COVID-19 Update: The Latest Frequently Asked Questions

As always, and now more than ever, the safety and wellbeing of our clients is at the very centre of our practice.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that many of our clients and their families have questions about the services they receive and how they will be impacted.

On this page, you will find answers to the frequent questions we are being asked. The information on this page is current as of Monday 16 August, and includes the latest advice following the lockdown in NSW and the ACT.

All CPA sites are following the latest NSW Health guidance and all information is current as of 16 August, 2021. For any specific concerns or queries, contact our Client Service Consultants on 1800 378 888 or ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au.

COVID-19 and CPA Services Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below common questions being asked by CPA clients. These answers are based on the situation as of August 2021.

How will the current lockdown impact CPA services?

CPA Accommodation: Our teams will work as normal to ensure all client needs are supported. Visits to clients in their CPA home will be limited to essential compassionate purposes only, in line with NSW Health Orders. Additionally, we will redirect more of our Support Practitioners into homes, to ensure clients can comply with lockdown requirements.

Lifestyles: Where practical and safe, Lifestyles programs within CPA centres and homes will continue throughout this current lockdown. However, some Lifestyles activities located in community settings may be suspended until safe to recommence. Please reach out to your regular CPA point of contact to confirm of your programs are affected.

Packforce: Considered an essential operation and support service, Packforce will remain open with appropriate social distancing and sanitary measures in place. Any Packforce employees who elect to not come to work will still be paid as usual.

Therapy, Coaching, Exercise or Gym: for clients with existing appointments, these will be rescheduled to a date post lockdown or, where possible, to Telepractice.

The Allambie Dental Clinic and Allambie Pool will be closed for the lockdown period.

Holiday Camps and Programs: All holiday camps and programs will be cancelled, along with all Sports training and sessions, unless there are options to provide virtual access via Telepractice. We’ll be in touch with everyone registered in these programs with fun alternative activities that can be done remotely.

In-home Support: These services will be undertaken where considered to be essential. We ask all clients and families accessing home services to wear face masks if possible.

Individualised Programs and Respite:  We will contact you to discuss impacts, options and new arrangements.

How is CPA responding to the current COVID outbreak?

Due to the increased risk of COVID-19 in many parts of NSW and the ACT, CPA has temporarily suspended all non-essential services to keep our clients safe in line with the latest public health advice.

We continue to work closely with the relevant health authorities in order to make sure that essential services, such as our Group Homes, are as safe for clients as possible.

What about services and programs outside of the areas in lockdown?

Services in greater NSW and the ACT will continue as normal. Please note that the ACT has mandated masks be worn in indoor settings and all clients and staff must wear masks if able.

What safety precautions are CPA staff taking?

As always, our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of all our clients and employees. We continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.

All CPA staff working in Greater Sydney must wear a surgical mask while at work. Designated COVID Safety Marshalls are active at all CPA sites.

As of Sunday, 27 June, only essential CPA staff will be on-site, and all staff will be required to wear masks at all times.

To see the full list of current restrictions, head to the NSW Health Department’s website.

What is the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations?

Many of our clients and staff are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, and we are working closely with health authorities to ensure a fast and effective vaccine rollout.

All NDIS participants aged 16 years and over, and carers of NDIS participants of any age, are eligible for vaccinations.

This includes all disability care residents and staff, who are being prioritised for vaccines as part of the Federal Government’s program. We continue to communicate with the Commonwealth Department of Health on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

In addition, vaccinations are now available at state or territory vaccination clinics and some GP and medical centres. To confirm your eligibility, and to book a vaccination, head to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker website.

For any concerns or queries, our Client Service Consultants are available on 1800 378 888 or ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au.

What is the latest Information on CPA programs and services?

All services delivered into group and private homes are currently running as normal. These are considered an essential service, and all CPA Support Practitioners will continue to follow the advice provided by NSW Health.

For any concerns or queries, our Client Service Consultants are available on 1800 378 888 or ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au.

What is CPA doing to keep its Group Home residents safe at this time?

  • We have established a 24/7 hotline for Managers to access direct contact with one of our Senior Clinical Nurse Consultants. Should staff become concerned about the health of a client at any time, they can use this hotline and receive immediate support and assistance
  • All House Managers and Lifestyle Managers continue to follow our strict standard infection control and environmental cleaning procedures. We have held briefing sessions with all our managers to ensure they have the information they need to support clients and staff at this time
  • CPA Senior Managers are meeting daily to ensure business continuity and workforce management plans are in place for critical services such as our group homes
  • We are working closely with our purchasing teams to ensure all managers have ample access to essential supplies, including personal protective equipment, pantry and cleaning supplies.
  • We have provided all staff with Infection Prevention refresher training.
  • Our CEO, Rob White, is in regular contact with the Australian Government to get the most up to date advice for disability service providers. We are then implementing this advice accordingly.
  • Based on the government’s advice, we are limiting large group gatherings of residents in the community. However, if a client is taken into the community, staff have been instructed to practice social distancing – which means avoiding crowds and small gatherings in enclosed spaces, and keep a distance of 1.5 metres between the client and others when out in public. This also means large shopping centres, cinemas, busy restaurants or public places.
  • Our staff have been asked to consult with clients, families and House Managers before carrying out any planned outings. We have also asked our staff to find ways to support activity in the home if required.
  • Any staff travelling with clients in a car or van, have been instructed to regularly wipe down high touch point areas including steering wheels, seat belts, and door handles with hot water and detergent, or anti-bacterial wipes.

What about CPA Telepractice?

In order to continue delivering services and supports to clients during lockdown, CPA has moved additional resources into CPA Telepractice. We deliver CPA Telepractice services by linking clinicians and clients via a web based digital video platform. You can connect for appointments from a range of locations including school, work and home.

CPA Telepractice enables you to access services wherever you can connect with a digital device, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

You can also invite other family members, service providers, and specialists to join you from their locations, all in the one appointment.

Learn more here.

What COVID-19 Safety precautions are CPA taking?

  • All CPA clients are screened and temperature checked on site at entry
  • Changes have been made to each of our sites to ensure that physical distancing can be safely followed, including the rearranging of furniture and appointment rooms
  • A maximum number of CPA clients are permitted on site at any one time to ensure that physical distancing can be safely followed
  • All clients enter and exit via a single entry point at every site, centre or home
  • We have implemented new sign in procedures for all visitors and staff
  • We have implemented extra personal hygiene and cleaning responsibilities for all visitors and staff to follow

Additional measures are in place for clients in our group homes including:

  • Strict standard infection control and environmental cleaning procedures
  • Ample access to essential supplies, including personal protective equipment, pantry and cleaning supplies
  • Infection Prevention refresher training for all staff

Restricting all non-essential visitors to our Group homes, and additional screening requirements for all other visitors before they are permitted to enter

Can I still access CPA Telepractice now that all sites and community centres are open?

Yes, many families have reported back how much they have come to appreciate the option of Telepractice, citing significant time and cost savings due to reduced travel times, and greater flexibility to manage sessions more easily within their broader family schedules. For these clients and families, Telepractice will still be an option

Is the CPA Dental Clinic running as normal?

Unfortunately, the CPA Dental Clinic will be closed during the current lockdown.

In a dental emergency, please contact your doctor or call 000.

Are CPA staff wearing face masks around clients?

Yes. In line with updated advice from the NSW Government, all frontline workers providing services directly to clients will wear face masks when delivering services.

Has CPA’s cancellation and no-show guidelines changes in light of COVID-19?

CPA’s current cancellation and no-show guidelines remain in place: https://cerebralpalsy.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Cancellation-Guidelines.pdf

However, if you need to change or cancel an appointment due to concerns around COVID-19, please contact us to discuss cancellation arrangements.

To reschedule or cancel an appointment, please notify your service directly via your usual site contact phone number or email.

I’m a person living with a disability. Where can I go to access information and support?

The Department of Social Services has set up a Disability Information Helpline that provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Helpline can also help families, carers and support workers.

Learn more by clicking here, or contact the Helpline by phone on 1800 643 787.

Are there easy English or translated COVID-19 resources available?

Yes, there are a number of resources available as well as a range of community support services to support you with understanding what is happening at this time.