COVID-19 home visit program

GPs, practice nurses and GP respiratory clinics in our region can refer eligible at-risk people affected by COVID-19 for primary care home visits between 4 July 2022 and 31 October 2022.

A patient being seen by a home visit nurse.Our home-visiting GPs and registered nurses are available 7 days a week to support primary care providers who do not have capacity to provide in-home care in the COVID-19 environment.

On this page:

About the home visit program

The home visit program supports general practices by providing home visits to patients who cannot or should not leave home due to COVID-19. The program provides in-home primary care for people who most need it and who cannot see their usual GP or do not have one.

GPs, practice nurses and GP respiratory clinics are encouraged to refer any patient who:

  • requires primary care in their home or residential care facility; and
  • has contracted COVID-19 in the past 30 days or lives with someone who has COVID-19 (see Eligibility below).

Services are free and available to eligible people in the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) region with or without a Medicare card. Translating services are available for people who speak languages other than English.

Services are being delivered between 4 July 2022 and 31 October 2022. The program will:

  • give support to general practices who do not have capacity to provide home visits and COVID care
  • reduce unnecessary hospitalisations and presentations to emergency departments
  • respond to unmet needs in the pandemic environment
  • explore the potential value of home visit services to respond to future surges in demand.

NWMPHN has commissioned 3 local primary care providers to deliver the home visits in the inner, northern, and western parts of the region. The providers also operate general practice respiratory clinics and are equipped to provide COVID care.

The program does not provide emergency services and is not designed to replace medical deputising services.

Home visit providers will provide treatment summaries to each consenting patient’s usual GP.

Eligibility

Patients must be referred to the home visit program by a GP or practice nurse. GP respiratory clinics are encouraged to refer appropriate patients to the program.

Eligible patients will receive a home visit from a GP or a registered nurse who can provide:

  • clinical care for COVID-19 symptoms
  • assessment and management of other health conditions (for example: medication management, wound dressing, chronic disease management).

Referrals can be made for patients in the NWMPHN region who meet any of the following criteria and who the referring GP/nurse considers suitable for a home visit:

  • People who are COVID positive (or suspected to be) or who have been COVID positive in the past 30 days.
  • People who are living with and caring for a COVID positive person.
  • People who are a dependent living with a COVID positive person.
  • People with disability or housebound people who cannot attend a practice for routine care due to COVID-19 restrictions (for example, because they are immunocompromised, isolating, or their residential care facility is under lockdown conditions).

Referrers who are unsure if their patient is eligible should contact the home visit provider in their region (see How to refer below).

Please note: homebound patients requiring COVID-19 vaccination can be referred to our Vulnerable Peoples Homebound Vaccination Program.

How to refer

Eligible patients should be referred to the home visit service provider in the patient’s local area.

Inner NWMPHN catchment: Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Moreland and Yarra local government areas (all postcodes)
Service provider: cohealth West Melbourne
Referrals accepted and home visits provided from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
Ph: (03) 9448 5557
Email: COVIDInHomeNursingService@cohealth.org.au
Website: cohealth.org.au/service/gprc

Northern NWMPHN catchment: Hume (all postcodes), Macedon (postcodes 3440, 3441, 3437 only) and Darebin (postcodes 3070, 3071, 3072, 3073, 3078 only)
Service provider: DPV Health Broadmeadows
Referrals accepted and home visits provided from 10am to 5:30pm, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 234 263 (select option 1 for medical and respiratory then option 2 for respiratory clinic)
Email: livingwithcovid.service@dpvhealth.org.au
Website: dpvhealth.org.au/all-services/respiratory-clinic

Western NWMPHN catchment: Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Wyndham, Melton, Hobsons Bay (all postcodes) and Moorabool (postcodes 3340, 3341 only)
Service provider: Sunshine City Medical Centre
Referrals accepted from 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week. Home visits provided from 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
Website: sunshinecityrc.com.au

How the home visit program works

  1. A GP or practice nurse refers a patient to the home visit provider in their local area.
  2. The home visit provider performs an initial assessment of the referral including phoning the patient if necessary.
  3. The home visiting provider triages the patient according to urgency and books a home visit appointment with a GP or registered nurse.
  4. The home visiting GP or registered nurse provides a treatment summary to the patient’s usual GP within 48 hours (if applicable).

More information and resources

A flyer (.pdf) is available for this service.

Clinical information about assessment and management of COVID-19 patients is available on HealthPathways Melbourne.

Information about the commissioning process for this program is available on the NWMPHN website.

Questions about referrals should be directed to the appropriate home visit provider as listed above. Other enquiries about the program can be emailed to NWMPHN on primarycare@nwmphn.org.au