Here at Geelong Orthopaedics our commitment to patient care has been ongoing. We have been attending emergency surgeries , and keeping in touch with patients by instituting telehealth and spreading apart our appointment times. We would like to share some of our specific unit contributions during this unique and unprecedented COVID pandemic.

Mr Simon Williams (director of surgery University Hospital) and Mr David Bowyer (head of orthopaedic surgery University Hospital) have made extensive plans to prepare for a large number of COVID patients and manage their emergency needs. This involved daily epidemiological meetings, planning resources, patient flow and isolation, and resource management across University Hospital, the old Baxter House, Epworth and SJOG.

It was decided we should split into teams to minimise spread between frontline staff and patients. Mr Andrew Thomson organised a completely new roster for our surgeons and staff. Mr Ben Miller organised the trainees into matching teams to support these roles. Mr Chatar Goyal reorganised fracture clinics to continue his care and reduce COVID risk.

Prof Richard Page has been part of the executive for the Australian Orthopaedic Association’s COVID response . Mr Ric Angliss as chief AOA examiner reorganised the orthopaedic specialist examinations as they involve volunteer patients, and could not occur during the pandemic.

All surgeons were involved in discussions with our infectious disease colleagues , preparing to be redeployed in COVID teams. We have continued our education programs, unit meetings and quality improvement meetings via digital platforms.

We would like to thank our secretaries, IT, and practice management for their swift adjustments to the ever changing pandemic situation.

Thankfully Australia seems to have done well so far, but preparation has been rapid, comprehensive and well thought out for the Geelong Region. Keep washing your hands!