(WA) Request from Department of Communities: PPE Needs in the Event of an Outbreak

Occupational Therapy Australia has received the following communication from Western Australia Council of Social Service.

The community services sector provides services to many people within the Western Australian community, with a focus on those experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many organisations and clients and service delivery models may have altered to reflect the increased requirements for the provision of safe and effective services. Personal Protective Equipment, from routine precautions (hand hygiene, physical distancing where possible) to the use of gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks, has become a vital adjunct to the tool kits used by organisations and providers.

In the early stages of the pandemic, supplies of PPE were difficult to procure. In the ensuing months, with Western Australia having limited community transmission of COVID-19, many organisations have undertaken work in the areas of business continuity and preparedness for the future.

The State Government is currently seeking updated information on the community services sector activities that would be undertaken in the event of widespread community transmission, and the PPE needed to support the community services sector.

The survey aims to determine the frontline services that will be delivered in the event of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Western Australia, approximate numbers of staff undertaking these services and the approximate number of clients to be serviced. Additional information being collected includes whether organisations have some PPE available for frontline service delivery. This will not impact the modelling for PPE use and distribution. From the information collected, decisions related to distribution of PPE for the community services sector and vulnerable cohorts in widespread community transmission will be made. For the purposes of this survey, frontline services are determined by the organisation.

We all have a responsibility to ensure we are as prepared as possible and to do this, we are calling on all community services to complete this survey.

Your organisation may receive this survey from a number of sources, as it is recognised that many community services sector agencies provide services to multiple vulnerable cohorts. Your organisation will only need to complete this survey once. Where there are multiple locations of service delivery, data will be cross-referenced to minimise the risk of duplication of information.

It is also appreciated that different areas of the sector may have already undertaken similar activities. The peak bodies within the community services sector are supporting this work. This survey and subsequent work will provide information across the breadth of the community services sector and reinforce the important work of the community services sector.

Please address any queries to Erin Bond at the Department of Communities State Welfare Incident Coordination Centre on 0435 620 572 or erin.bond@communities.wa.gov.au

This survey closes 2 December 2020. Complete the survey here.

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