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 (bit.ly/2UhDSU2) was last updated on 5 June.
Latest coronavirus statistics in Victoria
As of 11 June 2020, the Victorian Chief Health Officer reported:
- the state’s number of COVID-19 cases was 1699 – there were 8 new cases since the day before.
- 6 people are in Victorian hospitals with COVID-19, including 1 in intensive care. 19 people have died.
- 179 cases have an unknown source of infection, no change since the day before.
- 1,621 people have recovered. More than 564,000 tests have been completed. Victoria has the highest testing per capita in Australia
Employers must apply for aged care nurses’ and carers’ retention payments
The Federal Government has clarified that its COVID-19 aged care worker retention payments are taxable income despite originally announcing the bonus as an after-tax payment.
Who is eligible for the payment?
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.
On 9 June the Department of Health and Human Services advised all Victorian public sector aged care employers to apply for the payments for their eligible staff.
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 first payment in July will be for eligible staff, employed at the time of your employer’s application.
The second payment in September will be made for eligible staff employed as at 31 August.
How will nurses and carers get the payments?
Employers – aged care providers – must apply to the Federal Government for a grant to receive the payment on behalf of eligible workers.
Applications open on Monday 15 June and close 2pm, Monday 20 July via the Federal Government’s GrantConnect website via grants.gov.au
If you are an eligible aged care nurse or carer, your employer must pass the payment on to you.
What is the payment?
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.
How will the Federal Government know the payment has been passed on?
The Federal Government’s fact sheet (5 June) says there will be random and targeted audits. Targeted audits will include analysis of complaints or feedback, examination of Department of Health data cross referenced with your employer’s data and other anomalies that occur.
For more information read:
- The Department of Health ‘Workforce retention bonus grant – residential care and home care’ fact sheet (5 June 2020) includes pro-rate information and eligibility information via bit.ly/2zjXSPj
- Federal ANMF information sheet: retention bonus via – bit.ly/anmfinfo-aged-care-support
- Federal ANMF media release ‘Government breaks another promise to aged care workers’ via bit.ly/37hcAD8
Elective surgery to reach 75 per cent in June
On 2 June Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said health services had resumed about 50 per cent of the elective survey that had been postponed as a result of the national cabinet decision.
Ms Mikakos said she expected public and private hospitals to reach 75 per cent elective survey capacity by the end of June. Full elective surgery schedules are expected to be in place by mid to late July if assessed as safe.
COVID-19 cases and the number of patients requiring hospitalisation continues to be monitored.
The Victorian Government will also resume its elective surgery blitz when appropriate and safe to do so.
Personal protective equipment update
ANMF has been advised via its weekly meeting with the Victorian Government and Department of Health and Human Services that further supplies continue to arrive daily. Currently in stock are approximately:
- 22 million gloves
- one million face shields
- 600,000 gowns
- 14 million surgical masks
- two million N95 masks
Important PPE guidance and information include:
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Prevention and Control guideline (25 May) via bit.ly/3deTBLE
- COVID-19 – PPE and levels of protection (20 May) via bit.ly/2X7pBM7
- DHHS COVID-19 – a guide to the conventional use of PPE (updated 20 May) via bit.ly/2yBnmaa
- Respiratory support for children during the COVID-19 emergency (updated 27 May) via bit.ly/3dcA2DL
- WorkSafe Victoria Managing coronavirus (COVID-19) risks: Healthcare and social assistance industry – Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) via bit.ly/3ddwqRT
Maternal and child health nurses to resume face-to-face appointments
Maternal and child health nurses have resumed face-to-face appointments for all infants up to 8 weeks, Aboriginal infants and children and those with additional needs.
Face-to-face appointments have also resumed for families on the Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Program.
The Municipal Association of Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services have released a new update on the staged return of MCH services and frequently asked questions which strengthens the protections of ‘higher risk staff’ including pregnant maternal and child health nurses.
Read the Maternal and Child Health Service COVID-19 update (9 June) via bit.ly/37p9DjW
Read the Maternal and Child Health Service COVID-19 FAQs (9 June) via bit.ly/2AjRNTL
Increased risk of harm for patients with cognitive impairment
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has published new resources to about how to provide care for patients with cognitive impairment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with cognitive impairment may be further disorientated by the use of personal protective equipment and find instructions such as social distancing hard to follow. There may also be restrictions on family and carers who are usually there to support them.
The poster and fact sheet for clinicians are available via bit.ly/2Yj2ca1
Superannuation and finance live webinars
HESTA has upcoming live webinars for ANMF members.
COVID-19 Money Plan – stocktake your finances to see how you may have been affected
First State Super’s ‘Webinar Super Series’ explores all things relating to superannuation and the financial impacts of COVID-19. Free registration
First State Super’s ‘Women in super’ webinar series is designed to help you make informed decisions when you are planning for your future.
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. You can find these courses and registration links via anmfvic.asn.au/virtualclassroom
Upcoming courses include:
- Asthma management – a holistic approach– 17 June
- Promoting mental health in nursing practice: addressing individual needs and applying mental health principles– 12 & 26 June
- Promoting mental health, addressing individual needs: a course for nurses and personal care workers in aged care– 19 June
- 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
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
- 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
The ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre’s series of 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. The 12 one-hour modules on the CPD Portal are:
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 1 – Introduction to acute care / recognising and responding to clinical deterioration
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 2 – Airway management and unconsciousness
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 3 – Respiratory failure
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 4 – Oxygen therapy
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 5 – Hypotension
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 6 – Sepsis
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 7 – Non-invasive ventilation
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 8 – Mechanical ventilation
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 9 – Arterial blood gasses
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 10 – Advanced ventilation
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 11 – Advanced ventilation (prone)
ANMF Clinical Assessment Module 12 – 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).
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. Members’ annual credit is renewed on 1 July.
To access the online clinical assessment modules and others, visit cpd.anmfvic.asn.au
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.