Local health leads the way

DJHS doctors and nurses are helping Covid-19 patients recover at home. (Supplied)

Ewen McRae

A local health initiative that helps positive COVID-19 cases with their recovery could be rolled out to other municipalities.

Djerriwarrh Health has started a ‘Hospital from home’ program to help patients who test positive to the virus get healthy from their home.

About 100 people are currently being cared for in their home, with that number quickly increasing. Almost three-quarters of those taking up the initiative have been in the past few weeks.

Once a patient has come back with a positive coronavirus result, contact is made by the health service to offer Hospital in the Home. If the patient agrees, packs are sent to patients that include masks, gloves, a thermometer and a portable machine to measure their oxygen levels.

Djerriwarrh Health Services doctors or nurses will contact the patients on a daily basis to see how they are going, and monitor symptoms as well as mental health.

DJHS chief executive Belinda Scott said: “The core of any health service is to provide care to the communities we serve.”

“Djerriwarrh Health Service identified the need to ensure the care for positive covid patients could transfer into their homes during isolation periods.”

With many patients struggling with isolation in their recovery, Ms Scott said the packs provide means for each patient to effectively monitor their health and also provides physical and emotional monitoring and support for patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

“Feedback to date from the patients we are caring for has been extremely positive,” Ms Scott said.

“We are providing physical and emotional support at a time when people are feeling very vulnerable.”

The Department of Health and Human Services is investigating replicating the program in other services areas across the state.

Ewen McRae