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  • HOW IS MELBA KEEPING SUPPORTED PEOPLE SAFE?
    Melba Support Services is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people we support, our staff, and others who visit our sites and services. We are closely monitoring information and advice, about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, provided from various authoritative sources, including the World Health Organisation, the Australian and Victorian state health authorities, and have taken several steps to ensure that everyone at Melba remains safe and experiences the best possible health. Melba has established a Pandemic Operational Unit to oversee implementation of our pandemic plan. We have well established occupational health and safety policies and procedures that we use to protect the people we support from infection, particularly illnesses like COVID-19. Melba also has strong infection control mechanisms and staff are specifically trained in infection control and will be supported to ensure adherence to all infection control directions. Any enquiries from staff about infection control or personal hygiene can be directed to our Practice Support Line, which operates on a 24/7 basis. As you may be aware, Melba employs three health outcome specialists who are playing a very helpful role. Advice prepared by our health outcome specialists has been distributed to staff reinforcing key infection control messages, including: The importance of following and supporting all people to practice good personal hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, such as frequently washing hands with soap and water and using alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Increased focus on regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in each home. Practicing physical distancing, such as supporting people to stay at home and self-isolate if they are unwell, avoiding crowded locations, and keeping 1.5 metre distance between people, whenever possible and encouraging the use of face coverings whilst out in the community as per current state-wide restrictions. Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with current government suggestions. This means that in addition to regular hand hygiene practices all staff providing direct support can be required wear a surgical mask/ P2 mask and face shields (eye protection) when additional precautions are required. Staff will limit other person to person contact with supported people, for example, they will not shake hands. Melba staff will guide and encourage people supported as much as possible to minimise touching other people during this period. As well as all the above, we always ensure that people are supported at the earliest opportunity to access their treating general practitioner (GP) if they are unwell and staff follow the treating GP’s medical advice around COVID treatments to ensure best possible health for each person supported in Melba’s SIL services. Melba has been continuing to encourage, support and facilitate people supported and staff to access the COVID-19 vaccinations, Rapid Antigen Testing and COVID treatments.
  • WILL MELBA ENSURE PEOPLE SUPPORTED ACCESS MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF THEY ARE UNWELL?
    Yes. Melba is committed to ensuring the best possible health of people we support. Our procedures ensure that an individual is always supported to access medical assistance when required, and we continue to do this as we usually do. We are also monitoring and will follow guidelines from the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing as to the best way to support a person to access a medical professional if a person supported show symptoms of COVID-19.
  • WHAT IF MY FAMILY MEMBER HAS BEEN TOLD THAT THEY NEED TO SELF-ISOLATE, HOW WILL MELBA SUPPORT THEM?"
    In supported independent living (SIL), including group homes, if a person supported has been told that they need to self-isolate they will be supported to do so either in their bedroom at the group home or with family members if that is preferred. People will be supported to understand why they need to remain in isolation and why certain personal protective equipment is required to be used. They will also be supported to engage in activities of interest while they are in isolation.
  • DO ALL PEOPLE SUPPORTED/STAFF/VISITORS NEED TO WEAR A MASK?
    Melba staff that provide direct care to supported persons in all services are required to wear a N95/P2 face mask whilst providing support services. When required due to risk of splash, eye protection (face shield or goggles) will also be used. In accordance with Victorian government suggestions for sensitive settings, all visitors entering a Melba house must wear an N95 face mask during their visit. Use of a face mask is an important protective measure. If a visitor cannot wear a face mask due to a lawful exception (i.e. due to medical, communication or individual risk factors) they should use a face shield instead. If appropriate, people we support will be supported to wear a face mask when visiting sensitive settings. In addition, staff working in or anyone visiting a Melba site where people we support are present are required to wear an N95/ P2 mask.
  • WHAT HAPPENS IF MELBA’S SUPPORT WORKERS GET SICK OR NEED TO SELF-ISOLATE?
    Melba’s priority is to ensure that the people who purchase services from us, receive the support they need. We are continually training staff and will redeploy staff from other duties if needed to maintain essential services.
  • ARE ALL OF MELBA’S SERVICES OPERATIONAL?
    Yes, as we move to more typical and less intrusive measures to reduce the risk of severe illness all of Melba’s services are now operational.
  • HOW WILL MELBA KEEP YOU INFORMED?
    Melba is committed to continuing keeping the people we support, families or other nominated supporters informed. Any decisions taken that have the potential to impact you, our staff or other stakeholders will be communicated at the earliest opportunity. While Melba will email all important information to you, we will also provide important information and updates on our website. Melba’s communication team are available and committed to advising all concerned of any relevant developments in our response to the COVID-19 virus. If Melba does not have your current email address, please send to melba@melbasupport.com.au with a request we use your email address to keep you informed.
  • I STILL HAVE A QUESTION, WHO DO I CONTACT?"
    If you still have a question about Melba’s response to COVID-19, please call our dedicated pandemic hotline. The hotline number is 1300 MYMELBA (1300 696352). It is currently available during business hours, but its operating times will be extended as necessary. You can, of course, also contact the General Manager Outcomes in your area. Our four GMOs are: GMO Central Highlands & Wimmera, Jacqui McCowan (jacqui.mccowan@melbasupport.com.au) GMO East, Aaron Fry (aaron.fry@melbasupport.com.au) GMO Gippsland, Kerrie White (kerrie.white@melbasupport.com.au) GMO South, Angela Quero (angela.quero@melbasupport.com.au)
  • CAN I VISIT MY FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND WHO LIVES IN A MELBA SUPPORTED HOME?
    When you visit any Melba Supported home, we all must be careful. If the weather is fine, it is best to have that visit in a suitable outdoor area at the home. If the weather isn’t great we will support you to meet with your family member in a separate lounge room, or the person’s bedroom if no other space is available. In alignment with the CHO’s strong recommendation all visitors are requested to: complete a declaration to say they are well with no symptoms, have RAT tested that day with a negative result, not be within 7 days of their own COVID diagnosis. Whilst at the Melba home, all visitors must wear a mask, keep up good hand hygiene and maintain physical distancing from everyone at the house including your family member or friend if possible. If any person supported in our service is unwell, we may ask you not to visit. Another reason to help us by phoning ahead to book and plan visits. We hope you can enjoy a great safe time together.
  • CAN MY FAMILY MEMBER VISIT OR COME STAY WITH ME FOR A PERIOD OF TIME AND THEN RETURN TO THEIR MELBA SUPPORTED HOME?
    Yes, Melba encourages people to resume their typical relationship patterns. We have returned to the typical infection prevention practices encouraging handwashing and avoiding people with symptoms to ensure that the person and the house group that they belong are at a reduced risk of contracting disease.
  • DOES MELBA HAVE PPE AVAILABLE FOR STAFF IF REQUIRED?
    Yes, staff and people supported have access to Melba’s acquired Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stock, which includes masks and face shields.
  • I AM A FAMILY MEMBER OF A PERSON SUPPORTED, WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 AND I WANT/NEED TO VISIT?"
    If a case of COVID-19 was to be confirmed, people supported, families and nominated supporters will be notified as soon as possible. If a person supported at a Melba house is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, only essential visitors wearing full PPE will be able to enter the Melba home. Please make sure to contact Melba before visiting. To protect people’s privacy, details about individuals will not be communicated when this occurs.
  • HOW IS MELBA KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE IN OUR COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AND ARTHUR CREATIVE GROUP-BASED SERVICES?
    We will continue to follow suggestions from the CHO. At this time people who attend Community based services and test positive are expected to not attend for 5 days, and on day 6 and 7 they should wear a mask, if they can't, we would ask them not to attend for 7 days. We also ask they refrain from attending again until they are symptom free.
  • WHAT ARE REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS PROVIDING SUPPORT TO PEOPLE IN A MELBA SIL SERVICE?
    Where a supported person elects to have another provider deliver supports to them in their home, Melba is continuing to work to ensure that physical distancing requirements and appropriate COVID-19 screening and infection control measures are maintained. When another provider enters a Melba supported home, the person attending is required to and complete a declaration to say they are well and not meant to be isolating from sensitive settings. We also expect them to abide by our stringent infection control measures which includes hand washing and/or use of hand sanitiser when entering the home and during their visit, as well as maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters from other people supported, wherever possible and wearing of a N95 mask. Staff from other providers are not permitted to enter a Melba supported home, if they: Have COVID and are within 7 days post diagnosis Have been tested for or are suspected of having COVID-19, or, Are unwell with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 (particularly shortness of breath, cough or sore throat). If any person supported in the Melba Supported home is unwell, we may ask other providers not to attend. If this occurs, we will update the person supported, their family/natural supporters and the other provider as soon as possible.

Who can I call if I am worried and I think I have symptoms?

DHHS Coronavirus 24-hour Hotline number: 1800 675 398

National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080

Nurse On-Call: 1300-606-024

For Melba Community Only – the Melba Community COVID Hotline: 1300 696 352

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