In our response to COVID-19, you might experience some changes when attending your outpatient appointment.
Telehealth (video) or phone appointments
Some outpatient appointments can be held by telephone or video conferencing, instead of coming into the hospital or health facility. Your doctor will confirm if this is possible.
Gold Coast Health’s response to COVID-19 is changing rapidly, you may be notified of changes to your appointment as late as 1 day prior to your appointment. We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this challenging time.
If you don’t hear from us with advice that your appointment is changing to phone or video, please attend your outpatient appointment as usual.
If you are attending a face-to-face outpatient appointment:
- To maintain social distancing, we ask you to limit the number of support persons attending the appointment with you or your child.
- Please maintain a distance of 1.5m from others where possible.
- Our Outpatient staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support your attendance at clinic. The level of PPE required may vary depending on the treatment you are receiving.
- Please do not arrive more than 30 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment time. If you have arrived early, please practice social distancing and wait in the hospital’s common areas, gardens or return to your car and come to the outpatients department closer to your appointment time.
- If your clinic is running late, and the waiting room is at capacity, our staff may ask you to wait elsewhere, and will call you when there is capacity in the waiting room. Please be kind to our staff if you are delayed or inconvenienced.
- During your appointment, you can ask your clinician if you are eligible for your next appointment to be a virtual outpatient consultation via telephone or video conferencing. If it is clinically appropriate, you won't have to come into the hospital for your appointment. Virtual outpatient consultations are conducted during normal outpatient clinic times.
Frequently asked questions
We've prepared a list of frequently asked questions about changes you might expect with your outpatient appointment due to our response to COVID-19.
Yes, you will be offered another appointment when the risk of COVID-19 to patients and staff has reduced. If your initial or New appointment had to be cancelled then you will remain on the outpatient appointment list and will not lose your position on the outpatient waiting list. While responding to COVID-19, clinical teams are triaging patients to ensure the most urgent patients are seen first.
If you are having any health issues related to this cancelled appointment please see your General Practitioner (GP).
Contact your General Practitioner (GP) to discuss your care and for advice on how to manage your condition. If required, your GP may request the hospital to book an appointment for you.
If your condition is too serious to wait or is an emergency, call 000 and ask for an ambulance, or attend your closest hospital emergency department.
To ensure the health and wellbeing of all patients and staff, if you:
- have tested positive to COVID-19 within the last seven (7) days
- are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild,
- are unable to attend your appointment for other reasons, you must let the hospital know as soon as possible so they can notify your treating team and they will advise if alternative arrangements can be made.
Do not attend outpatients if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, loss of smell and/or taste or if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
The safety of patients and staff is our priority. We are taking measures to protect you by:
- delivering your appointment via telehealth (video conferencing) or telephone if clinically appropriate,
- limiting the number of staff and patients in our clinics and waiting areas due to social distancing requirements.
We are taking precautions to ensure your safety in our care. These include:
- ensuring there is a minimum of 1.5 metres between yourself and others, where reasonable (for example, it’s not practical during some treatments, but talk to your clinician if you are concerned).
- increasing our cleaning in all outpatient areas, toilets and shared spaces,
- our outpatients staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support your attendance at clinic. The level of PPE required may vary depending on the treatment you are receiving,
- making hand sanitising facilities available throughout the hospital
- asking anyone who is unwell to contact us in advance so we can make other arrangements to see them
Yes, however we do ask you limit the number of support persons due to social distancing requirements.
However, your support person cannot attend if they are within 7 days of testing positive for a COVID-19 infection. They must also have no symptoms.
Telehealth (video conferencing) is a safe and effective away of delivering care in your home without physical contact. Find out more about the telehealth service.
Please attend for your telehealth appointment in a private space, in your home or office where you can give your treating team your full attention. It is difficult for us to provide you with the best care if you try to multi-task your appointment while driving, shopping or doing other tasks.
Your telehealth appointment will be conducted with an appropriate clinician in your treating team. Depending on your personal healthcare needs, this might be a doctor, nurse or an allied health professional such as a dietitian or psychologist.
Phone and video appointments are safe and effective ways of providing care when physical contact is not required. If you have not heard from us about a telehealth appointment, it is likely your treating team needs to see you in person. While you are seeing them, ask them if it is appropriate for future appointments to be undertaken via phone or video.