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Supporting the local response to COVID-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Adelaide PHN has played a key role in the South Australian response. We continue to be involved in the design, development and distribution of vital resources and services (including facilitating the vaccine roll-out) to ensure the safety of our region’s primary health care workforce and support the ongoing delivery of primary care.

General practices have continued to support their community by implementing many health promotion and engagement activities funded by Adelaide PHN and facilitated by our practice support team. This has included a focus on targeting vulnerable, non-Medicare eligible and hard to reach communities to provide free COVID vaccinations.

Throughout 2021/2022, we continued to support general practices and the four Commonwealth General Practice Respiratory Clinics (GPRCs) to treat patients with respiratory symptoms either face-to-face or virtually.

  • The GPRCs assessed more than 70,500 patients with COVID symptoms.

  • Adelaide PHN distributed more than 200,000 PPE items for GPs, GPRCs, pharmacy and allied healthcare professionals.

  • Adelaide PHN also commissioned the Pharmacy Guild SA to train pharmacist interns to vaccinate against COVID -19.

  • We onboarded more than 200 general practices and four Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics to deliver more than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • We facilitated access to an additional 3,933 doses, by linking in general practices with excess vaccine stock.

As part of these achievements, some of our key areas of work across the year included:

Vaccinating vulnerable populations

As part of the Australian Government’s commitment, Adelaide PHN has supported vulnerable population groups in our community by facilitating urgent vaccination – particularly those who had difficulty accessing COVID vaccinations due to not having a Medicare card or being ineligible.

As part of an EOI process in early 2022, six general practices were commissioned to vaccinate the non-Medicare eligible populations in our community.

Pop-up Medics were also commissioned to vaccinate those vulnerable populations who were unable to attend a vaccination clinic. By June 2022, we facilitated more than 257 in-home vaccinations and expanded the program to include influenza over the winter period.

Adelaide PHN facilitated the Australian Refugee Clinic to provide translators, female medical staff, and private vaccination rooms to administer more than 350 vaccine doses to people from Adelaide’s refugee communities.

COVID webinars

In conjunction with Country SA PHN and SA Health, Adelaide PHN provided regular COVID Update for Primary Care Webinars. Seven webinars were delivered with more than 1,900 health professionals attending and a total of 2,057 views on our YouTube channel.

Infection Prevention and Control Webinars

We commissioned the Australian Primary health Care Nurses Association (APNA) to provide a series of infection prevention and control webinars to support a state of readiness and preparedness for primary health care workplaces during COVID-19 and the emerging flu season. APNA ran 3 webinars with over 100 health professionals attending and over 180 views of the webinar recordings.

Short term in-home nursing care for COVID positive patients

In February 2022, Adelaide PHN commissioned short term in-home nursing care for COVID positive patients. Care was provided to COVID positive patients who required support that was unable to be provided by their usual GP practice as a result of COVID.

What’s next?

Activities planned for the coming year include commissioning the expansion of the GPRCs, commissioning events to offer COVID and flu vaccinations to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, focusing on vaccinating culturally and linguistically diverse communities, commissioning an after-hours service in the northern suburbs and commissioning mental health services to help facilitate vaccinating those with mental health conditions.

Adelaide PHN sincerely thanks GPs and support staff for their hard work during this challenging time. We look forward to continuing to work with GPs and other providers to help keep our community safe and out of hospital.

We’ve distributed over 200,000 pieces of PPE to local health providers
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