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There are many things we can all do to support our wellbeing at this time – seeking professional help is only one of these.

Try to go for regular walks, eat nutritious meals, limit alcohol intake and keep in regular contact over the phone with your friends and loved ones. And please remember: it is always a sign of strength to reach out for support and help when you need it. .


It’s ok not to be ok

Frankly, it is ok not to be ok. After all: we are all living in the middle of a pandemic. But being in a pandemic doesn’t mean we have to do this alone. There is help and support available and, as GPs, helping our patients to find the right support for them can be one of the most rewarding parts of our job. Our Health minister, Greg Hunt hit the nail on the head when he observed: “Many will be feeling anxious, some will be feeling depressed, many will have mental health challenges that are being exacerbated. Can I start by saying, that’s normal, that’s OK. These times are unprecedented. Each person will deal with it in their own way.”

Being in a pandemic doesn’t mean we have to do this alone

The Better Access Mental Health Care Plan scheme remains available to offset the cost of accessing sessions with a psychologist. For those with an existing Mental Health Care Plan who have experienced further mental health difficulties with the second lockdown, there has been new funding for another 10 sessions. Yes, that’s on top of the sessions you might have previously used. And Telehealth makes it very easy for you to access this service: just book in for a mental health appointment with your regular GP.

The photo is part of a campaign that checks in on our Premier’s wellbeing from a large networking group of GPs. Politics aside, he has the unenviable task of working every day to try to guide us through this pandemic and we can only imagine the amount of pressure he is under. A reminder that everyone – even the Premier – needs some help once in a while.

Temporary changes to vaccination services at Eleanor Clinic

We wanted to give you an update on the status of vaccinations at Eleanor Clinic.

As you would have experienced, we take extreme care at Eleanor Clinic to ensure that all our patients have minimal risk of exposure while with us. In fact, we have been contacted by other clinics who have adopted our COVID-19 safety protocols, which is humbling. However, our high safety standards take considerable effort regarding time and staff on our side.

The recent rise in people contracting COVID-19 in Victoria shows that there is currently a bigger degree of community transmission than there was previously. This means there is a somewhat higher risk of catching this illness when out and about in Melbourne than there was at any stage before.

To us this means doubling down on our already extensive safety measures, particularly when performing vaccinations at Eleanor Clinic. These efforts are so time consuming that we can currently only offer vaccinations to those with the highest clinical need.

Those groups are:

  • Infants up to the age of 4 months (incl. 4 months vaccinations)
  • Pregnant women
  • People with immune-deficiencies or severe chronic disease as assessed by their treating GP

Please accept our apologies that we will have to defer immunisations for other groups than those above for a few weeks until the number of new COVID-19 cases within our community has decreased. This may mean that your child older than 4 months of age or other adult will have their immunisations with us a few weeks later than originally planned. In our mind this is currently the safest option.

To be clear: this is only for a few weeks until the COVID-19 numbers come down again and we can somewhat reduce our stringent safety protocols. Immunisations are very important – which is why we are focussing on being able to provide them for those in highest need. We’ll keep you updated on any changes.

As always, please speak to your friendly Eleanor Clinic GP with any questions you might have.

National Diabetes Week

Today marks the start of National Diabetes Week, and this year the focus is on Diabetes and Mental Health. As a Type 1 Diabetic for over 20 years, I certainly agree that Diabetes can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional health, as well as their physical health. However, there is growing evidence that the use of a low carbohydrate, real food diet can help both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics improve their blood sugar control, which makes living with Diabetes feel like less of a burden.
Since I started following a low carb, real food lifestyle over four years ago the improvement to my physical and mental health has been nothing short of amazing. You can read more about my journey here.
If managing your Diabetes is starting to feel like a burden, Diabetes Australia has resources and support available at https://headsupdiabetes.com.au or make an appointment to see your friendly Eleanor Clinic GP. We are always here to help support you.

Nominate Eleanor Clinic for the 2020 General Practice Award!

Veronica Ratu, RN, one of our terrific whirlwind practice nurses, alerted us to an award hosted by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

GP practices all over the country have done a tremendous job in pushing through the hardship unleashed by the Corona-pandemic. Staff have rallied together despite considerable risk to their own health. Practices everywhere have organised and staffed testing stations, building ‘vaccination centres’ from scratch in the wonderful outdoors so that there is minimal risk to anyone while continuing with the vital task of immunising our children. And through it all continuing to develop brand new clinic procedures that ensure patients get seen in a safe clinic environment – even in the middle of a world-wide disease outbreak that has put our old life on hold.

We know all this first hand because at Eleanor Clinic we decided from the first days that we would remain open for our patients throughout this challenge. Yes, there were weeks and weeks of what seemed like non-stop work to completely rethink how we provide health-care in a world that at times appears like it’s been turned upside down. We also had to find ways so that particularly our little patients weren’t scared of the masks and gowns we wear to keep them safe. It now seems that most children that come to us think what we’re doing to keep them safe is a big, very funny game. That’s alright with us. In fact, we take that as a big compliment!

What we’re trying to say is this: we are damn proud of what our staff has achieved despite all the uncertainty that even health professionals sometimes feel. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to do. Because we knew we needed ourselves and Eleanor Clinic to continue to provide the best health care for our community and then all the long hours to make it all happen just melted away. And we very much hope it makes a difference to your lives.

We’d be stoked if you would consider nominating our team – Eleanor Clinic – for the 2020 General Practice Award. Or, if you have a specific doctor in mind, then by all means nominate that doctor! Because more often than not it’s the little things in life that make all the difference – such as acknowledging someone’s work and care.

You’ll need a few minutes of spare time to fill in a nomination form. What better excuse than this to have a sit down with your favourite cup of hot beverage and clicking your way through the nomination form. Nominations close Friday, August 14th.

As Veronica put it: “Help me nominate our wonderful GPs and General Practice here at Eleanor Clinic. I work with this wonderful group of people everyday. I see them go above and beyond in their patient care, especially during this COVID crisis.” 

Thanks for that, Veronica – puts a smile on all our faces. 🙂

Nominate Eleanor Clinic