COVID-19 Infection Control for General Practice

This page provides resources to assist general practices and other health professionals in South Western Sydney to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 infection control.

Distribution of PPE through PHNs

Download the Department of Health (DoH) publication (dated 11 May 2020) Distribution of PPE through PHNs tranche 4: respirators for general practice, community pharmacy, and allied health [PDF | 4 pages | 191kb], for guidance on the supply of masks from the National Medical Stockpile for General Practice (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services), community pharmacy, and allied health through Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

Health providers are still encouraged to source PPE through their normal commercial means in the first instance, to conserve the National Medical Stockpile’s limited stock of PPE for front line health workers.

South Western Sydney PHN COVID-19 PPE request form

Correct use of PPE for practice staff and patients during COVID-19

Watch the below videos produced by RACGP showing appropriate use of Personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser to help protect yourself, practice staff and patients during COVID-19. (Links to YouTube)

Full Version- How to use PPE 
Part 1 – How to sanitise your hands
Part 2 – How to don PPE
Part 3 – How to fit a P2/N95 mask
Part 4 – How to remove and dispose of PPE

Caring for adults with COVID-19 in the community

Communities of Practice - Agency for Clinical Innovation

Virtual Care Community of Practice resources - NSW Health

More clinical guidance and resources from NSW Health

MBS for telehealth consultations

The broad range of telephone services established in response to COVID-19 have been replaced with a smaller number of MBS items:

  • a short consultation item (less than six minutes) for straightforward care, such as repeat prescriptions and diagnostic referrals
  • a longer telephone consultation item (six minutes and over) for more complex attendances

It is a legislative requirement that GPs and other medical practitioners working in general practice can only perform a telehealth service where they have an established clinical relationship with the patient, with the following limited exemptions. 

  • the patient is in COVID-19 isolation because of a State or Territory public health order; or
  • the patient is in COVID-19 quarantine because of a State or Territory public health order; or
  • the patient is located in an COVID-19 hotspot as declared by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer.

What is ‘COVID-19 isolation’? A person with COVID-19 or suspected to have it must enter mandatory isolation.

What is ‘COVID-19 quarantine’? When a person is well but may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, they are required to isolate from other people to prevent the spread of the virus. The quarantine period is 14 days from when they may have been in contact with the virus.

What is a Commonwealth-declared hotspot? The list of hotspots declared by the Chief Medical Officer.
COVID-19 hotspots | DoH website

This means that people who are not in isolation or quarantine, and are in a location that is no longer a Commonwealth-declared hotspot will no longer be regarded as in a COVID-19 impacted area for the purposes of being exempt from the existing relationship requirement.

As of 14 October 2021 the Commonwealth have extended the hotspot declaration for NSW.  They are currently reviewing telehealth with the possible extension to 31 December 2021.

The MBS items for support for people in COVID-19 exemptions above (92746 and 92747).

For further information on changes to MBS telehealth items in more detail, visit the RACGP website or download the MBS changes factsheet from MBS Online.

Find out more about Telehealth

Communication resources for your practice

Social media tiles for anyone to share on their social networks. Local government area specific social tiles and suggested messages available in many languages.

COVID-19 posters and print resources. Visit NSW Health for a large range of posters to print and display in your practice, RACF or any other business.

COVID-19 resource language list Visit NSW Health for posters and videos with messages encouraging testing and advice on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 in many languages.