Pathology in aged care during a pandemic, and beyond (Updated)

Thursday, 27 August 2020 | Dr Fergus Whitehead

Evolving and adapting operational services during any time, however particularly through a pandemic or crisis, is the key to survival. With patient care at the forefront of everything we do, the relationships we have built, maintained and created over the years, have never been as important to us as now.

As they say – ‘we are all in this together!’

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were ourselves adapting our service models and working with our clients across all medical fields, we appreciated the importance of protecting some of our most vulnerable community members and the staff working in Aged Care.

We have always provided services to the Aged Care sector, however the importance of these services has truly been highlighted with the dedication towards patient care and adaptation at a time of crisis, simply amazing to witness.

The fundamentals of a business and the relationships forged during this time unlock a pathway to opportunity and growth.

Our long standing relationship with our local builders Emmetts saw us build a laboratory within weeks, and then it was our network and contacts, along with a few random searches, which enabled us to deliver a critical service, with the same passion and patient focus that we always have.

Whilst we took a hit like most businesses, Fergus explained what we learnt during the process, at the Showcase South Australia Members Industry Briefing, Health in Aged Care.

Dr Fergus Whitehead
Clinpath CEO


Aged Care Update

Clinpath have a dedicated COVID-19 Aged Care service, ensuring residential staff and patients have access to COVID-19 testing as a priority.

Operating from 8am to 6pm Monday to Sunday, Clinpath have a dedicated mobile Aged Care Hotline (1800570573), managed and supported by our COVID-19 Coordinators, 

  1. Abbey Clarence 
  2. Courtney Gill, and
  3. Gemma Luongo

All COVID-19 results are available within 24 hrs, including via Sonic DX.

If the result is positive, our Infectious Diseases Director, Dr Jhumur Roy will contact the referring doctor immediately. 

The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDC) will then be notified and all Aged Care patients,  as well as staff at the facility, will be tested for COVID-19.

Clinpath have always provided mobile domiciliary services to Aged Care facilities however now more than ever we appreciate the importance of providing the most vulnerable members of the community with access to pathology services.

Clinpath recognise the unique challenges in providing COVID-19 testing within an aged care environment, and we strive to ensure the aged care sector continues to be managed respectfully and with care. 

Clinpath have increased domiciliary services since COVID-19, ensuring there are additional resources available to support this sector. This includes the appointment of multiple COVID-19 collectors, specifically for Aged Care.

We monitor developments within South Australia, and acknowledge the restrictions for aged care workers and the fact that all nurses, medical, allied health and personal care staff are required to wear a face mask whenever they come within 1.5 metres of an aged care resident.

Regarding this, we wish to assure you that both our Clinpath Collection and Courier staff will have access to the required personal protective equipment, including masks, to comply with these new state regulations. 

All Clinpath staff have the appropriate evidence of fluvax vaccinations, carry and use hand sanitizer and will continue to follow any directions issued by your own individual sites to maintain safety.

Our website provides training videos for how to take a swab and procedures for donning and doffing:

If you would like more information about our Aged Care services, please contact Stephanie Hubbard or chat to your regular Client Liasion.

*This article was originally published in the Doctors Newsletter Edition 6