Update: 25th March 2020
As we move into the next phase of the response to COVID-19, the Prime Minister today advised that all elective procedures in private hospitals have been paused, with exception to Category 1 (and some Category 2) urgent procedures. This decision has been made due to the shortage of masks and other PPE in public hospitals. The suspension comes into effect tomorrow at midnight.
We appreciate that this has been devastating for many patients, who have been preparing for major surgeries for some time now. But we also appreciate that at this time, extraordinary sacrifices are required for the greater good of our community.
We have been working today and this evening to contact all patients impacted by this surgery ‘pause’ in the near future. Despite receiving unwelcome news, the kindness and understanding our beautiful patients have shown our team has been humbling, and extremely appreciated.
Any patient who has their surgery plans paused, due to this situation, now has a place on our surgical queue - based on when their surgery was originally scheduled. We know this ban will eventually be lifted, when the situation has improved - and when this happens, you will be contacted immediately to be offered new theatre dates, as a priority. Dr Sharp and our team will be working hard at that time to ensure all patients have their surgeries performed in their ideal time frames, and we will go above and beyond to make this happen.
Our team is here to support you
We are still here to support you and assist with any research regarding your surgery options, once life returns to normal. From all the enquiries we continued to receive today, it seems many patients are using this downtime to investigate procedures and get informed about the cosmetic and reconstructive procedures available to them! We are still online and available by phone to chat, if you have any queries. As our patients know, we love talking about surgery and value every opportunity to assist during the research/planning process.
Post operative appointments
Post op appointments are not impacted by these changes. As an essential service, we will continue to remain open. We look forward to seeing all of our lovely post op patients in the clinic to receive our usual high standard of post op care - albeit with lots of extra safety precautions in place to ensure everyone stays well at this important time!
When will elective surgery recommence?
We don’t have a definitive answer to this as yet but our patients will be advised as soon as we receive any updates or advice regarding this. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will directly advise upcoming patients or those visiting our clinic for necessary post operative checks as needed. We will be in regular contact with all of our patients in the coming weeks to ensure they are updated as new information comes to hand.
Skin cancer surgery
As always, our clinics in Brisbane and Ipswich continue to offer skin cancer consultations and surgery. While there will be some wait for non-urgent skin cancers, those that are fast growing, invasive or suspected/diagnosed melanomas will be prioritised for fast tracked consults and surgery. Over 2,000 people per day are treated for skin cancers in Australia (750,000 per annum, of which over 12,000 are melanomas) - so it’s important to ensure that critical skin lesion services are not interrupted.
Update: 23rd March 2020
Telehealth: Video consult
Our clinics are equipped with teleconference technology and open for video consultation; this is something we have been offering for many years, particularly for our regional and remote patients. Your health and safety are our absolute priority - and we have a very rigorous process in place to keep you and our team well. We appreciate that most of our patients have waited some time to see our clinicians, and don’t wish to postpone their consultations - but we also understand you might have concerns about attending your appointment while practicing social distancing. To change your face-to-face consult to a video appointment, please call 07 3202 4744. It’s a very simple process and involves the same gold standard of clinical care and assessment tools as an in-clinic consult! For patients having 3D simulation ahead of their surgery, in most cases we can still also offer this service via video consults. All patients who are consulted via video also receive a second, complimentary consult before proceeding with surgery to ensure you have been examined by your clinician face-to-face before undergoing any treatment.
If you have been unwell
If you have returned from overseas – or been unwell – in the past 14 days and have a scheduled consult or surgery, please contact us to reschedule. We will always do our best to accommodate your preferred time frames.
Prioritising patient safety: our precautions to reduce risks
We want our patients to feel reassured that when they visit us, they are in a safe space. We are very fortunate to have two clinics with size and layouts that enabled us to put strict social distancing measures in place some time ago, and we have further measures in place to keep patients and our team members safe - from when they exit their car through to exiting the clinic.
Although we are a medical facility with strict hygiene procedures, we are not a general practice clinic, with any unwell patients on premises. We will continue to maintain an exceptionally safe clinical environment.
Our patient arrival procedure:
As an essential service, we are still open, but to keep our team and patients safe, have changed our waiting room process and appointment schedule to ensure you do not wait alongside other patients in our waiting rooms. If you anticipate being early or late to your appointment, please call ahead to let us know so we can create a separate additional space for you.
From your car to our front door, patients are not required to touch any surfaces to access our premises - as patients park outside our front doors, on the ground level of our building.
Upon entering the clinic, you will be asked to use the hand sanitiser station provided before being checked in.
Your clinicians will be wearing a mask for any contact within a 2 meter radius of your personal space.
We are very grateful to our patients for their understanding during these extraordinary time; these measures will not only keep our team members and patients safe, but they are enabling us to retain our staff, who are providing important services to patients in Brisbane and Ipswich at during this difficult period.
Please call us if you have fever, cough/shortness of breath, sore throat - or if you have returned from overseas travel within the last 14 days. Likewise, if you have had contact with a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
Please call 07 3202 4744 to reschedule or convert your appointment to a video consult. The health, wellbeing and recovery of our patients and team is of upmost importance.