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Testing: Criteria & Locations

GPs now have four ways to test your patients for COVID:

  1. Book an online appointment with a local GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic:
    these are clinics run by GPs in our region that will undertake COVID-19 testing, but are also able to provide face to face consultation to patients with other respiratory illnesses. They help to reduce presentations of these types of patients at local general practices to make it easier for practices to safely manage other patients. They are also designed to reduce unnecessary hospital presentations. They do not require a GP referral, although patients are recommended to undertake a telehealth consultation with their usual GP prior to attending. There is no cost to the patient and the usual GP will be sent any test results. Patients must make an online appointment to attend these clinics.
     
  2. Collection at your own general practice (if you offer this option)
     
  3. GP Referral to a select range of local private pathology clinics:
    these require a GP referral, and some drive through swab collection points are available. The referring GP will be sent test results. These may require an appointment, depending on the pathology lab.
     
  4. GP Referral or presenting to a local hospital COVID Clinic:
    these are on the grounds of hospitals at Penrith, Katoomba, Lithgow and Windsor, and only undertake COVID-19 testing. There is no cost to the patient and the test results will not be sent to the usual GP.  Patients attending cannot make an appointment.  

COVID-19 testing advice

Practices should refer the NSW Health website for the latest case definitions and testing advice. Testing advice is also available in the NSW Health Updates for Health Professionals.

Anyone referred for testing MUST self-isolate at least until the result is known. 

GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinics in Hazelbrook and Penrith

A new GP Respiratory Clinic has opened in the Blue Mountains that can assess people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms (including fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath) to enable widespread testing and identification of any COVID-19 cases. The Hazelbrook Clinic is in addition to the existing GP Respiratory Clinic in Penrith. We anticipate they will operate for 3 to 6 months. 

The clinics are particularly helpful for patients with a respiratory illness that cannot be safely managed by telehealth alone due to their symptoms requiring a face-to-face consultation, when their symptoms are not severe enough to attend a hospital emergency department.

The GP Respiratory Clinics are similar to the Hospital COVID clinics, but offer medical assessment by a doctor and some symptom management, and are designed to reduce hospital presentations of patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Diverting symptomatic patients to a GP Respiratory Clinic makes it safer for general practice staff and patients to attend their own general practices. Moreover, this reduces the chance that surgeries will have to close for quarantine reasons.

Test results will be provided by phone or SMS (both positive and negative tests), whichever is preferred by the patient, and will also be sent to the patient’s usual GP by the pathologist.

All staff working at the clinic will be in full PPE and where possible, will use a “non-touch” method of clinical assessment, however the doctor can examine the patient if needed. Patients who attend these clinics will receive clinical advice on how to best manage their respiratory symptoms. Limited scripts relating to the current respiratory presentation may be provided and patients will be referred back to their usual GP for ongoing treatment via telehealth.

Patients DO need to make an appointment online prior to attending one of the GP-led COVID Respiratory Clinics.

Patients DO NOT need a GP Referral before attending the clinic, but are recommended to discuss their symptoms with their GP in a telehealth consultation first. Patients will need to show personal identification. The clinic is free of charge to all patients and a medicare card is not required to use this service (although a patient may choose to use one for ID purposes only).

Penrith GP Respiratory Clinic Location

Our Medical Home
Homemaker Centre
2227 Wolseley Street, Jamisontown
Monday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm

Patients will be met in the carpark by a concierge and then directed to the COVID Respiratory clinic, which is set up behind the Our Medical Home clinic, in a temporary clinical facility. 

Blue Mountains Location

Hazelbrook General Practice
9 Rosedale Avenue, Hazelbrook
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 5.30pm. 

There is limited parking for frail and disabled onsite. Patients should park at the nearby shopping centre. The GP Respiratory Clinic is set up in demountable buildings located at the rear of Hazelbrook General Practice.

 

Additional information

Local Hospital COVID-19 Clinics

There are currently four coronavirus testing clinics operating at hospitals in our Local Health District. Please note these clinics are ONLY for COVID-19 testing.

• It is important to remember that many people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will not have the virus. Only suspected cases are tested to ensure our labs are able to cope with the demand. There is no need to test people who feel well and do not meet the criteria above.

Coronavirus clinics are accessed from outside the hospitals. Please do not walk through the hospital.

  • Blue Mountains Hospital (education unit): 9:00am to 5:00pm, 7 days a week
  • Lithgow Hospital (via main entrance): 10:00am to 3:00pm, 7 days a week
  • Nepean Hospital: (via West Block entrance) 9:00am to 4:30pm, 7 days a week
  • Hawkesbury Hospital (mobile clinic van):10:00am to 12.30pm and 1.00pm to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday

These clinics are for people who are experiencing cold/flu-like symptoms AND:

  • have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; OR
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days; OR
  • have been sent for a COVID-19 test by their GP or Public Health Unit; OR
  • are a healthcare worker, working directly with patients; OR
  • an aged care or other residential care worker; OR
  • in a geographically localised area where there is evidence of community transmission; OR
  • self-identify as Aboriginal; OR
  • are a cruise ship passenger or crew member; OR
  • whose clinician, after taking a full history, has reason to suspect that the patient may have COVID-19.

There has been evidence of some community transmission of COVID-19 in the local Penrith area. They are encouraging people with symptoms who live, work or have been active in the Penrith LGA (Local Government Area) to be tested for COVID-19. Symptoms include fever and/or flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. 

Every patient who is tested at one of these clinics will be contacted with their results. This may take up to 7 days depending on demand. Patients must stay in home isolation until they receive their test results and notify their GP of any information given.

How patients can recieve results via sms

If a patient has been tested at one of the COVID-19 Hospital clinics the  results will be sent to the patients mobile within 72 hours.

Please remind patients to register to recieve results, patients can register by sending the words ‘my result’ to 0488 826 572, a sms will be sent to the registered number to verify identity.

There are also instructions on handouts at the Clinic.

 

Private Pathology Labs in our region

  • Emu Plains: Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology is now providing a COVID-19 ONLY collection centre, by appointment only. All patients must have a pathology request form for COVID-19 testing prior to making an appointment. Call the COVID-19 Booking Hotline on 1800 026 622 or 9111 3405 (Mon to Fri 9 am – 5 pm, Sat 9 am – 12 pm). Appointment times are Monday to Friday 8:00am - 4.00pm. COVID-19 testing is bulkbilled providing medicare card is provided.
  • Hawkesbury: Laverty Drive-through Swab Collection
    Hawkesbury Family Practice, Rear Carpark, 86 Lennox Street, Richmond
    Monday to Friday 8:00am - 12:00noon. Patient must have pathology request form from GP, as well as ID and Medicare card to be bulk-billed. Please review Swab Collection information before referring. Please be aware that patients without a valid Medicare card will incur an out of pocket fee.
  • Hawkesbury: ACL, Hawkesbury District Health Service, 2 Day St Windsor. Patients are encouraged to book online. Next day appointments are currently available.  COVID-19 testing is bulkbilled providing medicare card is provided.
  • Hawkesbury: Douglass Hanley Moir, 310 George Street, Windsor. All patients must have a pathology request form for COVID-19 testing prior to calling our COVID-19 Appointment Booking Hotline on 1800 026 622 or (02) 9111 3405 (Mon–Fri 9 am–5 pm, Sat 9 am–12 pm). COVID-19 testing is bulkbilled providing medicare card is provided.

Access links to local Private Pathology Labs.