Outpatient appointment changes because of COVID-19
As we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking measures to protect staff and patients including changes to some of our services.
You may have received a notification that your outpatient appointment has been:
- Relocated to a different site
- Changed to a telephone or telehealth appointment
- Cancelled and postponed
Please select from the below options to expand and read frequently asked questions.
The safety of patients and staff is our top priority. Earlier this year we postponed non-urgent outpatient care so we could prepare for an increase in COVID-19 patients. Fortunately, this preparation and community action to flatten the curve meant we could return to offering appointments again.
Changes to outpatient appointments such as moving to telehealth help us continue to provide care while obeying social distancing rules.
With recent risk of community transmission, and in order to support us to respond to an increased requirement for screening and testing, some non-urgent appointments will again be postponed until we are able to resume normal levels of treatment. We will work with you to re-book your appointment as soon as we can. We encourage you to stay in touch with your primary care provider to continue to monitor your condition.
Recently we cancelled or postponed outpatient appointments so we could prepare for COVID-19. This preparation and the community actions to flatten the curve mean we can now offer you an outpatient appointment.
The safety of patients and staff is our top priority. We are taking measures to protect you like offering more appointments via telehealth, limiting the number of staff and patients in our clinics and waiting areas, restricting visitors to our facility, and practising social distancing.
Telehealth is a safe and effective way of delivering care in your home without physical contact.
The Queensland Health Telehealth Portal provides an easy, safe and secure way to videoconference with your doctor or health professional from your computer, or through an app on your tablet or smart phone.
If you have received a notice that your appointment has changed to a telehealth appointment you will be contacted with details of how to attend via telehealth, including support to set up the system on your computer or device.
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, a nurse, or an allied health professional such as a dietitian or psychologist.
Telehealth or phone appointments are safe and effective ways of providing care when physical contact is not required. If you have received notification that your appointment has been cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19, it is likely your treating team needs to see you in person.
Your appointment will be rebooked for an appropriate date in future, according to how urgent your treatment is. You will not lose your position on the waiting list. Your GP or your primary care provider will let us know if you require more urgent care.
Yes, you will be offered another appointment as soon as the hospital is able to provide you with a new appointment date and time. You will not lose your position on the outpatient waiting list.
While we respond to COVID-19, clinical teams are reviewing patients to ensure the most urgent patients are seen first.
Until then, please contact your GP or primary care provider or call 13 HEALTH if you have any immediate health concerns.
In an emergency, call 000 and ask for an ambulance or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.
If your situation is not an emergency, contact your GP or primary care provider for advice on how to manage your condition. If required, your GP may request the hospital book an urgent appointment for you.
If you are feeling sick, in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, do not attend your appointment in person.
Let your outpatient clinic know and they will arrange another appointment for you in person or by telehealth if appropriate.
Do not attend if you have a fever, flu-like symptoms or have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
If you have been asked to attend your outpatient appointment, it is likely your treating team needs to see you in person to monitor your medical condition.
The safety of patients and staff is our top priority. We are taking measures to protect you such as offering more appointments via telehealth, limiting the number of staff and patients in our clinics and waiting areas, restricting visitors to our facility, and practising social distancing.
We are taking precautions to ensure your safety in our care. These include:
- observing physical distancing requirements of a minimum of 1.5 meters between yourself and others when you attend the hospital to the extent reasonably practicable,
- increasing our cleaning in all outpatient areas, toilets, and shared spaces,
- making hand sanitising facilities available in outpatient areas and throughout the hospital,
- asking anyone who is unwell to contact us in advance so we can make other arrangements,
- reducing visitors and non-essential people at our facilities
- providing masks on arrival to all patients, visitors and staff who come to our facilities. Masks are now required to be worn in our facilities at all times. People attending an outpatient appointment or visitors are permitted to wear their own clean mask (three layered) if they wish. Staff and admitted patients are required to wear hospital provided masks.
In line with the Chief Health Officer’s Direction, as of 1 am, Friday 25 September, visitors and support persons are now allowed at this facility. You can have two visitors at any one time, for any length of time, within visiting hours.
Example: A pregnant patient’s partner and the patient’s support person may visit at the same time during the patient’s labour. In addition, some local arrangements for visitors may be in place.
Your support person must not attend in person if they:
- have been asked to self-quarantine, for example due to travel overseas or interstate
- have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
- have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and are self-isolating
- have had close contact with a person who has novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 14 days
- are unwell, particularly with a fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
If you would like other people to attend your appointment virtually, please discuss this with the reception staff who can make arrangements for a telephone or video link to be accessed whilst you are in your appointment.