining important infection prevention and control practices.

REFERRALS
Referrals should be sent as normal and these are reviewed each weekday morning unless urgent, in which case it is advisable to phone Hospice and discuss the referral with the Community SMO or Community Nursing Team Leader.

TELEPHONE ADVICE
pice Waikato will continue to provide 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 and visiting as normal, however we are asking that the following guidelines be followed to help protect our patients and staff.
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 probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
o Returned from overseas in the last 14 days or been in contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
General visiting hours are 10am to 8pm seven days a week
o IPU doors will be locked outside of these visiting hours.
o Close family members may visit outside these hours by agreement with the senior nurse in charge.
All visitors must sign in using their name and contact details
This is part of our normal health and safety requirements. We no longer need to collect contact tracing details, but visitors are encouraged to keep track of where they have been using the NZ COVID Tracer app.
One support person may stay overnight with a patient
Children are welcome to visit if supervised at all times
• All visitors are reminded to perform hand hygiene on entering and when departing IPU. Cough and sneeze etiquette should also be followed.
• Visitors should telephone ahead to check on visiting requirements before they arrive at IPU in case requirements have changed.

COMMUNITY VISITS

HOME VISITING BY HOSPICE STAFF
Hospice staff will be doing home visits as normal. We will also continue to provide some care by phone or video call 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.
Our staff will still be phoning ahead of any home visit to check if there is any risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other respiratory illness. 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.


AGED RESIDENTIAL CARE
Hospice Waikato’s aged residential care liaison clinical nurse specialists are now working as normal. And are available for clinical advice and support on the care of residents who are palliative or in the last days of life, either by visiting where appropriate, or by telephone/video call. They can be contacted via the main Hospice Waikato number.

OUTPATIENT CLINICS
Hospice Waikato Outpatient Clinics are now running as normal. Your hospice nurse will discuss clinic bookings with you if needed.


PATIENT, CARER AND BEREAVEMENT GROUPS
These supportive groups are all now running as normal.

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: 12/06/2020