PDH Joins Other BSW Health Services To Ensure A Safe Environment

Photo: Fiona Heenan-Director of Primary & Aged Care Services & Michelle Punton-Infection Control Nurse
Thursday, 3 May 2018
Portland District Health is ensuring the hospital is a safe environment for everybody during the upcoming flu season.

This year the Barwon South West health services CEOs are taking a regional approach to the flu vaccination. As a result, the staff vaccination target set is 95 per cent to reduce the risk of harm to patients and staff.

In addition to providing flu vaccinations, some staff will be wearing masks as a precautionary measure.

PDH infection control coordinator Loren Drought said the health service had looked at all options to ensure safety for patients, residents and clients.

We ensure a safe environment by providing a free flu vaccination for staff, however staff who are unable to have the vaccination for medical reasons or choose not to be vaccinated will be  required to wear a mask when caring for patients to ensure we are providing a safe environment. Ms Drought said.

Masks have been added to the program for the first time this year to ensure those staff are also assisting in maintaining a healthy environment.

Due to such an horrific flu season last year, the Department of Health has ramped up its campaign to ensure hospitals and aged care facilities take preventative measures.

The Department is expecting a higher uptake of vaccination this year and looking at other ways to help to protect patients.

Last year about 85 per cent of staff were vaccinated and PDH has extended that to 95 per cent this year.

Signs will be placed at hospital entrances explaining that if visitors see staff with masks it's not because they're sick, it’s a preventative measure and they are assisting in protecting people

PDH assists with vaccination programs for community groups and other health and emergency workers. PDH also encourages local residents to see their GP for a flu vaccination.

Ms Drought added that local residents could also play their part in keeping the hospital safe. We ask community members not to enter PDH if they are unwell or showing symptoms of the flu. If it is necessary to visit, PDH will be offering masks at the entrance of the hospital.

We've already seen people doing that, Ms Drought said.

PDH is also inviting patients to ask their health care worker if they have been vaccinated.

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