Update No. 28 - December 23 2021
Tēnā koutou katoa
Well, who would have thought in late August when Delta first hit the community, that we would be here, 2 days before Christmas, prepared for Covid but thankfully not yet having to kick things off. The team of 5 million has pulled together and we’ve got here. I’ve included the community pharmacies in the WellSouth region in this medial director update, and will in the future, in response to some requests for that. It's a good example of how these times bring us all closer together. As I mentioned to the community pharmacy teams present at a recent Teams meeting, my father and sister were community pharmacists, and I cut my teeth as a 12 year old working in Dad’s shop. So, community pharmacies, welcome to the team!
Managing COVID-19 Care in the Community
The care pathway
I have provided an update on the Covid care pathway for over the Christmas – New Year period, if Covid comes to town – please see the attached document Christmas New Year Holiday period Covid information for practices and clinician network and the Uncontactable Patient Pathway mentioned in the document. We recognise that many practices will be on reducing staffing during this period. If one of your general practice’s enrolled patients becomes Covid positive, the WellSouth Covid coordinator will contact your practice on that or the next usual working day during this period (Wednesday to Friday, 29,30, 31 December and 5,6,7 January). The practice will have the option of providing virtual Covid care to the patient, or opting for the Clinician Network to continue patient care during this period.
Latest update – BCMS (Apologies to pharmacy colleagues, feel free to skip this bit!)
As mentioned in last week’s update, the BCMS integration into the PMS has been delayed due to a security concern. In the meantime, WellSouth has been working with practices and the Ministry of Health to create logins for clinicians and administrators. The Ministry of Health have very specific requirements to create a log-in including an individual mobile phone number, a unique email, an HPI-CPN, and a MCNZ or NZNO number (if clinical). The mobile phone is required for multi-factor authentication (additional security), so each time you login to the BCMS you receive a text with a passcode to gain entry. WellSouth will not use the mobile phone details for any other purpose.
The HPI number is a mandatory field, which makes it a bit more complicated, if - like me - you have no idea what your HPI number is!
For GPs, it is on your APC just below your registration number as shown here
For nurses, the HPI can be looked up on the nursing council website. While we all wish this could be a simpler process, this is the reality we are in currently.
All clinicians and administrators who did provide all the required information should have received an email from Alyse Nielsen-Jones. This contains your username and password details. If you received this email, please try to login to the BCMS following the instructions attached – Logging in to BCMS document.
We have noticed that while some log-ins have been created, there may be some teething issues with gaining access. If you have received Alyse’ email, tried to login, and it has not been successful, please email NCTS.Servicedesk@health.govt.nz
If you did not receive the email from Alyse can you please complete the form below to request access to the BCMS.
This form is automated to go to the Ministry of Health at 5pm each day, and they process login requests overnight. So, you should have BCMS access the next day. Again, if you try the next day and do not have access, please contact NCTS.Servicedesk@health.govt.nz
If over the Christmas period you need access to BCMS to care for a Covid positive patient, and you do not have access, please contact the WellSouth Coordination Centre on 0800 477 116 and we can request a priority account creation from the Ministry.
Remember that you can still have a play in the test version of BCMS, as below.
BCMS Test site Login:
Progress on funding
So, we finally have the national funding package for primary care, and for community pharmacies! Released last night, it covers a range of situations, including after hours, and in person consultations as well as virtual care. The rates in the Halcyon claiming portal for general practices do not yet reflect these new rates, and Karo will not have this updated until the week of 10 January. So if you have to provide Covid care before the portal is updated, you may wish to make the claims retrospectively when the correct fee structure is applicable.
Thanks to the Southern Clinician Network and Overnight Covid virtual care provision team!
Thanks so much to those of you who have put your hands up to be involved in the clinician network and overnight Covid care provision team. Our roster is fully peopled until 10 January, and I am hopeful that people will put themselves forward for shifts thereafter. I am happy to know that I won’t be covering every shift between now and then! All the best to you if you need to kick into action before then.
Covid Care in the Community – web site updates
We appreciate that you are receiving many communications and large amounts of information. We are working on consolidating information we provide about Managing Covid Positive Cases in the Community on two pages on our web site: One page will house information for consumers/the public. And this page is accessible from the Covid in the Community Link on the front page of the WellSouth web site. A second page will have information for general practices. This is on the provider side of our web site. We are just working on uploading the information we have available and both will be populated with content as soon as information is available. We will start uploading the medical director updates there too.
For anyone who missed the Covid in the Community webinar yesterday (Dr Hywel Lloyd, Dr Susan Jack and my colleague Marc Haughey, in my absence). The recording is available here.
Testing and Vaccinations over the Holiday Period
Covid testing and vaccinations continue to be available over the Christmas holiday period.(With the exception of Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s days). Times and locations are available at links below. (Current as of 23 December)
The WellSouth 0800 VIRUS-19 (0800 847-8719) Call Centre continues to operate seven days a week during the holiday period – 8.30 am to 4.30pm weekdays and 8.30 to 4pm, holidays and weekends.
Covid-19 swabbing update
Figure 1 shows our swabbing numbers since the Delta outbreak started.
As you can see, people are getting swabbed less at the moment. It may be a lack of symptoms, a lack of sense of urgency from the public, or a desire to not have Covid in the lead up to Christmas! Either way, with the greater movement of people that the holiday season will bring, it is ever more important for us to test everyone with symptoms. This is also a good time to remember to have accurate contact phone numbers for people you take a swab from, as some will be visitors and tracking them down without the right contact will be doubly hard.
So many jabs, so many more to do...
What fantastic efforts we have all done to vaccinate those people enrolled in general practices across the region. And its fitting that our community pharmacy colleagues are included in this update, as a lot of the meavy lifting has been done by community pharmacy this year too. Our figures, current today, are
91.3% of eligible enrolled patients with WellSouth practices have had at least one Covid-19 vaccination (up from 90.5% last week). For Māori, 85.3% of eligible people have had at least one vaccination (up from 84.0% last week) and for Pacific people, 89.4% have had at least one vaccination (up from 88.6% last week). So we are getting there! I still note the gap for Māori across the district. I know the pressure will come to do booster vaccinations very soon but please keep asking your unvaccinated Māori patients if they are interested.
This information below was emailed to providers yesterday, but it is important to ensure anyone delivering the vaccine is aware of mandated training for delivering the Pfizer vaccine.
Important message regarding COVID-19 vaccine-associated Myocarditis and Pericarditis:
The Director General of Health has asked DHBs to confirm that COVID-19 vaccination providers can meet all requirements to prevent the serious consequences of undiagnosed and/or untreated myocarditis/pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccinations.
Please have all your staff involved in the vaccination programme watch the IMAC webinar on Consent, Screening and Post-Vaccine Advice (importantly talking about Myocarditis) here then have your site’s clinical lead complete the self-assessment form that has been developed for all Southern vaccination providers – fill out the form here https://forms.office.com/r/xiB9H80jq3
This form is due back to us by Monday 17 January 2022.
For any questions, please contact your DHB or WellSouth project manager/lead.
Update from the Southern Covid-19 Vaccination Programme
Message from Andrew Bary, Operations Manager. Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, Southern DHB:
Firstly, we acknowledge the rapidly evolving messaging at a busy time of year and we value the tremendous contribution your teams are making to keep our people safe. We want to send you this urgent message regarding boosters as information comes to hand.
Formal communication with aligned messaging from the Ministry and IMAC is expected shortly, however the Ministry have confirmed that:
- The booster interval has been reduced from six months after the last primary dose, to four months commencing from 5 January, BUT;
- Legislative, regulatory and system changes have now been made so that you can commence four month boosters from TODAY 23 December at your discretion, so that people seeking a booster as early as four months after their last primary dose are not turned away. We recommend that this is not publicly promoted, but we acknowledge ‘word will get out’.
- Note: CIR has been updated to permit boosters after 122 days without a flag (i.e. on day 123). Remember to add the booster dose as a ‘new immunisation case under the booster plan’, not as a third primary dose.
- No prescription is required from TODAY, 23 December for a Pfizer booster. A prescription is still required for an AstraZeneca booster.
- Boosters are available for those aged 18 years and older only.
- If you have administered a booster dose earlier than six months without a prescription prior to today, an incident report must be completed.
Once again, thank you for your understanding during this rapidly evolving time in the programme.
Covid vaccine booster for health care workers
The booster is available for health care workers – eligible at 4 months from 2nd dose. This is effective immediately and health care workers are encouraged not to delay getting the booster.
Essential health care and border workers are mandated to get boosters, though the timeline to get that completed unknown.
Other employment sectors that have been mandated in the past will have boosters included, announcements forthcoming.
Paediatric Pfizer Vaccination
This programme will commence 17 Jan 2022. We are expecting Operational and Clinical Guidelines, as well as CIR and Book My Vaccine updates to be available early in the new year.
Funding and claiming information is now available on the WellSouth website for:
- AstraZeneca Consults
- Medical Exemptions
- Care in the Community
Please ensure codes are set up before trying to claim.
Vaccination Program Holidays Contact list for Covid Vaccination Providers- Attached
Please make yourself familiar with the information about vaccination support available in the attached document, as the WellSouth Covax Project Team will not be checking their phones or emails & not back to work until the 10th of January 2022.
The document has important contact information for the Christmas and New Year’s break, be it CIR access, exposure events, security incidents, logistics, and serious adverse events.
Other files attached to update
BCMS - General Practice Southern Guide v2
Funding support for COVID-19 CitC
Vaccination Support during the Holiday Period
Covid Information for Practices and Clinician Network over the Holidays