Members are encouraged to read our newsflashes and the COVID-19 information for health workers provided on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Commonwealth Department of Health websites.
Information is updated regularly. ANMF has collated the important links all in one place, so you don’t have to go looking. Please bookmark and check this page regularly – anmfvic.asn.au/COVID-19
Members with COVID-19-related employment questions can ask via the Member Assistance online inquiry form via anmfvic.asn.au/covid-19. Please read the information on our website before submitting a question. Member Assistance is not taking phone inquiries as ANMF staff are working remotely. Members with complex inquiries will still have phone contact with staff.
The DHHS advice in the Coronavirus Guidance Note on Employment-Related Matters was last updated on 5 June.
Latest coronavirus statistics in Victoria
As of 18 June 2020, the Victorian Chief Health Officer reported:
- the state’s number of COVID-19 cases was 1,780 – there were 18 new cases since the day before.
- 4 people are in Victorian hospitals with COVID-19, including 2 in intensive care. 19 people have died.
- 192 cases have an unknown source of infection, no change since the day before.
- 1,678 people have recovered. More than 621,000 tests have been completed. Victoria has the highest testing per capita in Australia
Guidance on elective surgery and reducing and preventing COVID-19 infection
As reported in COVID-19 newsflash #12 the Victorian Government expects elective surgery to be at 75 per cent capacity by the end of June, and increasingly to 100% during July.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released guidance on elective surgery and preventing and reducing COVID-19 infection.
Read the ACSQHC’s COVID-19: Elective surgery and infection prevention and control precautions.
Aged care nurses and carers should ask their employer to confirm retention bonus application
Aged care nurses, personal care workers and other eligible aged care workers will only receive the aged care workforce COVID-19 retention bonus if their employer makes an application.
ANMF is encouraging eligible members to use this template letter to write to their employer asking for written confirmation that they have made an application for the bonus on their behalf.
Aged care workforce retention bonus applications opened Monday 15 June and close 2pm, Monday 20 July. Employers must make the application via the Federal Government’s GrantConnect website.
Private-for-profit, not-for profit and public sector aged care nurses and personal care workers and other aged care employees are eligible for the retention bonus.
Full-time, part-time and casual workers are all eligible. Nurses and carers employed less than four weeks before the application date are still eligible.
The two-part payment, which will be taxed, includes:
- full-time ‘direct care’ workers will receive $800 in July and September.
- in-home care workers will receive $600 per quarter in July and September.
Payment will be based on hours worked in the four weeks before the application date.
- The Department of Health Workforce retention bonus grant – residential care and home care’ fact sheet (5 June 2020) includes pro-rata information and eligibility information
- Federal ANMF information sheet: retention bonus
Personal protection equipment update
ANMF continues to raise members’ concerns about personal protective equipment at the Safer Care Victoria PPE committee. These weekly meetings will now become fortnightly.
DHHS is advising health services to discard any stored used PPE. The PPE Taskforce says the need to keep used PPE is no longer a priority. The taskforce continues to investigate ways to safely reuse PPE if there are supply issues in the future.
Discussions have started examining national PPE co-ordination that could simplify some of the access, storage and stock level issues experienced by public, private and community health services.
Personal protective equipment webinar – 23 June
Safer Care Victoria will hold a PPE webinar from 12noon to 1pm, Tuesday 23 June. The webinar includes an update on what is new with emphasis on Q&As.
You can submit your PPE question before the webinar via using the code #Y062.
Places are limited, you must register.
New personal protective equipment resource for mental health services
The Department of Health and Human Services has released further PPE guidance for mental health services.
It is relevant to mental health clinical and support service settings, and to care provided by individual healthcare workers, as well as multidisciplinary teams.
Read the DHHS Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the provision of mental health care (PDF) (4 June).
Important PPE guidance and information links
Members are encouraged to read and access the following PPE guidance:
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Prevention and Control guideline (25 May)
- COVID-19 – PPE and levels of protection (20 May)
- DHHS COVID-19 – a guide to the conventional use of PPE (updated 20 May)
- DHHS Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the provision of mental health care (PDF) (4 June)
- Respiratory support for children during the COVID-19 emergency (updated 27 May) via
- WorkSafe Victoria Managing coronavirus (COVID-19) risks: Healthcare and social assistance industry – Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
More funding to support nurses’ and midwives’ health and wellbeing
On 6 June Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced an additional $350,000 to support the health and wellbeing of Victorian nurses and midwives and nursing and midwifery students.
The Nursing and Midwifery health Program Victoria (NMHPV) will use the funding to expand its telehealth services and respond to the expected increased demand, as a result of the pandemic, for its screening, assessment, referrals and individual and group support sessions.
The NMHPV is a unique service for nurses and midwives with sensitive mental health, alcohol or substance use or family violence issues. It is run by nurses and provides free, independent and confidential support.
Victorian nurses and midwives originally funded the program, established in 2006, through their nursing and midwifery registration fees to the Nurses Board of Victoria. Funding became uncertain following the move to national registration. In 2017 the Andrews Government announced it would provide the important service with recurring funding.
Job Rep resources online
We’ve collated online resources Job Reps can use in their workplaces during this period of physical distancing. Resources include information about the history of Australian trade unions, ANMF’s structure, the role of the Job Rep, a link to the ANMF (Vic Branch) Job Rep Foundations module, and tips on how to recruit members in your workplace.
Superannuation and finance live webinars
First State Super’s ‘Webinar Super Series’ explores all things relating to superannuation and the financial impacts of COVID-19. Free registration.
HESTA is offering ‘COVID-19 Money Plan – stocktake your finances to see how you may have been affected’ for ANMF members. Free registration.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre virtual classroom courses
The ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre continues to adapt courses and seminars to a virtual classroom platform via Zoom:
- Promoting mental health in maternal and child health and midwifery practice: addressing individual needs and applying mental health principles – 24 June
- Pain and the older person: partnership precedes prescription – 24 June
- Recognising and responding to clinical deterioration (RRCD) – 3 July
- Documentation, the principles of best practice – 15 July
- Wound management: the what, when and why – 22 July
- Palliative care for older people: when to begin? – 29 July
- Safe medication administration – 29 July & 5 August
- Law and ethics for midwives, registered and enrolled nurses – 5 & 6 August
- ECG – cardiac rhythm recognition and 12-lead ECG – 14 August
- Advanced skills for dementia: different responses for different types – 26 August
- Documentation, the principles of best practice – 9 September
- Older people have families too: how to care for them – 30 September
Clinical assessment modules and an extra $60 CPD online credit for members
ANMF Education Centre’s series of 12 one-hour clinical assessment online modules support nurses wanting to develop their clinical skills in recognising and responding to acute clinical deterioration, including the COVID-19 patient.
- Introduction to acute care/recognising and responding to clinical deterioration
- Airway management & unconsciousness
- Respiratory failure
- Oxygen therapy
- Non-invasive ventilation
- Mechanical ventilation
- Arterial blood gasses
- Advanced ventilation
- Advanced ventilation (prone)
- CXR interpretation
All members receive annual credit to use on the ANMF (Vic Branch) CPD Portal. Full and part-time members receive a $400 annual credit (or $120 for members on parental leave and $80 for student members). Members’ annual credit is renewed on 1 July.
All ANMF members received an additional CPD Portal $60 credit as a special member benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional credit will be available until 30 June.
Let your colleagues know that ANMF has halved the module price to make it easier for any non-members to complete these important modules. Non-members should click ‘non-member login’ to log in or create an account.