Return to Face to Face Practice
As the government make announcements regarding easing of COVID-19 restrictions many members will be considering returning to face to face work.
As each workplace, client needs and circumstances are unique clinicians should use their clinical judgement for each scenario to determine the safest and most effective model of service delivery for each client, using the best information available at that time.
During any face-to-face consultation, you must adhere to the guidelines for allied health professionals outlined by the government (federal and state level) in relation to COVID-19. In the current environment, this advice is subject to change at any time. As a clinician, it is your responsibility to ensure you remain up to date with the latest information and advice. We recommend that you check the Department of Health website for updated advice prior to any face to face session you conduct. You should also check the guidelines specific to your state or territory. We advise that you consider the risks and precautions related to COVID-19 as part of a risk assessment prior to any face to face consultations and take measures to mitigate these risks.
To ensure you have gained well informed consent we also advise you to clearly communicate to the client the purpose of the face to face consultation and the measures you are putting in place to ensure their safety and to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Update 1/6/2020 for Victorian Occupational Therapists
We are aware that the latest response from the Victorian Government advising workers that they must work from home if they can work from home has led to some confusion for members. As essential healthcare providers, occupational therapists are permitted to continue to provide services and should not incur penalties for continuing to work. Clinicians are still encouraged to continue using telehealth services where possible and to use their clinical reasoning to determine whether a face to face session is essential. If there is an indication for a face to face session, clinicians should refer to and apply the most up to date Australian Government Department of Health Covid -19 Guidelines.
Some additional resources that may support your return to practice include:
- OTA COVID-19 Resources
- Department of Health Weekly Covid-19 Allied Health Update Webinars (past recordings available)
- Statement from AHPRA Occupational Therapy Board
- Free online Hand Hygiene course from hand hygiene Australia
- Safe Work Australia COVID-19 information for workplaces
- COVID-19 allied health checklist for receptionists
- COVID -19 advice for people with disability Information and factsheets for families, support workers, carers and health professionals providing care to people with disability
- COVID-19 Infection Control Training This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19
- Providing health care face to face during COVID-19
- Consider if you or your clients fall into the ‘at risk’ category and review the latest advice for people at risk
OTA’s HR provider WorkPlacePLUS has provided the following checklists and resources
- Article - Reopening workplaces – are you ready?
- Returning to the Workplace - Employer Checklist
- Returning to the Workplace - Employee Checklist
State and Territory Resources
- ACT Government: COVID-19
- NSW Government COVID-19: Businesses and employment
- NT Government: Steps to the new normal business restart
- Queensland Government Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- SA Health COVID-19 Information for Business and Industry
- TAS Government: Roadmap to Recovery
- VIC Department of Health and Human Services: Work and Study Restrictions
- WA Department of Health: COVID-19