30/04/2020 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

South Australians who test positive for COVID-19 will receive comprehensive daily support throughout their self-isolation from two new dedicated teams of GPs and nurses.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the COVID-19 GP Assessment Team and nurse-led SA Health Remote Monitoring Service will contact all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are well enough to self-isolate at home.

“Providing the best patient care for those who have been afflicted by COVID-19 is another part of our strong plan to protect South Australians from the virus,” Minister Wade said.

“As we know, most COVID-19 patients will not require hospitalisation, but they all deserve to receive the best medical support available, including while isolating at home.

“These two new services will see 40 Specialist GPs and a flexible roster of nurses working together to provide care and support, primarily by phone, to all COVID-19 positive patients in self-isolation.

“Keeping patients connected to a healthcare professional every day ensures that anyone whose symptoms worsen is immediately identified and provided further treatment and support.

“South Australians can take comfort knowing that all arms of our healthcare system are working together to protect the wellbeing of our community and beat this global pandemic.”

SA Health is partnering with General Practice service 24-7MedCare/GenWise Health to deliver the COVID-19 GP Assessment Team.

The service will also be used to treat repatriated Australians quarantined in hotels if they return a positive result for COVID-19.

As of 27 April:

- TOTAL patients sent to GenWise for Assessment &/or Review (333)

- RISK assessments completed by GenWise (276)

- PATIENTS cleared from isolation by GenWise (190)

GenWise Health General Manager Dan Pryor said the Specialist GP team will free up hospitals to focus on patients with more serious symptoms of COVID-19.

“The team of Specialist GPs will undertake initial assessments of every patient, checking that they are suitable candidates for self-isolation and providing referrals to other health services if required,” Mr Pryor said.

“They will also assess patients for release from isolation, issuing a certificate of clearance when safe to do so and ensuring a discharge summary is sent to the patient’s usual GP.”

SA Health in partnering with four in-home nursing service providers – Home Support Services, Royal District Nursing Service, Calvary and PopUp – to deliver the Remote Monitoring Service, which will provide daily phone calls by a nurse to check on patients’ symptoms.

The calls will also allow assessment of how patients are faring at home, with the option to organise extra consultations with the GP Assessment Team if needed.

For the latest information on coronavirus in South Australia, visit the SA Health website at sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019 or phone the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.