The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is testing us like never before. We send this open message of solidarity to you, the many healthcare workers in clinical, support and administrative roles across Victoria. As your clinical chiefs, we stand with you and support you as we collectively respond to the challenges in our health system. Despite these challenges, we continue to see your dedication to safe, quality care and innovative ways of working. We see the incredible work you do. Increasingly, the situation demands more of us, but together we will find a way through.
We wish to acknowledge the Victorian outbreak modelling published by the Burnet Institute and how this might influence the way you feel about the weeks and months ahead. We know health services are already under immense pressure. It is time to activate our plans and innovate practises to ensure we can continue to provide exceptional care to all Victorians.
It is also the time for us to work together as a team. All members of a multidisciplinary team are essential to delivering the safest and most effective care possible. Our shared priority is to keep established ways of working through local and system-wide responses. We can work together to provide the best care to our consumers and the best working environment for our healthcare workers. Now more than ever, we should work at the top of our scope of practice, communicating effectively and supporting each other.
It is hard for all Victorian healthcare workers. There has been and will continue to be increased pressure on you, which is why we are working with the Department of Health, unions, peak professional bodies, and health services to rapidly develop models of care that support your wellbeing while ensuring we can deliver care to those who need it most.
In the coming weeks, you may be asked to support areas of our system that you haven’t worked in before, work in new ways or take on new responsibilities. This might mean working with new people in different environments and learning new skills. We know that uncertainty and constant change can be hard. We continue to advocate for all health workers and to work closely with the Department of Health and our health service leaders to ensure you are heard and that your self-sacrifice is recognised. We are here to serve you and will remain so as we rebuild in the future.
There is a wealth of resources available to support you if you need, including the healthcare worker wellbeing centre. The centre has something for everyone and holds regular events such as “collective pauses” to support you and your colleagues.
We thank you for all the work you do to keep the community and each other safe. We stand with you today and always.
Adj Assoc Prof Alan Eade, Chief Paramedic Officer
Assoc Prof Alicia Martin, Interim Chief Allied Health Officer
Prof Andrew Wilson, Chief Medical Officer
Anna Love, Chief Mental Health Nurse
Adj Prof Janet Weir-Phyland, Acting Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer