Face-to-Face Care for Regional Victoria

Posted on 8 October 2021
By Tegan Carrison, Executive Director, AAPi

AAPi met with the Victorian Government yesterday and it was confirmed that psychologists (and all allied health) in regional Victoria not in lockdown are permitted to conduct routine in person care.

Here is the updated advice from the Victorian Government for regional Victoria (excluding those in lockdown)

  • Under current restrictions, allied health private practices can resume services with COVIDSafe Plan in place. This includes compliance with record keeping, density quotients, face masks and cleaning. 
  • We ask our allied health colleagues to be mindful that there is active community transmission in regional Victoria, and take this into consideration when making appointments. Risk mitigation strategies should remain in place, such as screening patients before they come into the clinic or practice for any symptoms. 
  • All businesses in Victoria must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service in the workplace, except for essential support groups and health services where confidentiality is typically required
  • All COVIDSafe principles should apply to the work premises, including maintaining physical distancing where possible and encouraging regular hand hygiene
  • A density quotient of one person per four square metres applies to work premises, except hospitals. This requirement extends to treating rooms, staff offices, administration offices and waiting areas. 
  • Please note that vaccination requirements are in place. Further information can be found here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-workers-required-be-vaccinated and updates will continue to be provided
  • Allied health private practice from a residential address in regional Victoria (excluding LGAs under lockdown restrictions) can continue to operate if this is the usual place of business. A separate entrance must be provided for patients or clients. 
  • Group therapies and interventions can re-commence for allied health practice in regional Victoria, (excluding LGAs under lockdown restrictions) however, must abide by the density quotient requirements of one person per four square metres. 

For metropolitan Melbourne allied health providers, there is no change to the restrictions. Only those providing urgent clinical care is permitted, in accordance with the Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker List: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/authorised-provider-and-authorised-worker-list

We ask that allied health providers apply their discretion and determine urgency based on their clinical assessment. As a guide, urgent clinical care is direct clinical care that prevents a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care or is required as an adjunct to other urgent medical/surgical interventions.

For example, urgent clinical care:

  • that avoids a potential hospital admission or emergency department presentation
  • that avoids serious acute consequences or acute deterioration
  • that presents/delays the need for further specialist medical or surgical intervention
  • that prevents an increase in care needs that would necessitate additional carer supports or change in accommodation needs
  • that limits secondary complications post-surgery
  • where deferral would lead to long-term adverse consequences (i.e. delays to child development).

 

We are working with the government for the safe reopening of allied health as soon as possible. 

Please reach out if you have any questions.