19 October 2020
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As the Royal Melbourne Hospital has navigated through an incredibly challenging time, all our staff were asked to step up to assist in the state response to the pandemic.

In some cases this meant helping with projects outside of the hospital walls and within the community.

Part of the RMH response saw Allied Health form a team to assist Disability homes to help support staff and residents to create COVID-19 safety plans, and enable the residences to be COVID safe.

Allied health director Genevieve Juj, supported by Marlena Klaic and Rhiannon Beggs, led the response forming a team of 12 Allied Health Professionals who worked closely with the organisations over the course of a four week period.

“Most of these homes are set up like share houses, so we had to put plans in place if there was an outbreak how could it be contained.”

In one instance a major issue that was identified was the shared bathroom facilities. Staff were using the same toilets as the residents.

So using the help of the RMH facilities management team, a port-a-loo was sent to the residence, to create a ‘cold zone’ for the staff.

“I don’t know how they did it, but the port-a-loo was organised by Michael McCambridge and his team and craned in that very afternoon, it was amazing seeing how everyone at the hospital really rolled their sleeves up and helped out,” Dr Klaic said.

Since the start of the second wave of infections in Victoria, the Allied Health team have assisted 32 facilities. In this time they were able to distribute thousands of items of PPE, hand sanitizer and packets of Clinell wipes.

“In some cases the staff had very little training in PPE donning and doffing, so a big part of our role was to put these measures in place, this also included getting PPE to these staff and helping guide them in their response,” Dr Klaic said.

“It’s been a busy period, but we feel very confident these facilities are well supported and have the equipment and plans in place to prevent outbreaks among staff and residents,” Dr Klaic said.

Media Contact

For more information about this story, contact Communications on (03) 9342 7000 or email mh-communications@mh.org.au