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Aspley, Clayfield and Stafford Heights

COVID POLICIES & PROCEDURES 2022

Context 

With our border opening to national and international travel, Queensland is entering a new and unfamiliar stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in which we will be ‘living with COVID’ in our local communities. Current modelling predicts that there could be hundreds of new cases per day early in 2022, possibly peaking at 1000 cases per day in the middle of the year.

North Brisbane Psychologists supports a broad range of clients, including some who are at greater risk of more serious illness if infected by coronavirus. Some members of our team and their children are also at greater risk of complications from contracting COVID-19 due to compromised immunity. Due to the demand on our mental health services, it is essential that we can continue to provide uninterrupted mental health support to as many people in our community as possible while we navigate this challenging time together. 

To ensure that we can do this, we will be implementing new policies and procedures in our effort to manage and minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission at our practice. The decision to implement these measures has been made after seeking advice from government agencies, professional bodies and liability insurers. 

However, these directives, guidelines and recommendations are likely to change so we’ll update you accordingly when our policies change. 

We appreciate your understanding and support as we implement these new policies and procedures in our efforts to keep you, our team and our community as safe as we possibly can. We look forward to providing you with our continued support.

Our 2022 Policy and Procedures

We are committed to providing psychological support to all of our clients during this challenging time. Please read our policies and procedures below carefully, and contact us straight away for any clarification you may need.  

Face-to-Face Counselling Support

  • All of our staff and contractors in the clinics have been fully vaccinated and will not attend if unwell for any reason.
  • Face to face counselling support will be available for people aged 12+ who are able to provide a copy of their vaccination certificate or Medical Contraindication. Support persons attending the clinic must also provide this evidence.
  • These documents must be sent to us BEFORE your first face to face appointment in 2022. They will be stored securely and treated with strict confidentiality, like any other health information that we receive from you. If you cannot provide this evidence, your appointment will be changed to telehealth. 
  • Unvaccinated children aged 5-11 can access face to face counselling support if they wear masks at all times in the clinic. Their support persons must provide evidence of vaccination or Medical Contraindication.
  • Clients and support persons attending our clinics with a Medical Contraindication must wear a mask at all times.  

When Attending The Clinic

  • Clients aged 12+ must provide evidence of vaccination or Medical Contraindication BEFORE their first 2022 appointment. This evidence will be stored securely and treated with strict confidentiality, like any other health information that we receive from you. 
  • Clients will be requested to complete a COVID-19 screener prior to each appointment in their reminder email.
  • Check-in upon arrival using our QR code. 
  • When mandated, masks must be worn at all times. Please let us know prior if you have an exemption from wearing a mask. 
  • Please follow the 1.5 metre physical distancing guidelines.
  • We ask that where possible, support persons bringing clients to our clinics wait in their car or outside the clinic. 

Telehealth

  • Telehealth counselling support will continue to be available for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Telehealth appointments with your practitioner can be booked without disclosing or providing proof of vaccination status. 

Mild Symptoms, Close Contacts or Lockdowns

Your appointment will be changed to telehealth if:

  • You or your practitioner has any of the following symptoms as defined by QLD Health, and subject to change:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Runny nose
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of smell and/or taste
    • Diarrhoea
    • Vomiting or nausea
  • You or your practitioner has been identified as a close contact
  • You or your practitioner is awaiting a COVID-19 test result
  • You or your practitioner has been directed to isolate or stay in lockdown

COVID-19 Health Directives

  • If a COVID-19 directive prevents you or your psychologist from attending the practice, your face to face appointment will not be cancelled but will automatically be converted to a telehealth appointment 
  • If a COVID-19 directive prevents you or your psychologist from attending the practice within 24 hours of your appointment time, you will not be charged if you decline our offer for your appointment to be converted to telehealth. However, you may experience delays rebooking an appointment. 
  • Additional infection control measures will be implemented at our practice to ensure the clinics are clean and sanitised, and as safe as possible for everyone at all times.

Our Response To A Possible Or Confirmed Case Of COVID-19

  • Public health officials will ultimately be responsible for decisions in the event that a person with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection enters one of our clinics. 
  • If we become aware that a person enters one of our clinics and displays COVID-like symptoms or shares information that causes us to have reasonable concerns about their health and the health of others who have attended our practice, we will contact Queensland Health and follow their advice.
  • If we become aware that a confirmed case of COVID-19 attends, or has attended our practice, we will contact Queensland Health and follow their advice. 
  • We will follow all public health advice about closing off affected areas and we will prevent access until our premises have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • We will assist public health officials to identify close contacts by providing them with our contact register. Only essential contact details will be disclosed. 
  • We will complete a risk assessment with reference to the latest information available, review our COVID-19 risk management controls, and determine whether any changes or additional control measures are required. 
  • We will notify you as soon as possible if such an event affects you, or our ability to provide face to face services to you. 

We Value Your Feedback

These are unprecedented times, and the policies we are implementing to minimise and manage the risks of living with COVID-19 in our community have been developed based on the best advice available to us at the time of writing. 

Our policies will be reviewed regularly and updated if that advice changes. If you would like to provide feedback on our policies and procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact our Operations Manager directly on ben@northbrisbanepsychologists.com.au  

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