Our new ‘iHealth Centre’ and moving into 2022

We would like to warmly welcome the Fiveways Surgery and St Lucia Village Medical patients, their family and friends to the practice. We look forward to caring for you in 2022.

We appreciate that this change will be a little daunting for many of our patients, but we encourage you to reach out to us when you need an appointment so that our friendly receptionists can explain how to find us at our new location.

In this article we will:

  • briefly explain our new iHealth Centre, and
  • how we will safely provide care for you in 2022

I have committed to contacting our patients throughout the pandemic in an effort to help you prepare for the pandemic, as well as to ensure everyone understands our policies. These policies are designed to protect vulnerable patients, staff and their families. We are so grateful for the way our patients have embraced these policies, such as wearing masks while in our clinic.

If patients are unwell with a possible viral illness or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 we will conduct a Telehealth consult first and if necessary see them in our purpose-built room with appropriate PPE.  We will always provide care to patients, but will do so in a way which protects our vulnerable patients, our staff and their families.

We will be unable to continue to provide care for people who intentionally mislead us or violate these policies.

Key points

  1. Our new clinic will be one of the safest indoor environments with safe ventilation and HEPA filters.
  2. Masks are required in our clinic – this is to protect vulnerable patients
  3. Proof of vaccination will be required.
  4. Unvaccinated patients over 16 will be offered Telehealth appointments and seen face to face if necessary in our purpose-built room.
  5. Unvaccinated children 15 and under will be seen at dedicated times to protect our vulnerable patients.
  6. We will continue to provide boosters to our patients including our new patients from St Lucia Village Medical Centre as well as new patients joining the practice for long term care.
  7. We will let you know when you can book Pfizer vaccinations for children under 12 in January – although we understand the relevant Pfizer stock is not even in the country yet.

Our new ‘iHealth Centre’ location at Level 5, 112 Coonan St Indooroopilly (above Bunnings Indooroopilly) will be open from January 4 2022.

iHealth Centre Indooroopilly – the home of Fiveways Surgery and St Lucia Village Medical Centre

Our new clinic will be known as the iHealth Centre – Indooroopilly and will be the home of Fiveways Surgery and St Lucia Village Medical Centre.  Follow the signs to the iHealth Centre’s dedicated parking on the care care entry Level 2 – turn right as you enter the carpark.  A lift will take you to Level 5 where our clinic is located. If you are coming from the Walter Taylor Bridge direction, the easiest access is to turn left onto Grosvenor Road, right onto Henderson Street, right onto Belgrave Street and then turn at the lights onto Coonan Street to allow you to enter the ‘Bunnings complex’.

Feel free to drop by for a visit in January to acquaint yourself with the location – remember to bring your mask.  We hope to arrange an open day one weekend so you can drop in regardless of whether you have an appointment.

While it is the end of an era for Fiveways Surgery and St Lucia Village Medical Centre, our relocation will allow us to serve our community from facilities purpose built to enable the best and safest General Practice and healthcare experience.  This is so important as case numbers of COVID increase in our community.

We have designed the facility to be as COVID safe as possible. For example, each consulting area is a self contained air conditioned environment with a HEPA filter.  The clinic has maximised fresh air flow and has a large volume of air space.  Our concierge approach will allow us to check patients vaccination status and confirm patients are not suffering possible COVID symptoms, have not recently returned from a hotspot and have not been recently exposed to COVID.  A dedicated ‘virology’ waiting room and consult room will also allow us to assess sick or exposed patients face to face safely and in a manner which will protect our vulnerable patients. The pathology provider has a separate entrance and its own air conditioning circuit.

While our location will change, our approach to providing excellent family medicine will not.  We will maintain the culture of excellence, compassion and care fostered by the previous practice principals and GP colleagues.  We will also be able to extend our care to offer more in house allied health and specialist medical services such as our baby clinic and lactation consultation service, diabetes education, and our endocrinologist Dr Shenaz Seedat.

COVID Safe care in 2022

Throughout the pandemic we have taken great care to maintain a safe environment for our patients and staff.  There is no more important time to maintain these precautions than now.  No matter your vaccination status, no matter how mild your symptoms, no matter what you feel, COVID can infect anyone and can be transmitted if precautions are not taken.  As much as we would all like it to be over, the pandemic continues on.

Our practice policies are designed to keep our patients, staff and community safe.

Vaccinated patients are less likely to catch Sars-CoV-2 and are less likely to transmit it.

Masks have been shown to be very effective at reducing transmission in indoor areas.

Facilities which maximise fresh air and use HEPA filters are safer than those that don’t.

These precautions are particularly important for our immunocompromised patients such as those receiving chemotherapy and those who have been unable to be vaccinated yet, such as those under 12 years of age.

Our geographical area currently has > 95% of residents over 15 who have had at least one dose (applying Kenmore – Brookfield – Moggill data). We expect this to carry through to younger children as well.

Vaccines are available for patients aged 12 and older and 5-11 year old’s will be eligible to be vaccinated from Jan 10.  We have placed our orders for these vaccines, but unfortunately supplies are limited.  We will send an SMS to parents of all children aged 5 to 11 once we have received our supply so that you will be able to book your children in.

Our Policy

We will never deny care for our patients, but we will make sure we provide it in a safe and appropriate manner.

Patients over the age of 16 who have not been vaccinated will be offered Telehealth appointments.  If a face-to-face visit is required they will be seen in our dedicated room for high risk clinical encounters.

Patients 5-15 years of age who have not been vaccinated will be required to attend the clinic at particular times so that our waiting room can be managed accordingly. These patients may be required to wear a mask.

Proof of vaccination will be required.

Patients will also be required to declare ANY symptoms they are suffering or have suffered in the preceding 10 days, including:

  • Sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing
  • Shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell
  • Fever or tiredness

If a patient fails to disclose these symptoms and has an appointment while symptomatic, we will no longer be able to care for this patient and will have to transfer their care to another doctor and clinic. If you have symptoms, we will assess you in our purpose built room with appropriate PPE.

Care of COVID-19 disease

There is no current, well communicated Queensland Health policy for the care of COVID-19 positive patients in the community by General Practice.  There is no organised plan for collaboration, and there is no funding for caring for such patients in General Practice.

As a specialised care service, it makes sense for this to be provided by the State Government and Queensland Health.  General Practice has been and remains extremely busy providing 60% of all COVID-19 vaccinations including upcoming boosters and vaccinations of 5-11 year olds, in addition to providing chronic physical and mental health care.

We will remain available to our patients for advice, but the clinical governance and clinical care will most likely remain with the State based COVID-19 disease service.

As usual, we greatly appreciate the support of our patients and our community as we deal with these difficult times.

We hope this information has been useful and that you feel that we have kept you well informed of our plans and our processes.

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