COVID-19 Our Response

As COVID-19 evolves, we provide you with the following updates about our services. This information is valid as at 20 April 2020.

Shopping

In order to stop the spread of coronavirus, the current Australian Government COVID-19 guidelines urge people to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. We are committed to the safety of our customers and, as such, can now shop on your behalf and deliver your shopping to your home.

How can UCWB help with my shopping?

We can shop for you. You can give your support worker a shopping list and cash so they can shop for you, instead of with you. If you don’t have cash, we can shop on your behalf and send you an invoice to pay for your shopping. We have an account with Woolworths and can order your shopping online for you. Your shopping will be delivered to your home during a delivery window determined by Woolworths. Online shopping orders will need to be placed one week in advance of delivery. If neither of these options is suitable, your support worker can still accompany you to the supermarket.

How will I be able to get my shopping list to you?

You can give your shopping list to your support worker, or you can phone us with your order on 8245 7196 or email us at customer@ucwb.org.au.

How will I pay for my shopping?

We understand that you may not have cash and some supermarkets are no longer accepting cash. We are able to purchase your shopping on your behalf and send you an invoice for the amount. You can pay the invoice just as you usually pay your UCWB account. If you do not usually receive invoices from us we will help you with this payment process. For online shopping, we can enter your credit or debit card details at the time of placing the order, if you wish.

Will a support worker still be able to help me put my shopping away?

Yes, however, they will follow the social distancing guideline of 1.5 metres.

Other shopping options

Supermarkets have dedicated a community hour, between 7am and 8am, to the elderly and those with a disability. As a holder of a My Aged Care number or the special code issued to you via NDIS, you are eligible for priority online shopping from major supermarkets. Using your number, you can order your groceries online and organise to have them picked-up from the supermarket or be delivered to your home. If you need assistance to work out the best shopping option for you, please phone us on 8245 7196.

Social Support

How has social support services changed?

Where possible we want to modify social visits to maintain social distancing and minimise risk. This means we encourage social visits to be conducted in or around the home. For example: going for a walk around the garden or neighbourhood, doing activities, such as crosswords and craft, listening to music, help writing your shopping list or weekly menu selections, help writing or posting letters.

Transport

Will you still be able to transport me to appointments?

We can still transport you to essential appointments. The car will be cleaned before picking you up. We will ask you to use hand sanitiser before getting in and to sit in the back seat of the car to ensure adequate social distancing.

Medical Appointments – Telehealth

How do I get medical services if I am not able to leave the house?

The Australian Government has introduced bulk-billed Telehealth consultations with doctors and other health professionals. These arrangements will stay in place until 30 September 2020.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a way of conducting appointments without the patient and doctor needing to be in the same room. It means you won’t have to sit in a waiting room with people who are sick and risk exposure to illness. Appointments can be conducted over the phone. They can also be conducted over a smartphone or computer using an application such as FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp. Please let us know if you require any assistance to organise a Telehealth appointment with your doctor.

Will I have to pay for Telehealth consultations?

If you hold a concession card, you will be bulk-billed and no payment will be required.

Do I need special equipment to use Telehealth?

No. All you need is a phone and/or a tablet or computer.

Who will be available via Telehealth?

  • GPs
  • Psychologists
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Pediatricians, speech pathologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists for services for children with developmental delays
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners
  • Social workers and dieticians for eating disorders.

How will I get my prescriptions?

Your doctor can send your prescription to your preferred pharmacy via email, text or fax. Your pharmacy can deliver your medicines to the address on your prescription and discuss payment arrangements. If you’d prefer, your doctor can post your prescription to you so that you, a family member or friend can obtain your medicine from your pharmacy, as usual.

Will I still be able to attend my GP clinic or other medical appointments in person?

It is hoped that the majority of consultations will be conducted by Telehealth. However, face-to-face consultations will still be available in most circumstances, as clinics will have screening processes in place to ensure that people with coronavirus symptoms do not attend.

Do you have any other questions or need more support?

Please contact us on 8245 7196 if you have any questions or would like to discuss additional support.

Additional information

The Australian Government has prepared an information sheet. It is called ‘It’s OK to have home care’.

Why aren’t support workers wearing masks?

The Australian Department of Health and SA Health do not recommend the use of masks for people who do not have symptoms of the coronavirus.

Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus from spreading it to others. People who are well do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence that the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people prevents the spread of coronavirus. Our workers have gloves, hand washing kits and other personal protective equipment as needed. You are welcome to use masks if you choose to.

How can I be sure the support workers won’t infect me?

All our workers are trained in infection control protocols in the same way they are in hospitals. All staff have recently undertaken a refresher on infection control and additional training, specific to the coronavirus. We are communicating with staff on a daily basis as we receive updates from both state and Commonwealth health departments.

We are strictly following the recommended isolation protocols for staff members who have recently travelled overseas, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, or who have a fever, cough and flu symptoms.

What will happen if my regular workers are quarantined?

If your regular support workers are unavailable, we will make every effort to provide alternative support worker/s to provide your service. We will communicate these changes to you if your services are impacted or unable to be delivered. We will respect your wishes if you decide you do not want to use alternative support workers.

What happens if there are a high number of workers who are unavailable?

We will make every effort to deliver essential services and ensure critical needs are met. We will communicate with you if your services are impacted in any way.

What if I am unwell and I think I might have COVID-19?

If you are unwell and have a fever, cough and flu like symptoms contact your GP as soon as possible (ring ahead). If you believe you have been exposed to, or have COVID-19, you should phone the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for advice. Please call us on 8245 7196 and let us know. We will discuss with you the safest way to proceed and any steps or measures that we will need to put in place for your service. If your condition is worsening and you need urgent medical assistance call 000 immediately.

What do I do if I have been in contact with someone who is self-isolating or is being tested for COVID-19?

If you, or someone you know, have been in direct contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been tested and are waiting for the results please call us on 8245 7196 and let us know. We will discuss with you the safest way to proceed and any steps or measures that we will need to put in place for your service.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Your health is of paramount importance. Please call us (or get someone else to call on your behalf) on 8245 7196 and let us know. We will discuss with you the safest way to proceed and any steps or measures that we will need to put in place for your service.

Can my worker still take me out shopping or on social outings?

The current Commonwealth and state governments have implemented new measures to increase social distancing. The advice is to stay at home as much as possible. Essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacists and GP clinics will all remain open, however, sporting venues, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closing or will only be open for take away service. If you usually go shopping with a support worker please consider the worker going to the supermarket on your behalf. Social outings will be restricted, however, that time can be spent with you in the home or doing another activity. We are happy to discuss with you the best way to meet your needs at this time.

Can I change the type of service that I am receiving?

We appreciate that everyone’s needs are changing and you may want to change the type of service you are receiving, or how your service is delivered. We are willing to be flexible to meet your needs at this time. For example, we can do your shopping for you instead of cleaning your house, if this is more important. Please ring us if you would like to change your service or how your service is delivered.

Other information

We recommend you arrange the delivery of your medication via Webster packs with your pharmacy. Please contact your coordinator if you need assistance with this service.

You may also want to consider meal delivery services, such as Meals on Wheels, as an alternative to meals being prepared for you. If you need help to organise this, please communicate with your coordinator. Many supermarket retailers, like Coles and Woolworths, have introduced specific shopping times for vulnerable, aged or disabled people – currently between 7am and 8am. Please contact your local supermarket for more information, or visit their website.

We will contact you regularly to see that you are well and have what you need.

How else can we support you?

A message from Chief Executive, Fiona Kelly

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Information for our Aged Care customers

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Information for energy customers

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Changes to Centrelink payments

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