Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

14 May 2020

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Mersey Community Hospital Reset Plan for ED to reopen at the end of the month

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians is our highest priority as we continue to deal with COVID-19.

We know that the Mersey Community Hospital has been under additional pressure since the closure of the North West Regional Hospital.

Now, with the NWRH fully recommissioned from tomorrow, I am pleased to confirm the Mersey Community Hospital has developed a reset plan to ensure the continued safe delivery of services.

Importantly, this plan will mean the Emergency Department is expected to reopen on 31 May 2020, with operating hours from 8am to 10pm.

The community around the Mersey and the local staff at the site have been understanding throughout this time, and we are grateful for their support.

We want to see these services recommence as quickly as possible, but we must do this in a way that is safe and appropriately supported.

Therefore before the ED reopens, there will need to be a carefully staged transition of services currently occupying the space, as well as a review of key policies to ensure safety and quality.

More broadly, the Mersey Community Hospital Reset Plan is staged to allow for the following to occur:

  • Deep cleaning of high-risk areas, including the ED, as they are vacated by patients;
  • Recruitment of additional infection prevention and control staff, to coordinate and support a range of training and monitoring activities to support MCH staff;
  • Rolling out the Resilience by Design staff wellbeing and peer-support program;
  • More COVID Training for staff, including PPE online training and face-to-face assessment; and
  • Reviewing ordering and delivery systems, including PPE, to ensure continued availability.

Staff at the MCH will be provided with the opportunity to contribute to the implementation process via their local managers, who will be driving this process.

I thank staff across the health system who have already begun implementing changes to their workplace in order to keep Tasmanians safe from COVID-19.

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