April 8, 2020

Channel 7 News: Northern Health prepared for COVID-19 pandemic

Our staff on the front line are working hard to protect our community.

Yesterday, we welcomed Channel 7 News to Northern Hospital Epping to interview Associate Professor Craig Aboltins, Director of Infectious Diseases, and Madelaine Flynn, Infection Prevention Manager, about our response and preparedness for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our Fever Clinic at Northern Hospital was established early March to safely screen for potential COVID-19 cases. The clinic is open seven days a week from 9 am to 8 pm and has seen over 2,400 people since commencing. 45 people have tested positive to COVID-19 through our Fever Clinic, with the majority of them recovering at home in isolation.

The Fever Clinic also has dedicated times for staff who require testing, from 7.15 am to 9 am.

Doctors, nurses, PSA’s and ward clerks all work in the clinic together to help maintain a safe screening environment for community members who meet the criteria for testing.

Natasha Knapic, Emergency Department Associate Nurse Unit Manager and Project Manager of the Fever Clinic, said, “Our clinic staff look out for one another as well as the community. We have really good communication in the clinic and a great sense of team work. Thank you to all of our Fever Clinic staff for their hard work.”

The clinic is a joint collaboration with many different departments who all contribute to the smooth running of the clinic every day, including pathology, security and individual wards.

Across Northern Health, we are creating capacity to ensure we are equipped to care for a large volume of patients in the coming months, which includes having a dedicated COVID-19 ward which can be activated at any time should we need to.

Infection Prevention Manager, Madelaine Flynn, said, “We’re very proud of our dedicated staff and how they are responding to the rapidly changing situation. We are all banding together and supporting each other so we can look after our community.”

Watch the Channel 7 TV stories below, including important messages for the community from some of our staff members.