Well here we are in Lockdown 5.0 for Victoria and another enforced stint of Telehealth. Like with previous lockdowns, it is anticipated that Telehealth will continue well past interventions being lifted in the state. Stay tuned for further information. Our current advice is that the rules are the same as the previous lockdown in May.
We have received advice from the Australian Psychological Society that Telehealth is to continue as the preference to face to face, until further notice.
We have made the decision to continue Telehealth for another 7 days until the end of next week.
Victorian 7 Day Lockdown
Our advice from the Australian Psychological Society is as follows:
APS strongly recommends that you cancel all face-to-face appointments for the next 7 days, and reschedule to telehealth where possible.
All sessions with your psychologist will be via Telehealth (as of tomorrow – 28 May 2021 until the end of next week – all next week will be via Telehealth) and only under exceptional circumstances will a face to face session will be considered. If you have an exceptional need to see your psychologist face to face – please contact the office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hope you all stay safe during this time. Stay connected to those people you have around you. Please consider getting your vaccination as soon as you can.
Not accepting new referrals
We apologise in advance as we are unable to accept new referrals for all clients at this point. This includes returning clients. Unfortunately due to unprecedented demand for our services we are over our capacity for the foreseeable future. We are no longer managing a waitlist for new or returning clients.
A new service has been created in Bendigo called Head to Help. We highly recommend you give them a call for your mental health needs and opportunities for mental health assistance – https://headtohelp.org.au/ Please speak with your GP and support people. You will find many more services listed on the following page – https://cpvic.com.au/home/care/current-clients/resources/phone-counselling-crisis-contacts-resources/
Welcome Back to Face to Face OR Telehealth (if you like).
We are now able to offer face to face services with clients who meet the following criteria:
- You have not recently returned from overseas.
- You do not have any cold or flu symptoms.
- You are happy to wear a mask when entering the building or during sessions (if you are able to).
- You agree to maintain good hygiene practices (like coughing into your elbow and using hand sanitiser).
- You agree to avoid using our toilet where reasonably possible.
- You do not have – or have not been in contact with someone who has – COVID19.
If you do not meet the above criteria – we are happy to continue to provide Telehealth services.
Please note – if your psychologist does not meet the above criteria – depending on the situation – you will likely be offered a Telehealth appointment.
Latest advice from DHHS.
Requirements for telehealth services: Telehealth services remain preferred as the first option for care delivery and provided where appropriate.
As per these instructions, we are running all our sessions via Telehealth.
With regards to appropriateness, we are now running a list at reception of clients we are accepting in for face-to-face sessions as part of our workplace COVID19 plan. Face to Face sessions will only be used if there is a clear risk or service issue that can not be managed using technology. We are regularly updating our systems to utilise more technology and minimise face to face interactions.
If you have a need for face to face sessions please consult your psychologist first and they will contact our reception who will know to be expecting you. Sue and Lily do not have the ability to make these decisions as they are not aware of (and have no need to be aware of) your specific needs.
Please follow this process so as to avoid disappointment if you do attend face-to-face and are asked to return to your car / home.
We also need to manage the number of people in the building as per COVID19 protocols. Please do not attend our building for any reason without contacting us first. We can not cater for everyone at once and we thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
As part of COVID19 rules – you must wear a mask indoors at all times (unless you have an exemption). Remember – when spending a significant amount of time in an enclosed space, physical distancing does not work.
It appears the lockdown is ending tonight. We still do not have confirmation that the Telehealth requirements have changed. Hence – we still need to do Telehealth.
CHANGE to Office Hours – On Fridays, reception will only be open between 10am and 12pm. Office hours on other days will remain the same.
Five-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown UPDATE!
The state government has stated that all sessions during this lockdown are to be via Telehealth without exception until further notice.
“Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options.”
If you would like to discuss this further please email your psychologist.
If you require urgent face to face assistance please call Bendigo Health Psychiatric Service Triage on 1300 363 788 or present at the Emergency Department at the hospital. If it is an emergency call 000.
Please stay safe and look after yourself. Eat well. Use your allotted time to get outside each day and get some exercise. Stay connected to friends and loved ones. Check in on others and make sure they are doing OK. Practice some more bluegrass guitar!!!
Five-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown.
“The APS strongly recommends that psychologists in Victoria who can offer telehealth consultations do so during this time.“
We are requesting all sessions until midnight on Wednesday be conducted via Telehealth in line with Australian Psychological Association recommendations. If this is going to present an issue, please email your psychologist directly to discuss your options.
This is a reminder that if you fall behind in paying for your sessions (this includes with third party payers like NDIS) with CPVic without discussing your circumstances with us – then we will be cancelling future appointments until your account is paid for. If your appointments are cancelled – then there is a high likelihood they will quickly be booked over by another person. If you are having trouble paying for services, please discuss your situation with us and we will see if we can be of assistance. This is a period of very high demand for our services and we are trying to help as many people as we can. Thank you for your understanding and assistance.
Face to Face Sessions
We are continuing to follow advice from VicGov on face to face sessions. Telehealth appointments are to continue until COVID Normal unless there is a clinical reason for face to face sessions. Please discuss you options with your psychologist.
Our reception and physical office will be closed this Thursday, Friday, and Monday for training. If you are seeing your psychologist over this time and need to discuss your appointment – please email them directly.
We have a new payment system through TYRO – all major cards accepted. However, this means we will not longer be providing immediate medicare rebate processing. We can still process your medicare rebate – however, it may take up to 24 hours to make your account. Please ensure you have an up to date bank account linked to your medicare account.
PLEASE NOTE – we are currently not accepting new clients / referrals for the indefinite future. This is due to unprecedented demand for our services. Please consult with your GP about your referral needs and if you need urgent assistance please contact Lifeline or like services.
Please have a look at a message about the current COVID status and CPVic from Eryn. Click here to watch the YouTube video.
As of Monday all sessions will be back to Telehealth as per recommendations from The Australian Psychological Society. You will be able to do face to face sessions if there is a clinical reason for this – please talk with your psychologist about this option.
If you do attend for a face to face session – we are requiring everyone to wear a mask as per Victorian government recommendations. Please bring your own – but don’t miss your appointment if you don’t have one – we can provide one for you. If there is a reason you can not wear a mask – lets have a chat!!!
Please see current recommendations on face masks for regional Victoria (DHHS Vic 24 7 2020).
Over this week we are moving towards wearing masks for all face to face sessions and attendance at our clinic.
The state government has advised the following for regional areas of Victoria:
“You are encouraged to wear a face covering when leaving home and if you are not able to keep 1.5 metres from others. If you need to travel into metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire then you must wear a face covering” (DHHS Vic 20 7 2020).
Therefore, as we are spending significant periods of time with you face to face and in confined spaces, we are asking everyone to wear a face mask when attending our clinic. We will be wearing them too! Please bring your own mask if this is possible. This will be until health advice and recommendations are changed.
Sorry for the delay in updates. We have been inviting more and more clients into our office over recent months, however, keeping in mind new lockdown restrictions we would like to remind everyone that where a Telehealth session can be done – then it should be done that way. Please see the recent notice from The Australian Psychological Society below.
Australian Psychological Society FACE MASKS | Psychologists and other health professionals who are still seeing clients or patients face to face in locked down areas (Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire) are advised to wear a standard surgical mask. This recommendation has been made today by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, in a meeting of the Primary Care Response Group attended by the APS. Psychologists can contact their local PHN to apply for access to face masks and PPE.
The APS reminds psychologists that where clinically appropriate, telehealth consultations should still be utilised. Telehealth resources and support are available on the APS website. More information will follow soon.
As we are outside of the current lockdown areas – we will not be using masks as per recommendations. This maybe an option moving forward depending on how things progress.
Sessions that are face-to-face will need to be clinically relevant. Discuss these issues with your psychologist and together come to an agreement. Being clinically relevant will vary from client to client. Remember, if you have any symptoms, have had a recent test, been to Melbourne recently, or been in contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis – please do not come into the office. Contact us to arrange a Telehealth session.
Please note: We no longer bulk bill Telehealth sessions. Our previous billing practices are now in place. Also note a recent rise in fees in line with increase in medicare rebates at the start of the financial year.
We hope you are all finding your way through current events. The Australian Psychological Society has created some documents and advice that may be helpful. We suggest you have a look at these at https://www.psychology.org.au/COVID-19-Australians .
At CPV we are moving towards exclusively offering services online from 14.04.2020. We are doing this to ensure the safety of all our staff and clients during this pandemic. See our new Telehealth areas where we have our forms to be completed and online waiting room. If you are concerned or unsure about using Telehealth, please contact reception on 5443 1090. This is new for us all and we appreciate your patience whilst we engage in this quick transition.
We continue to provide psychological services to help with your mental health needs.
We understand that at this point in time, many of you are experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety around the uncertainty of COVID-19. The team at Clinical Psychology Victoria want to reassure you that as much as possible, we are going to be working business as usual throughout the coming weeks and months.
We have been working non-stop over the last fortnight to ensure that we have the most up to date information related to providing psychological support to you all, regardless of who is paying for the appointment. Below you will find an outline of all the information we have to date (23.3.2020). Please understand that this information (particularly for those who have a Mental Health Care Plan referral) is changing on a daily basis and we will update information as it becomes available to us.
At this point in time, we are open and running ALL appointments as usual. As we are deemed a health facility and, therefore, an essential service, we will be permitted to remain open throughout any lock down style restrictions that may come into effect. And, as with any essential service, you will be permitted to travel to your appointment (to the best of our knowledge). We recommend you keep your SMS reminder on your phone if you are required to show proof of where you are travelling to.
What if I am unwell or unable to attend?
In order for us to continue working and providing a service to as many people as possible, it is extremely important that if you are sick, that you DO NOT attend our practice. If you meet any of the criteria outlined below, you can have your appointment conducted via video link (or if unavailable, telephone) bulk-billed via Medicare. If you normally see us under a Mental Health Treatment Plan but do not meet the criteria below (i.e. are sick with a bug that’s not COVID-19 related), you can arrange for a privately paid video link session but will not be able to claim a rebate.
Details on how Telehealth will work will be uploaded early next week.
Telehealth (video link) services will be available to:
- people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the AHPPC, and people who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, registered medical or nursing practitioner or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
- people aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
- parents with new babies (aged under 12 months) and people who are pregnant.
**Please note, there will need to be a form completed for Medicare providing documentation which supports you meeting the above eligibility criteria. We will provide more information regarding this when it is provided to us.
Telehealth services are also available to those paying privately or funded by NDIS, TAC, Employee Assistance Program (Veretis), Victims Assistance Program (Anglicare) and Victims of Crime if the above criteria are met.
**If you are attending under WorkCover, your eligibility needs to be determined by your Case Manager and we will call them to ascertain this well in advance of your appointment.
Please note, our cancellation policy is still in place and we require 24 hours’ notice of any cancellations or a late cancellation fee will apply. All psychologists are currently running waiting lists of clients seeking appointments and we hope you can work with us to ensure that as many of them as possible are allocated appointments. This can only be done when we are advised of cancellations with as much notice as possible.
What happens if my psychologist is sick?
Well – we are indestructible, so that is unlikely to happen! LOL. But if we too fall sick with COVID-19 or are required to self-isolate with sick families, we are able to provide video link or phone counselling to ALL of our clients with the same requirements applicable to WorkCover clients as outlined above.
And a final note from us…
We are a small business, and like all small businesses, we are unsure how the coming months will play out. That said, we are better situated than most given the way the government and third party groups have stepped up and allowed us to continue providing support. All of that said, if you can do any or all of the following we would be greatly appreciative.
- Prioritise your mental health. As we progress through the coming months, many of your routines will be highly impacted and your mental health may not be at its best. Now is not the time to stop treatment (and we can’t be here without you!)
- Don’t come if you’re sick! If we get sick, then there is no service! Follow COVID 19 advice.
- Please limit the number of people you bring to the appointment. We are unable to host whole families in the waiting room so ask that you come alone or with a parent/guardian/carer if necessary.
- Wash your hands and use the hand sanitiser provided.
- Give as much notice of cancellations as possible.
With your support we will be able to offer our services during and well after COVID-19 has been and gone.
We thank you greatly for your ongoing support of our clinic. Take care of yourselves and each other and we look forward to seeing you soon.
On a final note – we request all payments are via card and to limit interactions with reception.
Eryn, Jeff and the team at CPVic.