COVID-19 Update: The Latest Frequently Asked Questions

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

With the COVID-19 situation changing daily, 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. This page will be updated regularly, so we encourage you to keep checking in for the latest updates.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss your options in terms of accessing additional remote services, please call us on 1300 888 378, email ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au, or contact your Client Support Coordinator (CSC).

In line with direction from the Australian Government around COVID-19, some of our services are now delivered via our CPA Telepractice.

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 at Tuesday 31 March 2020.

1. What CPA services are running?

To ensure your services and supports continue to be available, we are currently developing a range of evidence-based programs in therapy, health & wellbeing, coaching and inclusion support that can be accessed remotely via CPA Telepractice. Please check in here regularly to see what is available, and of course keep in touch with your practitioner, therapist, program manager or Client Engagement Consultant to discuss your options.

In-person CPA Services currently operating are:

  • Emergency Dental Clinic
  • Essential face to face seating services
  • Supported Accommodation

Additional services currently available via CPA Telepractice are:

  • Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy
  • Youth Coaching
  • Health & Wellbeing, Exercise Physiology and Sports Coaching

2. What services have been temporarily postponed?

The safety and wellbeing of CPA clients is at the centre of our practice. In line with direction from the Australian Government, CPA has temporarily transitioned out of non-essential in-person. When the risk of infection is reduced, we will be back in touch with you to reschedule your service. In the meantime, please consider our CPA Telepractice services.

 

The following programs have been postponed:

  • Youth camps
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Swim programs including Autism Swim
  • Sports camps (includes Multi Sport School Holiday intensive)
  • All in-person therapy individual and group services including:
    • Occupational Therapy,
    • Physiotherapy,
    • Speech Therapy, and
    • Positive Behaviour Support services delivered directly at a CPA centre, in a client’s home or at school or the community.
  • Day programs delivered in centre
  • Youth group programs and in person youth coaching
  • All Gym programs and individual use
  • Individualised Supports for community access (non-essential services)
  • Term-based sports programs
  • Conductive Education individual and group sessions

3. Are CPA sites open?

On the advice of the Australian Government, we are implementing social distancing to minimise risk to the health of our clients, and the practitioners who support them. This means all CPA sites are temporarily closed for all non-essential services. Services that will remain open are our group homes and emergency respite, emergency dental and seating services.

While our doors are closed, we’re not. All CPA staff continue working to support our clients and their families. Stay tuned for more information on CPA@Home, launching soon.

4. Is respite available?

Respite is available for clients who have limited options, and for emergency requirements. Please check with CPA to discuss.

5. Is the CPA Dental Clinic running as normal?

The CPA Dental Clinic will be reducing the number of clinics and prioritising acute and emergency appointments only.

6. What about programs in the July School holidays?

At this stage, plans are still in place to run these programs. We will of course keep everyone updated on any changes.

7. Should I cancel all my appointments?

Your Practitioner or Program Manager will be advising you about changes to your appointments. Please also feel free to speak with your Client Services Consultant about your options.

We don’t know how long the virus will remain a risk, however we do encourage all clients to speak with us about accessing your services remotely via CPA Telepractice.

8. What is 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.

9. Has anyone at CPA contracted COVID-19? Is it safe to come to your centres?

To date no one at CPA has contracted COVID-19, however we understand it is likely to affect many Australians over the coming months. This in part is why all non-essential services are being postponed.

10. Will CPA staff be wearing face masks around clients?

No. On the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health, face masks are only to be used by people who are suspected of having COVID-19, or by medical practitioners who are treating people suspected of having COVID-19.

11. Are CPA gyms and pools open?

In line with advice from the Australian Government, the gyms at Allambie Heights, Prairiewood, Ryde, Canberra, Penshurst and Kingswood will be closed from midday Monday 23rd March until further notice.

The hydro therapy pool at Allambie Heights is also closed until further notice.

12. Are there plans on working remotely for CPA staff?

Yes, we have a well-established technology setup that allows all staff to be available and working from home. You can contact us through the normal 1300 888 378 number, SMS or ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au email during business hours. If you have any concerns, we can escalate your call to the relevant therapist, coach or program manager.

13. Will CPA still be able to provide me with a report for my upcoming NDIS plan meeting?

CPA will still be able to provide all clients with service review documents and recommendations for ongoing funding for services in the future.

14. Will I be charged if I have to cancel an appointment at short notice?

CPA’s current cancellation and no-show guidelines remain in place. If you cancel with insufficient notice (i.e. cancel after 3pm the day before your scheduled service) or do not show for your appointment, CPA has the right to charge you a cancellation fee of up to 90% of the value of planned supports that would have been delivered.

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

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

15. What are 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
  • In preparation for an expected increase in workforce absences over this period, and as we move in to the flu season, all 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.
  • We are restricting all non-essential visitors to our Group homes, and have implemented additional screening requirements for all other visitors before they are permitted to enter
  • 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.