Important COVID-19 information
As we are currently in Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne I have attached the information currently provided for Counsellors and Psychotherapy practices for your information. As a side-note this information changes and this page will be updated regularly. For up-to-date information please refer to the Department of Health Human Services (DHHS) website.
The preferred appointment method is online or telephone but continuing to provide face-to-face services is appropriate in some cases. Please discuss this with me as it may be necessary for your welfare that online and telephone services are not appropriate at this time.
I will assess each individual client throughout our sessions. The mode of consultation may change depending upon your circumstances.
Unless I contact you to inform you otherwise, or you feel this isn’t appropriate in your circumstances, any appointments from today until further notice will be online. As earlier, please discuss this with me your safety and welfare are my priority.
The necessary Stage 4 Covid hygiene and PPE procedures will continue to be practiced at both Healthroom, Mordialloc and for In-home visits (should face-to-face appointments be deemed appropriate).
Stage 4 Restrictions and Seeking Care and Health Care
I have a permitted worker exemption and your electronic appointment reminder can be displayed as proof that you are attending a health care appointment. As per current guidance re stage 4 restrictions, individuals can leave their homes to seek ‘care and health care’ – this guidance does not specify a geographical limit; https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/stage-4-restrictions-covid-19.
You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. If you need to see a doctor or health care professional, you should do so. Do not put off getting medical care. Your doctor or health care professional can provide advice on how to stay safe.
Further information issued below:
Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) information indicates that counsellors and psychotherapists who are employed in counselling or psychotherapy roles or who are in private practice are permitted workers and can therefore stay open. They are categorised as “community based services required to ensure the health, safety and well-being of vulnerable people.”
It is recommended that online or telephone services are provided if possible and appropriate, instead of face-to-face services, to help reduce unnecessary travel outside the home. This will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by minimising people moving about in the community. The Government recommends that people remain at home. Even though attending counselling and psychotherapy appointments is a legitimate purpose for travel, all practitioners should aim to minimise face-to-face consultations. Continuing to provide face-to-face services is appropriate in some cases.
From 11.59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. There are some lawful excuses for not wearing a face covering.
This requirement also applies to face-to-face counselling and psychotherapy services throughout Victoria. Face masks should be worn by both practitioners and clients. This is necessary for the protection of practitioners and clients and to comply with the current regulations.
There are fines for failure to wear a mask in public.
Provision of Essential Services within a Patient/Client’s Home Environment
Provision of ‘essential’ Allied Health services within a patient’s home environment should be interpreted as the equivalent of entering a clinical area and appropriate infection control/PPE guidance adhered to. If completing more than one home visit within a single day, this is in effect a change of workplace and a full change of PPE should be instituted – including a reassessment of the potential risk and required PPE tier for each individual patient/client.
Stay safe and please contact me if you would like to discuss any of the information.