Hurstville COVID-19 Clinic recognised for remarkable support delivered to the local community

Hurstville Community Health Centre COVID-19 Clinic is the first community-based coronavirus testing clinic to be established in South East Sydney. Since opening its doors to the community in April, the busy clinic has tested a whopping 4,357 clients.

Inside the demanding clinic is a dream team of security, cleaning, nursing, medical, administration and community health information management staff, who have all been seconded from various directorates as part of the pandemic response.

Helen Rogers, Hurstville Community Health Centre COVID-19 Clinic Team Leader, said working with a highly motivated, supportive and collaborative team has been a highlight during these “often surreal times.”   

“Most of the team have never worked together before yet collaborated closely – with physical distancing of course – to quickly set up the clinic and provide an extremely high standard of care,” Ms Rogers said.

“The team begins and ends each day with a briefing and debriefing. The landscape changes regularly, so the briefing is essential for discussing the latest changes that will affect operations for the day, whilst the debriefing provides an opportunity to reflect on activity, workflow and discuss any issues that have arisen and plan our response to enhance service provision,” Ms Rogers said.

The team say they have been overwhelmed by the support and gratitude shown by clients, the local community and their colleagues both within the clinic and at St George Hospital. Staff are particularly grateful for the many donations in the form of food, beauty products, thank you messages and even invitations to dinner. One very devoted local stops by every single day to see how the staff are travelling.

“In the peak of the lockdown we met a number of clients who were really socially isolated from family and friends. We were able to provide an important touch point for clients to have a chat and connect with support services. There was an older client who had recently lost his wife and was unable to see his children and friends. Our nurses were able to listen and provide follow up telephone welfare checks so he was able to connect with someone,” Ms Rogers said.

The clinic is focused on providing flexible services accessible to the entire community through its drive through and home visit options. These are beneficial for clients with physical or cognitive impairments and other psychosocial circumstances, which can sometimes be a barrier to testing.

As well as increasing accessibility for community members, the clinic is preventing unnecessary exposure of clients at acute health facilities and decreasing presentations to hospital emergency departments. The service is open seven days week for staff and the local community and no referral or appointment is required.

Pictured: Hurstville Community Health Centre COVID-19 Testing Clinic team members.

Hurstville Community Health Centre COVID-19 Testing Clinic team members