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Update No. 30 - January 20 2022

Tēnā koutou katoa

Thanks to all of you who attended the webinar last night – we had a great turnout of over 80 people. The planning for Omicron is fast moving, at a local and a national level. We will endeavour to keep you up to date on how we plan to adapt our Delta response to being ready for coping with Omicron, and the progression from one mode to the other as case numbers increase. Let’s hope here are a few more weeks before Covid comes South, as a few of us still have holidays to take!

Managing COVID-19 Care in the Community 

Webinar recording - Covid Care in the Community Update – getting ready for Omicron

For those of you who couldn’t join us last night, here is the link to the webinar.

 Meeting-20220119_072156-Meeting Recording.mp4

Dr Susan Jack and Dr Hywel Lloyd, from Southern DHB joined Wendy Findlay and myself as presenters, ably chaired by Andrew Swanson-Dobbs. The take home message was that we need to think differently about how we approach the coming wave of Omicron. We will keep you abreast of our planning as we go.

BCMS update

We continue to set up people with BCMS log-ons. As a reminder, if you require access to the BCMS please complete this form:

to kick off the process.

I was at a national Covid care in the community meeting today, and the MOH is aiming to use the BCMS as the centralised patient clinical portal for all of Covid care with reporting and payment functionality. The aim is to have BCMS integrated into PMSs within the next few weeks (I was told 3 weeks so lets add a bit to that, based on past experience!)

Covid care in the community funding

Although the BCMS will have a claiming function in it when it is integrated into the PMSs, we are still working on setting up the Covid in the Community payment system within our claiming portal developed by Karo. It might be a race to see which gets there first! I have asked the question nationally about allowing practice nurses to be able to claim for initial assessments as well as GPs and NPs, given the coming wave of work with Omicron, and the need for ‘all hands to the pump’ in all likelihood.

Practice managers meeting –Keeping the lights on during Omicron. Tuesday 1 February 12.30-1.30 pm

Practice Managers can join us on Tuesday 1 February at 12.30-1.30 pm for an opportunity to discuss preparing for Covid in your practice (business continuity planning). There will also be a brief update on how planning for Covid in the community is progressing, how we can stay connected during this time and a chance to meet the coordinators who will work in the coordination centre.

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Covid-19 testing update

Figure 1 shows our PCR testing numbers since the Delta outbreak started.

The last 4 weeks are over the Christmas and Holiday period which may explain the reduced numbers compared to October and November time. Having said that, Omicron is closer than it has ever been. Its vital to catch cases within the first transmission cycles to keep a lid on this. So please test anyone with symptoms.

The testing strategy is currently being reviewed by MOH and the Omicron approach will be circulated soon, as I understand it. Again, we will let you know what the plans are when they come.

Covid-19 vaccinations

While I don’t have WellSouth specific figures today, here is the latest information from the overall Southern Health vaccination programme. We are fourth on the DHB league table, not bad!

A  message from our practice relationship managers:

CIR to PMS GP notification messaging is planned to be in production by the end of January (current target date is 26 January) and will include: 

  • Primary third  
  • Booster doses  
  • 26 vaccines (for overseas administered vaccines). 
  • Pfizer vax for 5-11 year olds 
  • The ability to record up to 6 administrations of Medsafe approved and under consideration vaccines (includes the four Pfizer products, Astra Zeneca) 
  • Ability to record the 26 vaccines registered in the NZULM in December 2021 as advised by WHO 

Sending messages to all Dose 3 / additional vaccinations given  is and estimated >1 million messages.    Hence, the sending of backlog messages will occur over several days. 

Please keep going with the boosters!!

Vaccines for 5 to 11 year old

Thanks to practices that are helping with this mahi. A question came up, about what to do for 11 year olds who turn 12 between their first and second doses – the answer I got was that if they start on the paediatric schedule, complete their second vaccination at the paediatric dose.

So 2022, the year of the nimble! Let’s enjoy the calm before the storm. As Jacinda Ardern said today in her press conference, every day without Omicron in our community is another day to get prepared. We are working at full steam on pivoting our response from a Delta world to Omicron, and we will keep you updated on this next week.