Capital Health Network

Capital Health Network

To help us plan our distribution of masks issued by the Australian Government from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS), we ask that GP respiratory clinics, general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, community pharmacy and allied health providers (see list of eligible providers below) complete the online form so we can determine the requirements for your service.

Allocation of masks based on recommendations from the Department of Health include:

  • GP Respiratory Clinics, general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations: two boxes (100 masks)
  • After- hours GP home visiting services, MDS and Nurse Practitioner owned or led primary care practices: one box (50 masks)
  • Community pharmacy: one box (50 masks)
  • Allied Health: one box (50 masks) per practice

Please note that If your service does not meet these criteria, we are unable to provide you with PPE.

Capital Health Network are required to report on distribution of supplies from the National Medical Stockpile to the Department of Health on a weekly basis.

Intended use of surgical masks

Surgical masks supplied in this tranche are intended to be provided to general practices and, when no local commercial supply is available, allied health and community pharmacies:

  • For the protection of health professionals and practice/pharmacy staff in direct contact with people presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
  • For provision to people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, for the protection of other patients and staff, and of the public while the patient returns home.

There is no need for the general public or health workers to wear masks unless they are dealing with symptomatic patients. Further guidance on the use of surgical masks can be found by clicking here.

Masks distributed from PHN’s cannot be sold as commercial stock.

Community pharmacies

Community pharmacies are eligible to access the supply for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they have significant contact with people presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms.

Eligible Allied Health Providers

Allied health professionals are now eligible for limited access to the supply for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they are working in higher-risk clinical areas, and with higher risk vulnerable patients.

This is a one-off allocation.

Given the diverse nature of the allied health sector, when determining whether allocation of masks is appropriate, PHNs have been asked to consider:

  • The likelihood of the worker having direct or close contact with high-risk patients who are presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms. For example: a respiratory physiotherapist working with patients with cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath, as compared to an exercise physiologist who is likely to be working with well individuals
  • The extent to which the allied health professional can manipulate their environment or practice method to reduce the chance of transmission. For example: due to the nature of their work, a diagnostic radiographer cannot easily change their mode of practise or environment, whereas a dietitian or psychologist may be able to continue to provide services through telehealth.
  • The relative vulnerability of the patients that the allied health professionals are treating. For example: where the allied health professional is routinely treating patients who are immunocompromised, or those who are elderly or disabled.

There remains an assumption that allied health professions will, where possible, not see patients with respiratory symptoms or at a higher risk of COVID-19 unless required to as part of their core business (for example: an optometrist can defer seeing a patient with respiratory symptoms until that person is well).

The Department of Health have developed a guide to assist PHNs in prioritising limited resources to allied health.

High Priority

  • Speech pathologists
  • Respiratory physiotherapists
  • Sonographers
  • Diagnostic radiographers

Moderate Priority

  • Orthotists/prosthetists
  • Other physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Osteopaths
  • Orthoptists
  • Audiologists
  • Optometrists

Please complete this form to confirm your PPE requirements.
(Fields marked with an * are mandatory)

To help us determine your needs please provide us with your current stock levels of the following equipment (this includes both private and government issued stock)
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Delivery details

Supplies are limited, and you should remain in contact with your regular suppliers.

For Allied Health providers, please note the Department has issued this PPE as a one-off allocation.

No date can be given for your delivery, however, depending on demand, you should have your delivery within 2 working days. Contactless deliveries will be completed by the General Practice Improvement Team. Your practice will be contacted when the team member arrives and goods will be left at the door as your staff member approaches. Due to the evolving nature of Covid-19 these instructions may change. You will be notified prior to your delivery of any changes to our policy.

If you wish to obtain your supply earlier, you may contact our office on 6287 8099 to discuss a suitable time to pick up your supply.

Advice for residential aged care facilities
If Commonwealth funded aged care providers are experiencing shortages and are unable to obtain masks from any other source, the National Medical Stockpile may be in a position to provide a small supply to supplement existing supplies for Aged Care providers, including DVA Aged Care providers. All requests will be considered, and if appropriate, approval will be given to dispatch stock from the states and territories who are distributing National Medical Stockpile supplies to Commonwealth funded aged care providers, on behalf of the Commonwealth. After a facility has explored alternative supply options, they may request supply from the National Medical Stockpile by emailing AgedCareCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au. This request will be reviewed and triaged based on need and urgency, with priority given to aged care providers where there has been a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Facilities may be contacted for further information about their request to determine priority, and may also be requested to reimburse the Stockpile at cost depending on circumstances

Advice for NDIS providers
If NDIS and disability support providers are experiencing shortages and are unable to obtain masks from any other source, the National Medical Stockpile may be able to provide a small supply to supplement existing supplies. After disability support providers have explored alternative supply options, they can submit a request for supply from the National Medical Stockpile by emailing NDISCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au. All requests will be reviewed and triaged based on urgency, with priority given to disability support providers and self-managing participants where there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Providers may be contacted for further information about their request to determine priority. Providers may also be requested to reimburse the NMS at cost depending on circumstances. For care workers to protect themselves and the vulnerable people with disabilities they are caring for it is important to undertake the training available at covid-19training.gov.au.