Helensburgh Respiratory Clinic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working urgently alongside the NSW Department of Health to establish a testing facility for the virus.  Our Respiratory Clinic is a Commonwealth-funded and accredited by Department of Health, GP lead respiratory clinic offering testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The purpose of the respiratory clinic is to assess, test and diagnose mild-to-moderate respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia. 

Good hygiene and social distancing are important behaviours we can adopt throughout the COVID-19 crisis - but testing is essential. 

NSW Health have requested that anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested.

A guide to NSW school students: click here

Testing will be free for eligible patients who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Cough and Cold

  • Runny nose

  • Earache

  • Headache

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sore throat 

  • Lack of smell

  • Joint pain

  • Muscle ache

  • Pneumonia

  • Tiredness

  • Tonsillitis

  • Sinusitis

  • Otitis Media (middle ear infections)

It will also be free of charge to those who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

NSW Health have requested that anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics.

Why is COVID-19 testing so important? 

  • Testing identifies those who are infected (even if they don’t have symptoms).

  • Those infected can be advised to isolate for 14 days.

  • Those in contact with the infected person can be tested and isolated also (“Contact Testing”).

  • Testing will help to take the pressure off local emergency departments and local general practices, so that they can continue to safely care for severe cases as well as patients with non-respiratory related conditions.

Especially as winter is coming soon, it is almost impossible to differentiate symptoms of Covid-19 from the flu and the common cold.

Testing is vital for us to control the spread of the infection within the community, keep the curve flat and get our lives back to “normal” sooner.

Who can book a COVID-19 test at our specialised clinic and what does it cost?

  • Respiratory Clinic is FREE for all patients with above symptoms.

  • No referral required.

  • Your GP may refer you to a Respiratory Clinic for testing to help reduce the risk of infection to other patients at your usual medical centre.

  • You can also self-refer to a Respiratory Clinic if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms

  • Bookings are ESSENTIAL.

 

How do I book?

  • Walk-in appointments are not permitted.

  • Pre-booking and registration are essential but no referral is required. 

  • Book online via HotDoc: select the "Complete Form" button at the end of the HotDoc Appointment Confirmation pagePlease fill out all information including mobile number, medicare no, your regular GP details, etc.. before your appointment. Please call us if you have any issues with booking online.

  • Book by calling us on 4294 1400: you will receive a registration link via SMS. Please fill out all information including mobile number, medicare no, your regular GP details, etc.. before your appointment.

  • Please DO NOT enter into our main GP surgery. Go straight to the white marquee at the back.

  • You must self-isolate while awaiting for result.

 

Our Respiratory Clinic Opening hours

8:30 am -   5:00 pm Monday to Friday

8:30 am - 12 noon Saturday

After your test

You must go straight home and self-isolate until you receive your result. More on NSW self-isolation Rules click here.

Test Results

  • If you are diagnosed with a positive test result for COVID-19, we want to support you every step of the way. 

  • If testing was performed by us, you will be notified negative results via a text message to the mobile number you provided at registration.

  • If your test result is positive, we will call you directly. 

  • Expect to be notified after 48 hours from time of testing.

  • You must self-isolate if you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results.

Location and Direction

We are located at the back of Parkes Street General Practice. You will see white marquee at the back. Please DO NOT enter into our main GP surgery. Go straight to the white marquee at the back.

Address:129 Parkes Street, Helensburgh NSW 2508.

 

Is it safe to go there?

Yes – We have very strict safety measures in place and you will be required to follow our safety guidelines at the clinic.

 

Special instructions before your appointment

  • It is important that you only attend the clinic at your set appointment time, wait in your car until just before your appointment and maintain social distancing.

  • Please remember to bring your current Medicare Card if you have one, and your identification.

  • If possible please avoid public transport, maintain social distancing and wash your hands before you leave your house. If you have a surgical mask please wear this, if you do not please cover your mouth and nose with a cloth e.g. a scarf.

  • If you arrive early, or if your GP is running slightly schedule, you may be asked to wait in your car until our Doctor is ready to see you.

  • If you start experiencing severe symptoms, please call 000 immediately or attend your nearest hospital emergency department.

What happens during the COVID-19 assessment?

Firstly, you will have a consultation with a nurse or GP.  After this, a nurse GP will conduct a COVID-19 assessment. Your clinician will then determine if you require testing or provide referral instructions. Testing for novel coronavirus typically involves collecting nasal or throat swabs, and mucus and blood samples, which are then sent to a laboratory for testing.  After your assessment, you will then be asked to self-quarantine for about 2 days while your test results come in.  If your symptoms get worse while you are waiting for your results, call an ambulance or go to your nearest emergency department and let them know that you are waiting for test results for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

If the result is positive, you will receive a call from a public health unit which will advise you what to do next which typically involves self-quarantine and monitoring. Our doctor will also contact you if your results come back negative.

Our Respiratory Clinic can provide these documents

The documents we can provide include that of scripts for respiratory related illness, test result, Medical certificates that cover the individual for the time they have off school/work and a discharge summary. We are unable to present the person being tested with any kind of documentation that states they are fit to return to school/work. 

What does a negative COVID-19 test result mean?
A negative result means that COVID-19 is unlikely to be the cause of someone's current symptoms.

However, a negative test result in someone who is well does not guarantee that they have not been infected as it may still be early in their illness.

Do I need to get retested for COVID-19 if I get symptoms again but my first test result was negative?
A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. However, that does not mean you will not get COVID-19. If you experience symptoms again, such as a fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, change in taste or smell, stuffy nose or shortness of breath, get tested.

My test for COVID-19 was negative but I still have symptoms, what should I do?
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. These are common in other viral respiratory infections.
When there are few cases of COVID-19 in your community, it is more likely that another respiratory virus is the cause of your symptoms. However, if your symptoms worsen, change, last longer than expected, or if you are concerned you should seek medical advice. Please consult with your regular doctor via phone. Your doctor will assess your risk and will consider a number of factors including:
• your history, symptoms and possible exposures, 
• the number of COVID-19 cases in the local community, and 
• the setting where you live, work or visit.
On the basis of that assessment, your doctor may ask you to have another COVID-19 test. While you are unwell you should stay home until your acute symptoms resolve.

Useful Links

The latest case numbers and statistics on coronavirus disease in NSW: click here

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW: click here

 

A guide to NSW school students: click here

What you must do if you are required to self-isolate, or you have been tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19, or been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19: click here

NSW Health self isolation guidelines for people suspected to have COVID‑19 infection: Click here

NSW Health COVID-19 self isolation guidelines and information: Click here

You must self-isolate if:

  • you have COVID-19

  • you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19

  • you are a returned traveller exempt from hotel quarantine

  • you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results.

COVID-19 testing clinics:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics