7 December 2023 – Masks back in place across Dhelkaya Health
If you’re planning a visit to Dhelkaya Health’s Castlemaine or Maldon campus, please keep in mind that from tomorrow you’ll need to wear a surgical mask for the duration of your visit.
And with the holiday season just weeks away and festive get-togethers in the calendar, please remember these six simple steps to protect yourself and those most at risk:
- face masks can prevent COVID-19 transmission
- get vaccinated
- antivirals are available for eligible people to treat COVID-19
- ventilation helps lower the spread of COVID-19
- get tested
- stay home if you’re unwell and reduce the spread of the virus.
31 August 2023 – Spring into a mask free season
Over the last four years we all became accustomed to wearing masks in our daily lives. While the requirement to wear a mask was gradually rolled back in public settings in 2022, masks have remained a feature of sensitive settings like hospitals, residential aged care and GP clinics since that time.
However, in recent months many hospitals and aged care facilities have decided to remove the requirement for masks. These decisions have been made due to the low risk of infection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in our community, region and across the state.
In Mount Alexander Shire we’re seeing very low rates of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, which has reduced the risk of exposure and infection for everyone. In response to this lowered risk, Dhelkaya Health has taken the decision to remove the mask requirement for staff and visitors.
The change comes into effect on Friday, 1 September. It applies to Dhelkaya Health’s Castlemaine campus and Maldon Hospital.
CEO Sue Race said: “This news will be very much welcomed by visitors, patients, residents and staff alike. While the change means we can all spring into a mask free season, it’s important to understand there remain important exceptions to be aware of and anyone who chooses to keep wearing a mask will be provided with one on arrival.”
Visitors are encouraged to review the changes to understand where exceptions apply. For example, anyone with respiratory symptoms who is planning a visit to hospital or aged care should postpone the visit until they feel well again. But if this isn’t possible, these visitors will be required to wear a mask during their visit. Masks will also be required for those with respiratory symptoms coming into the Urgent Care Centre or who are admitted to hospital.
While staff will no longer be required to masks at all times, exceptions will apply to staff too.
Ms Race said: “We have very robust protocols in place for staff to protect those we care for and our wider staff group. These include making sure staff don’t come to work when they’re feeling unwell, mandatory COVID-19 testing in certain circumstances, and infection control practices that help to prevent transmission of respiratory illnesses.”
While the long-awaited removal of the mask mandate means we can all spring into a mask-free season, the advice to protect yourself and those who are vulnerable remains the same. If you’re feeling unwell or experiencing any respiratory symptoms, stay at home, test yourself for COVID-19 and make sure your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations are up to date.
21 August 2023 – Maldon Smiles
Children, staff and families at Maldon Preschool participated in Dental Health Week earlier this month, and know that it is never too early to start looking after your teeth and gums.
Maldon preschool participates in Smiles 4 Miles, an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria and supported by Dhelkaya Health. Children, families, and staff at early childhood services who are part of this program follow three key messages: Drink well, Eat well and Clean well.
This year children at Maldon Preschool are getting to know these key messages using Dhelkaya Health’s dental puppet and other activities.
Cory Hartmann from Maldon Preschool says that over 20 children from the preschool practiced brushing teeth using the puppet and listened to ‘Brushy’, a 2-minute teeth cleaning podcast with fun facts.
“Children also received tooth brushing charts, toothpastes and toothbrushes as part of our Dental Health Week activities.”
100% of early learning centres in Mount Alexander are participating in the Smiles 4 Miles Oral Health Promotion Program.
14 July 20233 – Memorial Service of Reflections and Memories
Dhelkaya Health is pleased to offer its annual Memorial Service of Reflections and Memories as an online service once again.
The service, which began in 2019, provides an avenue through which loved ones, staff and the wider community can remember and give thanks for the lives of patients, residents and clients of Dhelkaya Health who died between 1 December 2021 and 30 November 2022.
Kynan Sutherland, the pastoral care coordinator at Dhelkaya Health, has conducted the service this year.
Mr Sutherland said: “Continuing COVID-19 restrictions in health care settings requires those working in healthcare to continue to be flexible, responsive and creative. Although watching the service is nowhere near the same as gathering in person, like the previous year, so many more people are able to participate in our online offering than would have been able to attend in person.”
“The feedback from family and friends, many of whom live in Melbourne and interstate, is that they really value the opportunity to honour their loved ones in this way.”
“Even though most COVID-19 related restrictions have ended, COVID-19 has not, and many people are still hesitant to gather in large groups. Add in the rising cost of travel, and it’s easy to see why providing this remembrance service as an online service makes sense.”
“It’s our hope that watching the service offers people comfort, recognition and a time to be still and remember in the midst of a world that continues on, regardless of what they may be experiencing.”
This year’s service was filmed in the beautiful autumnal setting of Buda Historic Home and Garden. For a copy of the Memorial Service booklet, please phone Kynan Sutherland on 54713542.
9 June 2023 – Current visitor and mask restrictions
We have updated our mask and visitor restrictions at Maldon Hospital. If you’re planning a visit, you’ll need to wear a surgical mask while you’re visiting.
2 May 2023 – Nourishment for Maldon men
Dhelkaya Health, in partnership with Maldon Men’s Shed, provide an opportunity for Maldon men to better understand healthy eating and learn to prepare a meal. The first session will be delivered by Dhelkaya Health Dietitian Jarrod Badcock, who will provide a free on hour presentation about the basics of healthy eating. A second session one month later will be a practical workshop on preparing a very basic healthy but delicious meal. Both sessions will be held at the Maldon Men’s Shed and will be open to all men in Maldon who are interested in participating.
Event 1 details
- What: Talk about healthy eating
- When: 11am to midday on Wednesday 10th May
- Where: Maldon Men’s Shed, Phoenix St Maldon
- Cost: Free
Event 2 details
- What: Demonstration of basic meal preparation
- When: 11am to midday on Wednesday 14th June
- Where: Maldon Men’s Shed, Phoenix St Maldon
- Cost: Free
Bookings are not essential but highly recommended. For more information and bookings, please call Rob Gibb from Maldon Men’s Shed on 0407 810 633.
17 April 2023 – Health and wellbeing service boost for Maldon communities
Community-focused physiotherapy is the latest new service set to be delivered at Maldon Hospital. The new physiotherapy service will offer focused, short-term specialist treatment for post-operative and post-injury care for eligible clients. The service is open for anyone with a GP’s referral to help people with musculoskeletal issues related to surgery, hospitalisation or related to a chronic condition for older people.
Kerryn James, Executive Director Community Services and Wellbeing, said: “This new service has been specifically designed for people who need short-term physio to help address their needs and to avoid having to travel to Castlemaine for services.”
The specialist physiotherapy service adds to the growing list of Dhelkaya Health’s community and allied health services available to Maldon residents as a direct result of Maldon Hospital’s amalgamation with Castlemaine Health.
Current services already include podiatry, diabetes education, counselling for adults and children, continence services, dietitians, speech pathologists and alcohol and drugs counsellors. All allied health and district nursing services are also delivered at home to residents of Maldon and surrounds as needed.
Ms James said: “Based on the population data and health needs that we see in the Maldon area, there is an opportunity to keep growing the services delivered locally. That means a larger range of services are available closer to home, giving people more opportunities to get the health and wellbeing support they need.”
With a focus firmly on service expansion for Maldon people, Dhelkaya Health is also reviewing the Maldon-based District Nursing Service.
Funding changes for Commonwealth Home Support Program in 2024 are expected to impact the service, so Dhelkaya Health is taking steps now to ensure the valued service is fully staffed and funded, and ready to continue delivering high quality nursing well into the future.
The District Nursing Service review has invited staff and clients have their say about what they’d like the service to look like, and an outcome from the review is expected in May 2023.
23 March 2023 – Maldon leads African initiative
In September Dhelkaya Health’s Maldon Hospital worked with young charity, FESIDEV Australia, in donating equipment that was no longer in use at the facility. Hospital equipment and furniture can become surplus when it is replaced by newer or more modern replacements, when it is no longer fit for purpose or suitable under insurance requirements. All surplus equipment and furniture are carefully assessed before they can be considered surplus, and machinery is serviced prior to shipping.
Showing how a small community can have a big global impact the hospital donated 20 hospital beds have been donated along with additional medical equipment.
FESIDEV works with a world-wide organisation that takes equipment which may otherwise add to landfill and places it to meet needs in developing countries This partnership has created a fantastic opportunity for communities across the world to help each other with positive health and environmental outcomes.
Maldon Hospital was assisted by Castlemaine Honey who supplied the trucks to transport equipment to Melbourne where it was packed into shipping containers bound for Uganda.
The equipment has now arrived and will be used to set up a hospital facility and teaching hospital in Kampala and Gulu in Uganda.
“Hope Comprehensive Medical Centre is aiming to build a hospital facility with 300 beds. Northern Uganda suffered greatly for over 20 years of the Lord Resistance Army insurgency that greatly devastated economic activities, reducing the majority of the population to abject poverty, incapable of taking care of their health and other basic needs. The Hope Comprehensive Medical Centre services refugee camps and equally provides subsidised health services to the many who cross over to Gulu from South Sudan to seek health services”.
We are grateful to Dr Esther Tsafack from FESIDEV for organising this project, Castlemaine Honey for donating the use of their truck, and Sarah and Nic for the generous donation of their time and skills in transporting the equipment to Melbourne.
Maldon’s initiative has also led to further donations of equipment from the Castlemaine Health campus of Dhelkaya Health.
9 November 2022 – Comment on our draft Strategic Plan
Dhelkaya Health is your local health service. It was created through the integration of Castlemaine Health, Maldon Hospital and CHIRP Community Health in 2022.
In the last few months, Dhelkaya Health has been working on a strategic plan to guide our health and wellbeing services, for those living in and around the Mount Alexander Shire, for the next three years.
We have a draft plan ready, now we’d like to hear what you think.
Why? Because we want to make sure we’re delivering the health and wellbeing services that are most important for you, your family and community. And delivering them in the way that works for you.
Commenting is easy, it’s just a 5-minute survey online.
4 November 2022 – New funding signals big changes for Dhelkaya Health
More than $1.2 million in funding through the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) has been announced for three Dhelkaya Health sites across the Mount Alexander Shire.
Castlemaine Health’s Cornish Street site, Maldon Hospital, and the old hospital site in Halford Street are each set to benefit from major improvement works, which includes:
- $318,000 to re-design and re-purpose Castlemaine Health’s existing front reception for use as a sterile stock facility to ensure compliance for accreditation requirements, with a new reception area already planned for the Odgers Road entrance.
- $418,000 for demolition of the old Halford Street nurses’ quarters, which has been unoccupied since the site was decommissioned in the 1990s.
- $494,860 for fire safety and risk management works to ensure Dhelkaya Health infrastructure and buildings at Maldon and Castlemaine are better equipped for fire preparedness.
Jason Stevens, Executive Director Corporate Services, said: “We are thrilled to be able to share this news with our local communities.”
Having a dedicated sterile stock facility in the main block of the Castlemaine campus will improve clinical staff access to critical supplies and consumables. The commitment will also enable a review of the patient and visitor flow at the Castlemaine campus of Dhelkaya Health. Investment in fire safety and preparedness means safer buildings and grounds for patients, residents, staff and local communities in both Maldon and Castlemaine.
Mr Stevens said: “The funding announcement for demolition of the old nurses’ quarters at our Halford Street campus affords us the opportunity to eliminate the risk that the redundant building presents to our health service and the community. The commitment will allow us to ensure the site becomes a safer environment.”
Following a competitive tender and appointment processes to run over the coming months, projected timelines for the Halford Street project should see the demolition works completed by June 2023. The adjacent building and offices on the Halford Street site, which are currently leased by Workspace, will remain intact. These buildings and offices are run as an incubator for business start-ups and are occupied by up to 80 small local businesses.
While there are no agreed plans yet for the Halford Street site’s future purpose, the demolition of the unoccupied nurses’ quarters opens up options for future accommodation and use.
Vanessa Healy, Board Chair, said: “While we have lots of ideas, we don’t yet know what Halford Street will look like in the future. But we do know it will be safer and more secure for those who work and live nearby thanks to this funding.
“I’d like to acknowledge and thank Dhelkaya Health’s Executive Director Jason Stevens, Director Justin Sawyers and CEO Sue Race for the significant amount of time and effort that went into the RHIF application process. We are truly delighted with the outcome, and are grateful for the support of Maree Edwards MP and the Victorian Government. Dhelkaya Health has a very bright future ahead.”
14 October 2022 – New ZEV fleet drops Maldon Hospital’s vehicle emissions to zero
Dhelkaya Health has taken delivery of three battery electric cars at Maldon Hospital.
Known as ZEVs, these zero emissions vehicles will be used by nurses, other staff and volunteers to visit and transport patients in the community.
The new Hyundai Kona Electric models have replaced three existing petrol and diesel cars.
The new Konas have a 480km range which will enable staff to make long trips for outpatient work or meetings without the need to charge en-route.
Dhelkaya Health is working hard to reduce our environmental footprint and the ZEV vehicles are an important part of this work. Maldon Hospital is a member of the Global Green and
Healthy Hospitals network so with 100% of Maldon Hospital’s fleet now electric, they’re leading the way to more sustainable practices.
The ZEV vehicles have been subsidised by the Victorian Government, with Dhelkaya Health responsible for the monthly leasing costs. The new vehicles have dedicated charging
stations which have been newly installed at Maldon Hospital.
In addition to reducing emissions to make towns, cities and regions more liveable, the ZEVs will also deliver ongoing savings due to having lower maintenance and running costs than
their petrol or diesel predecessors.
Thanks go out to everyone involved in helping to secure Dhelkaya Health’s involvement in the ZEV program, in particular Fleet Administrator Helen Gramberg, for helping to drive Maldon Hospital’s transition.
9 September 2022 – Amendments to Pandemic Orders
At 11.59pm on Thursday 8 September, amendments were made to the pandemic orders in Victoria.
The changes mean the self-isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who don’t have symptoms on day five of isolation reduces from seven to five days.
Anyone leaving isolation after five days cannot visit a sensitive setting – such as hospitals, residential aged care, disability care settings or in-home care for the next two days, or if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
This additional precaution reflects the increased risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 in people in those high-risk settings.
19 August 2022 – A new look for Dhelkaya Health
A new interim branding approach has been developed for Dhellkaya Health. The interim brand brings together the logos from our three organisations. It has been designed to display the organisations’ logos together with equal standing rather than in any visual hierarchy to communicate that we are all working together equally for Dhelkaya Health.
Use of all three logos is deliberate and intentional because our logos and identities have long and established histories in the community, along with strong visual recognition. When our clients, patients and residents see our logos they are reassured that they’re going to the right place, so our interim branding draws on that identity strength.
The interim brand has been a consultative process, with representatives from all areas of Dhelkaya Health taking part in workshops to help define direction and agree on design options.
The interim branding is just that – interim. It is intended to help bring us together visually for the next 12-18 months until a more permanent brand identity is developed. That more permanent identity will be developed alongside the strategic planning process, which will also develop a new mission, vision and values for us all to share.
The interim brand has been designed for use on the most visible or frequently used ‘touchpoints’, such as letterhead, PowerPoint presentations, email signatures, brochures, signage, websites and social media. The roll-out is also designed to be cost-effective. It won’t be applied to everything, just the materials we use the most.
You’ll see the ‘together as Dhelkaya Health’ messaging already in place on the Castlemaine Health website and Maldon Hospital website, and is being applied to the CHIRP website.
15 July 2022 – New Community Services Hub at Maldon Hospital
A new Community Services Hub has opened at Maldon Hospital this month. The Hub offers a range of new community health services to the Maldon community. The new services come as a direct result of the amalgamation of Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health earlier this year.
The first community health services already seeing clients at the Maldon Community Services Hub include:
- diabetes education
- counselling for adults and children and continence services
- speech pathology.
Any Maldon residents already travelling to Castlemaine for these services can now discuss changing their appointment location with their practitioner.
The Community Services Hub has a separate reception to the main hospital and aged care, so clients can enter from Adair Street where they are welcomed by Community Services Hub Receptionist, Jess Humphrey. With the Community Services Hub already seeing a steady stream of local clients through the door, Dhelkaya Health is expecting more Maldon locals to get in touch to find out how the services can help improve their health and wellbeing.
To find out more about these services or to make an appointment, call Dhelkaya Health on 5471 3575.
Here, we provide more general information on how Maldon Hospital is managing residential care in response to COVID-19.
Current visitor restrictions
Visitor restrictions for Maldon Hospital are as follows:
There is now no limit on the number of visitors for each resident and patient.
Visitors will be asked to show a negative rapid antigen test, evidence of COVID-19 vaccination prior to entry and wear an N95 mask for the duration of the visit. An N95 mask offers improved protection from
transmission in comparison with surgical masks. An N95 mask will be supplied to visitors on
Evidence of a negative rapid antigen test is required for entry.
Unvaccinated visitors are strongly discouraged from visiting at this time for the protection of our residents and staff. However, if there is a compelling reason for visiting (e.g.
compassionate grounds) then please contact the Nurse in Charge to discuss your
In order to safely manage flow in and out of the building whilst continuing to ensure the safety of our residents, patients and staff, our current visiting hours are 10am to 4pm.
Please do not visit if you are feeling unwell with any symptoms of illness. We have robust
infection control procedures in place but there is always a risk of transmission, so the best way
to protect the health of our residents is to stay at home until you are well.
Remember that visiting outside 10am to 4pm takes nursing staff away from providing care. If
you are unable to visit during these times or would like to discuss compassionate visits, please
speak with a member of the management team.
Staffing across Maldon Hospital
Like so many other health services across the state, we are working incredibly hard right now
to manage staffing levels amidst high levels of staff absences. These absences are due to a
mixture of illness, planned leave and the impact of our infectious disease protocols which
require staff to isolate at home if they test positive to COVID or show any signs of respiratory illness (even if negative for COVID).
Our dedicated staff are going above and beyond to continue to ensure that our patients and residents are not impacted by the current crisis. In this context, we ask you to be mindful and patient when phoning and visiting. Our staff may not respond immediately to phone calls and doorbells because caring for residents always take first priority. This means you may sometimes have a short wait.
Personal Protective Equipment changes
We recently received a new directive from the Department of Health around PPE for staff, so
you may notice our staff are now wearing N95 masks. We are also providing staff with priority
access to rapid antigen tests in line with our COVID-19 furlough protocols to help increase
protection for our staff and residents from COVID-19
Thanks for having your say on the future of healthcare
The Boards of Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health have completed the community engagement period of our exploration for voluntary amalgamation. We reported our findings back to the community in a live-streamed webinar on 16 December.
The Community Presentation detailing the engagement findings is now available to download.
Maldon Hospital 2021 Annual General Meeting
The 2021 Maldon Hospital AGM was held on 16 December. A video of the event, along with the 2020-21 Annual Report, is now available at Corporate Information page
2021 Remembrance Service of Reflections and Memories
Maldon Hospital offers up our Remembrance Service of Reflections and Memories as an online video.
Continuing COVID-19 restrictions require everyone to be flexible, responsive and creative. We are no different. Our annual memorial service can be watched by family, friends, staff and the local community.
The service, which began in 2019, brings together loved ones to remember and give thanks for the lives of patients, residents and clients of Maldon Hospital who died between 1 December 2019 and 30 November 2020.
Changes to Maldon Hospital Urgent Care Response
Maldon Hospital is changing the way it is delivering urgent care to its community. From this Friday, 17 September, the hospital will no longer run an Urgent Care Centre.
Castlemaine Health CEO Sue Race said, “The hospital will still be providing urgent care to our community, but there will be some differences. In any emergency, nothing changes – if you require immediate emergency care dial 000 and an ambulance will be called.
“If you require non-emergency care, call the hospital. We will advise you on whether to come in for assessment and first aid at Maldon Hospital or direct you to another health service such as Castlemaine Health or Bendigo Health.
“The main change is that we will no longer have the capacity to provide advanced life support at Maldon Hospital.”
Attendance at the Urgent Care Centre has been declining in recent years with around five people visiting the centre each month, and many Maldon residents already opting to attend Castlemaine Hospital or other health services for injuries or illness that need attention.
Board Chair of Maldon Hospital, Vanessa Healy said, “Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health have a close relationship, sharing a CEO and many staff, and with Castlemaine Hospital just 15 minutes away it makes sense that we should be sharing our resources.”
She added, “With a changing demographic, we need to ensure the way we operate best reflects the way our community uses the hospital and allows Maldon Hospital to support our aged care residents, our people and manage clinical risk.
Read the FAQs to find out more.
For more information, see Keeping Victorian Workers In Key Sectors Safe.
Asymptomatic people in the community who want to check if they have COVID-19 should not get a PCR test. They should opt for Rapid Antigen Tests, and if they are currently unavailable, should continue to monitor for symptoms and stay COVID Safe.
If you’re aged 18 or over and had your second vaccination four or more months ago, you’re eligible for your third dose. You can get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines regardless of the COVID-19 vaccine you received for your initial doses.
Otherwise, to obtain your vaccination, please use the vaccine clinic finder to find a participating GP or pharmacy.
Links and contacts
- Vaccinations, including how to book and where to go
- Where to get tested
- How to get your COVID-19 digital certificate
To access the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website or call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
Please click below for more information:
- Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce COVID-19 transmission
- Fact Sheet – What can you do to stay safe from Coronavirus
- Fact Sheet – Close Contact Coronavirus
- How to wear a face mask
- What to do if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus-COVID-19
Where to get tested
If you’re not registered with a local GP clinic or you are experiencing symptoms, the nearest testing facilities are at Bendigo Health.
- Bendigo Health- please look on their web site
Testing is not undertaken at Maldon Hospital
Older Person Hotline – Coronavirus support
This hotline can provide older people, their family and carers with personal support, answer questions and up to date information on the latest guidelines enacted by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government has indicated older people and carers are welcome to call the hotline on
1800 171 866 to speak to trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation.
We have now reopened our Main Entrance between 7am and 8pm. All people entering the hospital will be expected to undergo screening and complete an attestation via the QR code reader in the entry. A green tick must be viewed by staff prior to entering the Hospital Please note that this is a requirement of the Department of Health. Staff are able to assist visitors complete their attestation as required. After hours access (ie. between 8pm and 7am) will continue via the After Hours entrance.
We thank you for your efforts in keeping residents, patients and staff safe.
Our valued volunteers are encouraged to consider their health and safety during the pandemic. Volunteers are invited back once COVID training has occurred. We ask all volunteers to participate in screening. Volunteers are suspended during any lockdown restrictions.
Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
The most common coronavirus symptoms reported include:
- Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or tiredness.
- Other symptoms include loss of smell or taste, muscle fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
For more information please go to DHHS website or click here