Norwest Private Hospital urges all community members not to ignore their health

Norwest Private Hospital is encouraging Sydney Northwest residents not to neglect their own health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suzanne Hall, General Manager said “Australians have done an outstanding job in maintaining social distancing and dramatically reducing the spread of COVID-19, but warned that it is still vital that people seek medical advice and treatment should a health concern arise.”

“In recent months, we have observed a drop-off in the number of people presenting at our Emergency Department (ED) for treatment, a trend also noted among GPs and allied health professionals,” said Dr Laura Brown, FACEM Norwest Emergency Co-Medical Director. “Based on feedback from those patients who do present, we think that the trend is driven by two factors – either not wanting to be a burden on the health system in these unprecedented times, or having concerns about coming to hospital during the current environment.”

Dr Brown said that, while understandable, neither were reasons to ignore or postpone seeking medical attention for what may be a critical undiagnosed health issue.

“We want to reassure the Sydney Northwest community that it’s safe to seek medical help. All too often we see individuals present at our ED with a complaint that, had it been ignored, might have led to serious longer-term repercussions.” said Dr Brown.

Ms Hall advised that Norwest Private had taken a number of steps to protect patients, staff, doctors and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are conducting patient screening and temperature checks on everyone who presents at our ED. We have also implemented strict social distancing protocols throughout the hospital in line with health authority advice.”

“We urge anyone who may be putting off seeking medical advice or treatment to please contact your appropriate health professional, and if it’s an immediate concern, the Norwest Emergency Department is open, safe, and here for your care” said Ms Hall.

Ms Hall further added that the “Norwest ED access fee for those over 65 years old will be waived for three months for patients admitted to Norwest Private Hospital and covered by private health insurance. This will enable our vulnerable patients to have access to high quality specialist geriatric medical, surgical and other medical specialist care at our hospital.”

“The ED is the frontline of our hospital and the team has been unified, resilient and professional in the challenging environment of COVID-19. As a team they have prepared, trained and have further developed processes to ensure the safety of patients, colleagues and all who enter the ED,” said Ms Hall

Norwest ED nursing team is led by Nurse Unit Manager, Jane Thornley. “I am very proud and honoured to lead such a hardworking team that focuses on high quality care, supporting our patients, their families and each other in the new world we now find ourselves in.” said Ms Thornley.

The Norwest ED Team have access to specialist consultations in over 20 specialties and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for a wide range of medical and surgical emergencies. Norwest Private ED can be contacted directly on 8882 8555.

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