Jennifer Byrne (ASDC Chairperson) 20th October, 2020
The ASDC spent most of yesterday in discussions with DHHS and AHPA to ensure that we can inform you of the implications of Sunday's announcements for all of our members and provide you with further information as you plan for re-opening and resuming face to face treatments.
We also wanted to re-assure you that we continue to work on your behalf lobbying to health ministers at state and federal levels as well as collaborating with allied health and beauty professional bodies to raise concerns regarding the impact that this is having on business owners, employees as well as the public.
What is the current status for all 'beauty' services
The most recent announcement on the government restriction tracker is as follows:
Hairdressers and barbers can open, but beauty and other personal-care services are still closed.
By 11:59pm on Sunday 1 November — subject to public health advice — beauty and personal-care services can reopen. From Wednesday 28 October, they can prepare to open for services where clients can wear masks — such as manicures, body waxing or tattooing.
Rest of Victoria
The rest of Victoria — or regional Victoria — is under Third Step restrictions.
Hairdressers and barbers can open. They need to record clients’ details and ensure they observe physical distancing and wear face masks.
Beauty and personal-care services can open — providing only services where clients can wear masks, such as manicures, body waxing or tattooing.
For more information you can check details HERE.
ADVICE & Recommendations
At the current time the government has not indicated that there are restrictions to practice due to limited supplies of PPE for health care workers. Therefore, under the restrictions above any dermal therapy procedure can be performed as long as a face mask can be worn by the client and the therapist/clinician during the entire therapeutic interaction and observe physical distancing as appropriate.
We also recommend continuing to use virtual or tele-health methods as often as appropriate to minimise the time in clinic. For example any initial visit consultations, patient education or follow up/post procedure check in's.
Members are encouraged to review the ASDC COVID-19 Practice Guidelines on the Membership portal as well as the INDUSTRY RESTART GUIDELINES for Hair and beauty provided by business.gov.au
What is the current status providing 'Health Services in Health Care Settings'
The following advice only applies to our full members that meet the criteria of performing in the capacity as an allied health professional in a permitted workplace. For example a hospital or specialist medical settings. At this stage if you don't meet the criteria outlined in DHHS documents and business.gov.au advice to members is you should open at the same time as beauty therapy. For more information you can also review the statement by AHPA revised on October 19.
Members are encouraged to review the ASDC COVID-19 Practice Guidelines on the Membership portal as well as the INDUSTRY RESTART GUIDELINES for allied health provided by business.gov.au
In our discussions with DHHS we have also been strongly urged to encourage any members with specific scenarios of health services or patient groups you are concerned about and how they fit into the below restrictions to get in touch with business.gov.au.
Current restrictions are as follows:
Telehealth services must take preference as the first option for care delivery and be provided where and as appropriate
Any other health worker providing services required under a Chronic Disease Management Plan, a care plan endorsed by NDIS (including self-managed plans), TAC, Workcover or DVA - if care is required to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services).
No group classes / services to be provided (face-to-face) unless the session can be conducted safely outdoors (maximum 2 people plus health worker).
Some allied health professions are not directly covered by the definition in the Industry Restart Guidelines. Those professions will need to refer to the Permitted Work Premises document. Professions not listed in the Restart Guidelines can provide services where they are doing so in a permitted setting (AHPA).
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) and the ASDC continue to work closely with the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer and representatives from the DHHS to ensure from 1 November, we anticipate that there will be a further easing of restrictions to complete the move to Step 3 of the recovery roadmap for Melbourne. We will continue to provide updates as they are available.
Webinar: COVID-19 response update for primary care and allied health practitioners – 28 October 2020
This webinar is an opportunity for members to attend and ask questions of Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Dr Anne-marie Boxall, Chief Allied Health Officer, Department of Health and Professor Donna Markham, Chief Allied Health Officer, Safer Care Victoria on Wednesday, October 28 2020 11:30 am to 12:00 pm AEDT
Updates to PPE Requirements and Infection Prevention
Currently there has been a recommendation when in close clinical contact to be using PPE Level 1 recommendations (rather than Level 0) as previously indicated. This includes the use of eye wear or a face shield and face mask in adherence to droplet precautions. PPE according to standard contact precautions as per the risk assessment for that service Is still required. For more information please see the PPE guidance on the government website.
The DHHS have also provided a powerpoint presentation resulting from their recent infection control webinar for allied health professionals. This has great information regarding myths and evidence based information regarding preventing the spread of infection. This has been placed on the member portal COVID-19 resources.
Further announcements business support
The Victorian government has also announced further grants for businesses and more information to follow on support offered to sole traders. Other assistance includes deferring payroll tax for 2020/2021. For more information on eligibility and details of grants click HERE
What are the ASDC doing?
The ASDC are currently working collaboratively with other professional bodies such as APAN and AHPA in projects to further protect the industry for the future. There are a number of working parties developing guidelines as we work toward COVID normal. We will be also advocating on behalf of our profession regarding procedures and patient groups that Dermal Therapists and Dermal Clinicians provide services to.
COVID-19 Practice Guideline
Members are able to download a copy of the ASDC COVID-19 Practice Guideline from the membership portal. Also updated recently are guidelines to assist clinics with ongoing provision of tele-health services. The COVID guidelines may need to be modified slightly with updated information regarding PPE and other information that may come out of further discussions in the next few weeks.
We thank you for your hard work and persistence during this challenging time.
Please contact us with any concerns or queries you may have on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian Society of Dermal Clinicians (ASDC)