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.