An update on our Lockdown clinic protocol

Hacking cough? Sore throat? Runny nose?

If you or your child is unwell this winter, your local GP respiratory clinic can see you face to face and give you a treatment plan to feel better.

Please see below to find your closest GP respiratory clinic. Which are conveniently located in Footscray, Maidstone, Altona and Port Melbourne. All are fully government funded, so the consult will have no out of pocket for you. The clinics are fully subsidised by the state. It is important that vulnerable patients attending Eleanor Clinic know they can do this safely. Plenty of our patients have severe chronic health conditions, are having cancer treatment or belong to another at-risk group.

We therefore have strict hygiene protocols in place, HEPA filters in every room and strict social distancing in place. If you have ongoing symptoms and had a negative PCR test recently, we are able to see you. We know that the weather is getting chilly, so if waiting in the tent of the front garden is not comfortable, please let us know, and we will try and find a place for you inside. If you are able to wait in your car, we really appreciate that.

We would love to just open our doors, and have lots of chatter inside our waiting room and clinic again. Unfortunately, due to the high number of viruses in the community, this would not be responsible. Believe us, we are trying our best in challenging times. We are not always getting it right. But we constantly review what we are doing and improve things. We love to hear your constructive feedback! We also love to hear when we do things well. Our team at Eleanor Clinic is working really hard to provide you with the best care possible.

Your closest Respiratory Clinic

Melbourne – we got this!

Eleanor Clinic is staying open for you during this lockdown – as we have throughout all previous lockdowns.

We know that lockdowns can be a very stressful time and have made extra appointments available for the coming days.

Both convenient Telehealth appointments as well as Face to Face consults are available.

If you or your children have any cough or cold symptoms the Altona and Port Melbourne Respiratory Clinics are government funded clinics which will assess you and do a Covid swab.

If all you need is a COVID swab look for your closest spot here: https://nwmphn.org.au/for-primary-care/covid-19/screening-clinics/

When you arrive for your appointment at Eleanor Clinic

As you know, we are big on your safety at Eleanor Clinic and we are taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe. When you arrive in our car park please call our reception team to let them know that you have arrived for your appointment.

Your doctor will first call you and will bring you inside the clinic for an examination or procedure if this is required and safe to do. All our rooms are sanitised between each consult, as is all our examination equipment.

Everyone over the age of 12 entering Eleanor Clinic is required to wear a mask. Temperature check and use of hand sanitiser are part of our routine. Please let us know if you are unable to wear a mask so we can arrange to see you in our outside clinical tent, if appropriate.

To all of you: we’ve done this before and we can and will do it again. And
this time let’s fight back and get vaccinated!

Find your closest vaccination hub here https://covid-19vaccination.wh.org.au

Hand foot and mouth disease – the essentials.

Dr Antje Theilhaber

Dr Antje Theilhaber

By Dr Antje Theilhaber, FRACGP

After seeing so many kids today with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), I thought I’d summarise the essentials for all you parents and caregivers out there.

Given that HFMD is a highly contagious illness that is spread easily from one sick child to the next, many of you may not only be having the joy of finding Easter eggs this weekend but also a mildly sick, clingy child with HFMD.

Children with HFMD can present just a bit unwell, starting to refuse eating solids. A few days later you may suddenly find 1-2 spots on their face or hands. They might have a fever as well, and you may wonder what is happening. The next day multiple tiny red blisters appear on their hands, feet and mouth – and by then things are usually pretty obvious.

HFMD is a benign viral illness, so your child’s immune system will just fight it off on its own. Regular pain relief may help, such as Panadol or Nurofen, so that they feel comfortable to drink and keep their fluids up. Avoid food with lots of acid like strawberries or oranges, as they may burn in the mouth and the kids are then more likely than to avoid any other foods you offer.

Think what you’d eat if you were a child and you’re pretty much on the right track: jelly, custard or frozen yogurt can be very helpful to entice kids to take in some fluids and energy. Their favourite icy pole is another hot (or cold) tip, if you are struggling to convince your youngster to drink. (Hydrolyte and other specially made rehydration icy poles are very high in salt and the flavour is not something many kids would take to. And you rarely need these special fluids for a mildly unwell child.

Obviously they will need lots of cuddles. Your kids might do quite well during the day when there is lots of distraction around.  But come night time, when the kids are quiet in their beds and everything is silent, they often realise how uncomfortable they are and can become more unsettled. Giving some pain medication for 2-4 nights before bedtime is often helpful. When using children’s pain medicine please make sure to only use the recommended dose for your child’s weight.

Sometimes little babies refuse to feed because of the blisters and they then need be looked after in hospital. Kids with eczema can also have more issues. Another good reminder, that it is so important to be on top of your kids’ eczema. This prevents complications like skin infections. This is another hot topic I love to educate about, will do that next time.

When your child’s blisters have all dried up they are no longer contagious and can return to day care and kinder. HFMD does not cause any issues for pregnant women.

So if your child gets some blisters on their hands, feet and mouth, make sure to give them regular pain relief if needed and keep their fluids up. As always: should you have any concerns please seek medical help.

More information: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Hand_foot_and_mouth_disease_coxsackie_virus/

Hope you and your loved ones enjoy the long weekend!

Dr. Antje Theilhaber

FRACGP

H.A.L.T. – Hope Assistance Local Tradies

We are very excited to announce that Eleanor Clinic has partnered with H.A.L.T (Hope Assistance Local Tradies).

The first of its kind, the HALT-Friendly Clinics program directly links HALT event attendees with GP and psychologist clinics in their local area that have a specific interest, knowledge and skills in men’s mental health and suicide prevention. As we have been running a very well received Men’s Health Clinic, this is an issue very close to our heart.

More info at https://halt.org.au/resources/