Ford Health COVID Safety Plan


This plan provides members of the practice team guidance on operating in a COVID-safe way, and helps identify and mitigate risks associated with provision of services as we adapt to ‘living with’ Covid 19 being an endemic infection.

Purpose and objectives

Our practice is dedicated to the health, safety and wellbeing of all team members, patients, contractors and visitors. We also recognise the importance of ensuring business continuity.  In this pandemic environment, we acknowledge additional precautions are required and that these are outlined in this COVID Safety Plan.

Key Points

  1. Entry of acutely unwell sick clients to our practices will be restricted. As our core business is the provision of wellbeing assessments, rather than the management of acute illness, unwell clients are asked to reschedule.
  2. Staff are required to stay home when sick and follow public health guidelines regarding isolation duration if covid positive.
  3. Staff and clients who have had Covid 19 infection are expected to wear a P2 mask when attending the practice in the week after isolation has been completed.
  4. Appropriate cleaning of shared surfaces will be done at intervals dependent on volume of client traffic and location within practice.

Practice access and patient flow

To control the flow of people into and through the practice, we will:

  • Anyone who is acutely unwell, even if Covid negative on testing, is requested to reschedule their appointment (‘If you are sick, stay home’ messaging).
  • Anyone who has had documented Covid 19 infection more than a week but less than 14 days before their assessment, or who has had contact with a household member who has a current Covid 19 infection can attend if they have a negative RAT on the day of the assessment. They will be required to wear a P2 mask provided by Ford Health.
  • ensure appointments are booked to limit clients in reception and crossover of clients
  • define appropriate social distancing by keeping placement of seating 1.5m apart
  • display information at the entrance and ensure clear messaging on the website asking patients to call ahead if they have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
  • display information at the entrance outlining the requirements of entry (absence of symptoms consistent with Covid 19) and mask wearing
  • permit telehealth consultations where appropriate

1. Physical distancing

While acknowledging the nature of medical care means maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 m with a patient is not always possible, our practice will put in place physical distancing measure by:

  • minimising patient congestion in the waiting room by
    • limiting the number of people on the premises at any one time; and
    • spacing furniture in the waiting room

2. Management of common client use areas

  • limit the use of shower and changing facilities by encouraging clients to come dressed in their exercise clothes
  • requesting clients bring their own small towels for use when able
  • provide access to hand-hygiene products upon entry and exit (and at appropriate locations throughout the practice), such as an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or hand-washing

3. Infection-control training

All members of the medical centre teams will be expected to be familiar with infection-control measures.

These guidelines are provided via:

  • The training process; and
  • Reminder posters in the medical centre consulting rooms.

4. Use of personal protective equipment

Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19. All members of the practice team will:

  • ensure standard precautions, including hand hygiene, cough etiquette and appropriate waste-management techniques, are maintained
  • provision of appropriate masks for medical centre staff and clients
  • P2 masks and eye protection are provided for medical staff involved in exercise stress testing
  • wear PPE appropriate to the patient presentation and as per advice from the local public health unit
  • dispose of all used PPE in accordance with standard precautions.

5. Environmental management and cleaning

Our practice will regularly clean and disinfect shared spaces, surfaces and communal items. Our practice will:

  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces with detergent and disinfectant wipe/solution between each episode of patient care – using a two-in-one product with cleaning and disinfecting properties
  • use disposable items when possible – this includes paper sheeting for examination couches when spray down bed surface not provided
  • minimise the volume of equipment in clinical areas and waiting rooms to reduce the cleaning burden and risk of transmission
  • minimise the sharing of clinical and administrative equipment between team members
  • when sharing of equipment, desk or computers cannot be avoided, cleaning of surfaces to be done at the start of each shift
  • adhere to environmental cleaning as per the most current advice from the Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for health and residential care facilities or our local public health unit
  • require team members who are cleaning an area or equipment possibly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to wear fresh non-contaminated gloves, a surgical mask, and eye protection

6. Practice team management and limiting interactions in closed spaces

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between practice team members, we will:

  • communicate with all team members regarding the requirement to not attend the practice if they have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of how mild, and will encourage testing in line with local public health unit advice
  • support any team member who tests positive for COVID-19, including making them aware of their leave entitlements
  • require all team members to thoroughly clean communal items (e.g. cutlery) immediately after use by washing with hot water and detergent or by placing them in the dishwasher to be washed on the hottest possible setting

7. Responding to a positive case, or close contact, in the practice team

If a member of the practice team tests positive to COVID-19, our practice will:

  • Request that the staff member remain at home until asymptomatic or testing negative and then wear a medical mask for2 days once they have returned to the office.
  • Staff that have minimal symptoms but are still testing positive 7 days after initial test can return to work but wear a mask for 5 days
  • Staff who have a household member positive for Covid 19 are encouraged to perform a RAT each day prior to coming to work and to wear a mask at all times.
  • RATs are provided by our practice for use by staff members

Plan review

This plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects the current processes and procedures of Ford Health as well as current legislation requirements and public health directives. The plan will be reviewed on or before 1 August 2024.

Public health unit contacts

State/territory Public health unit contact
Australian Capital Territory 02 5124 9213 (business hours)    02 9962 4155 (after hours)
New South Wales 1300 066 055
Northern Territory 08 8922 8044    1800 008 002
Queensland Find your nearest unit
South Australia 1300 232 272
Tasmania 1800 671 738
Victoria 1300 651 160
Western Australia 08 6373 2222

Further resources


Federal Department of Health

Safe Work Australia



The information set out in this publication is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The RACGP and its employees and agents have no liability (including for negligence) to any users of the information contained in this publication.

© The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2020; updated August 2023

This resource is provided under licence by the RACGP. Full terms are available at

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and seas on which we work and live, and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and future.



Document Identifier MN-013-4.0