Coronavirus: Information for Mercy Health patients and visitors

Thank you for observing visitor restrictions and good hygiene at our hospitals and health services.

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Visitor restrictions

Visiting restrictions remain in place at Mercy Health hospitals and health services. Our restrictions are based on Victorian Government coronavirus regulations.

Mercy Health has also considered the physical spaces on site, because we need to make sure people can stay 1.5 metres apart. This is important to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Remember, DO NOT visit the hospital if you are unwell.

AreaWho can visit
All areasChildren can visit by prior arrangement only.
Maternity ServicesA partner or a nominated support person can attend the birth and may then visit between 8am-9pm. That person can stay overnight in some circumstances.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Special Care Nursery (SCN), Paediatric WardMercy Hospital for Women NICU and SCN: both parents can visit on the same day but only one can be at the bedside at any one time.

Werribee Mercy Hospital SCN and Paediatric Ward: both parents can visit together.

Both parents can be present at the Emergency Department.

All other inpatientsPatients can have one visitor at the bedside at any one time for two hours between 4-8pm.

Patients may have visitors from a single household only each day. The household can change each day. Please coordinate visits with other family members and friends to avoid disappointment.

Visiting exceptions for palliative care and end-of-life patients can be discussed with the ward manager.

All outpatientsAuthorised caregivers only.

Visitors are not allowed in our outpatients departments due to social distancing requirements.

One parent/guardian can attend with a child under the age of 18 who has an appointment.

Emergency DepartmentPatients can have one nominated support person.

Support persons may be asked to leave the bedside area to maintain social distancing requirements when clinical staff are attending patients. They may need to wait outside depending on capacity in the waiting room.

Parents of a patient under 18 years old can attend with their child.

Coronavirus wardsPeople with suspected or confirmed coronavirus cannot have visitors.

There may be exceptions on compassionate grounds, and for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Approval for extended hours can be discussed at the time of admission.

Mercy Mental Health

AreaWho can visit
Clare Moore Building

Ursula Frayne Centre

Community Care Unit

Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC)

One nominated visitor a day for up to two hours during visiting times:

  • Monday to Friday 3.30–8pm
  • Weekends 9am–8pm
Mother Baby UnitOne nominated visitor a day for up to four hours between 4–8pm.

Children are only allowed to visit with prior approval.

There may be exceptions to visitor restrictions within Mercy Mental Health on compassionate grounds. Please speak to the Manager or Nurse in Charge.

Interpreter services

Interpreters are still available to patients who need them. Interpreting may take place over the phone or face-to-face. If you need an interpreter, please tell your doctor or midwife.

Learn more about your right to receive appropriate communication about your healthcare in a way you understand. If you have any difficulties speaking or understanding English, you have a range of support options depending on your needs.

Masks

Everyone visiting Mercy Health hospitals and health services, except inpatients, must wear a mask. Mercy Health will provide disposable masks at screening points. Remember, wearing a mask does not mean you are protected. The most effective way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus is to maintain good hygiene and physical distancing.

Do not visit if you:

  • are unwell, or have been looking after someone, with cold or flu symptoms
  • have travelled overseas in the past 14 days
  • have had contact with a person who has confirmed coronavirus.

During your visit:

  • wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub every time you enter or leave the building or a patient’s room
  • aim to stay in your loved one’s room and avoid common areas if possible
  • keep a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from your loved one and others.

We encourage families and friends to stay in touch via phone or video calls. This may reduce the need to visit in person, while continuing to support your important relationships. Mercy Health provides free WiFi at all of our hospitals and health services. We encourage patients to bring their personal device to hospital to maintain contact with loved ones.

Testing before surgery

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has announced that most elective surgery patients living in or working in a stage 3 restriction zone or other known hotspot area will need to be tested for coronavirus before surgery. You will be contacted by Mercy Health if you require a test.

If you are already booked to have elective surgery at Werribee Mercy Hospital or Mercy Hospital for Women, please be assured that your booking will proceed as planned. We will notify you if you need to be tested prior to your scheduled surgery and how this can be done.

Information for maternity patients

Being aware of your baby’s movements during pregnancy is one of the simplest things you can do to help keep your baby safe and healthy. Regular and healthy movements are a good sign of wellbeing. If you are concerned about your baby’s movements please contact us.

Mercy Health has made some necessary changes to services in response to the current outbreak of coronavirus. These changes enable us to continue caring for women and babies, while reducing the risk of coronavirus in our hospitals.

  • Clinic appointments:
    • We have commenced telehealth appointments for some patients. If you have been identified as a suitable candidate for a phone appointment, you will be contacted directly. We will provide further details by phone or by mail prior to your appointment. Please notify us if your contact details change.
    • For some pregnancy appointments, you will still be required to attend the hospital. We will let you know which appointments you are required to attend throughout your pregnancy.
    • If you are worried or have concerns about your pregnancy or your baby’s movements, please speak to your doctor or midwife or contact:

Mercy Hospital for Women Emergency Department on 8458 4000 or

Werribee Mercy Hospital Maternity Assessment Unit on 8754 3398

 

  • Childbirth education and hospital tours:
    • Mercy Health has canceled face-to-face childbirth education and hospital tours until further notice.
    • We recommend the Raising Children website as an alternative online education resource for parents.
    • For further information, please speak to your doctor or midwife at your appointment.

For more information about coronavirus and pregnancy, please see the resources listed at the bottom of this page.

Coronavirus information for Emergency Department patients at Werribee Mercy Hospital

All patients presenting to the Werribee Mercy Hospital Emergency Department will be screened on arrival. This involves taking your temperature and asking you some questions so we can assess whether you might be sick with or at risk of developing coronavirus. You will only be swabbed for coronavirus if you meet the criteria for testing. You will be given more information about this when you arrive.

Please refer to the table at the top of this page for information about visitor restrictions in our Emergency Department. No child aged under 16 can attend the hospital as a visitor. If a child needs emergency care, parents or a guardian should accompany the child to the Emergency Department.

Please do not come to the Emergency Department if you do not need to. If you have questions or concerns about coronavirus, please refer to the government coronavirus hotlines and resources listed at the bottom of this page.

Information for parents with sick children

The Werribee Mercy Hospital emergency and paediatric departments continue to provide emergency and inpatient care for all children aged 0-18 with medical problems during the coronavirus pandemic.

If your child is unwell and you are concerned, we urge you not to delay seeking medical advice. We do not want children to become very unwell at home due to fear of exposure to coronavirus. Your options include Nurse-On-Call 1300 606 024, Maternal Child Health Line 132 229, your local GP, local emergency department or the ambulance on 000.

Changes to access at Mercy Hospital for Women

Mercy Hospital for Women is working closely with Austin Health next door to make sure that we are protecting the health and safety of everyone who visits our shared building.

Please note that access to the Mercy Hospital for Women lifts has changed:

• there will be two public lifts from the carpark, both of which will stop at level 1 for screening
• one public lift will be available from Level 1 to Level 6.

All visitors and clinic patients must complete an online screening check. Please follow the instructions on how to use the QR code or report to the screening desk for assistance. You will be required to have your temperature checked on arrival to Level 1 as part of our screening process.

The Mercy Hospital for Women Emergency Department (ED) entrance is closed.

  • If you are in labour or in an emergency, you can park in one of two designated five-minute parking spots at the Mercy Hospital for Women main entrance. This is the podium entrance, accessible via Studley Road.
  • Other patients can access the ED via the Mercy Hospital for Women carpark. Take the lift to Level 1.
  • There will be two public lifts from the carpark, both of which will stop at level 1 for screening.
  • One public lift will be available from Level 1 to Level 6.
  • There are a limited number of 30-minute parking spaces on the podium for outpatient pick-up and drop-off, however patients are encouraged to use the carpark where possible.

Please call ahead in an emergency: 03 8458 4000.

Changes to services at Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre has temporarily suspended on-site services for our usual overnight and day stay programs. All our services are now being provided via telehealth (telephone or video calls) between Monday and Friday.

We will set up a time that works for you and your family so our experienced staff can speak with you about your parenting concerns. You can also self-refer to our service.

Please call us on 03 8416 7600 to arrange your telehealth appointment so you can continue receiving the support you need.

Help prevent the spread of infection

Everyone can help prevent the spread of infection by practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance from other people.

Simple steps for everyone to follow:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the ‘happy birthday’ song).
  • Use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your elbow or upper arm. Dispose of tissues in the bin.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  • Continue healthy habits (drink water, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and get enough sleep).
  • Get a flu shot once these are available.
  • Avoid close contact with people outside your immediate family or household members (such as touching or shaking hands).

Do you have coronavirus?

Mercy Health is equipped to assess and manage any patients with viral infections, including coronavirus.

If you have confirmed coronavirus, please call ahead and let your treating team know.

If you suspect you have coronavirus, you may need to get tested. For information about symptoms, when and where to get tested, see the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website. There is a helpful self-assessment tool on the site.

If you are still not sure whether you should get tested, please contact:

Victoria
Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus hotline
1800 675 398

New South Wales
Australian Department of Health coronavirus Health Information Line
1800 020 080

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

More information

For information about coronavirus, including symptoms, risks, travel and prevention advice, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus website.

Consistent and reliable information is important in an emergency. Wherever possible, Mercy Health will refer to the relevant government authority instead of repeating the information on this page.

 

Last reviewed February 13, 2020.

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