Following the state government decision to impose movement restrictions commencing Saturday 13/02/2021 no face to face appointments will be available for the week commencing Monday 15th February 2021. I apologise for the inconvenience this may cause some clients. All scheduled appointments will be undertaken via Telehealth or rescheduled to a later date at the clients request. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
In line with current advice from the Victorian Government I will be recommencing face to face sessions with clients from the week starting Monday 18th January. Face to face appointments will only be offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the foreseeable future. If you would like to attend the clinic in person but have an appointment booked on a Tuesday or Thursday please contact me to discuss.
Please do not attend the clinic if you are unwell or not prepared to comply with the processes in place for client safety.
In an attempt to continue to limit the on-going pandemic issues face to face appointments will be available to clients who feel their treatment requires an in person consultation. It is strongly recommended however that if clients can continue to use Telehealth session options that they do so. Strict measures will be put in place for clients attending the clinic which are available to view here.
I look forward to seeing all my clients again in 2021 as it is deemed safe to do so.
On September 18th 2020 the Federal Government announced they were extending the Medicare funding for telehealth until March 31st 2021. This means that all clients will be able to continue to access psychological telehealth into next year and hopefully well into our COVID-19 recovery.
The Federal Government has also announced that once clients have used their 10 Medicare funded appointments for 2020 they may be eligible for an additional 10 sessions to allow further support. To access these extra sessions Medicare requires the following steps:
- Ask your psychologist when your 10 sessions have been used
- At that time your psychologist will provide a letter to your GP/Psychiatrist requesting the additional sessions
- The client can then make an appointment with their referrer to complete the document and the document can be provided to the psychologist either by the GP office or client
As a community we are all under a tremendous amount of pressure with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Understandably there is increased anxiety, fear and worry about ourselves and our loved ones and this has lead to an unprecedented increase in the need for mental health support across the state. As such, there are regrettably increased wait times and delays in accessing mental health practitioners. As a result of increased demand and to ensure that I am able to meet the needs of current and past clients I am closing my new referrals and not accepting new referrals for the foreseeable future.
Like many, I am monitoring the guidelines and laws put in place by our State and Federal Governments and will be adjusting my services according to those recommendations. At this stage I am unsure when I will be able to resume face to face appointments, nor when I will have capacity for taking on new clients. Any updates regarding these decisions will be announced here as they are available.
I am currently trying my best to ensure I am able to meet the needs of my clients, however please remember that there may be delays in appointments, documentation and responses from me for the time being. I am responding to enquiries as soon as I am able however I acknowledge that this can be frustrating. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
I encourage everyone to practice hand hygiene, social distancing, and wear masks to work together in trying to limit the impact of this pandemic. I also encourage everyone to practice patience and tolerance of those around us, including our health care workers who are risking their own safety to ensure ours.
I will provide any further updates as they are available. Stay safe and hopefully I will be able to see you all again in person soon.
Due to unforeseen family circumstances I will be taking personal leave for the week commencing Monday March 30th. It is anticipated that I will be returning on Monday April 6th however this will be updated over the coming days. I apologise for the inconvenience this will cause those with bookings during this week. If you would like to reschedule please do so online otherwise I will endeavour to contact all clients upon my return. I appreciate your understanding.
Regarding the coronavirus situation, I want to acknowledge that we as a community are all experiencing increased levels of uncertainty and anxiety at the moment and information is changing at a very rapid pace. It is important to be assured that whilst the coming months will not be ‘business as usual’ at my practice, services for all clients will continue.
The following measures are being put in place to:
Manage the current situation and ensure reduced disruption to services
Maintain the health and safety of not only staff and clients, but the wider community, and,
Ensure a sustainable system is in place which will allow clients on-going access to services regardless of future Government directives.
The decisions made regarding changes to the practice have been made in consideration of the best available information and recommendations of the Government and our professional body. I am aware that this may cause some increased concern for clients and wish to assure everyone that support will be on-going and available.
What is the practice doing?
From Monday April 6th, 2020 the following changes will occur:
All sessions will be conducted remotely via telephone or telehealth. No face to face appointments will be provided under any circumstances.
I will be self-isolating and will not be practicing out of my usual offices. Please do not attend Wallace Avenue Specialist Suites for any reasons relating to your treatment with me. For information regarding other practitioners at Wallace Avenue please contact the reception on 03 8560 3355.
Session booking times are changing to allow for possible technical issues and to ensure delivery remains on schedule.
A consent process will be conducted during initial appointments for new clients. Verbal consent will be obtained.
All cancellation fees payable by clients will be waived for the foreseeable future.
All sessions will be bulk-billed (no gap fee) for those with a valid mental health care plan or whose treatment is funded by a third party (Workcover, TAC, NDIS etc).
Changes to the service are being explored. Any changes will be designed to assist with the changing service provisions, better respond to client contacts and queries, and increase availability to sessions for all clients.
How can you help?
If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so as early as possible to ensure others have the opportunity to re-book in your place.
Please make use of the online booking system via this website for future appointments as far as possible. This will reduce the number of contacts and queries, allowing for more clients to be seen.
The online booking system can track all your appointments, even those booked in session by Claire. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, you are able to access this through the online booking system. Information on how to use this process is available on the general FAQs page here.
There are two new types of online booking - Telephone or Telehealth. When making a booking please use the type of booking that indicates how you would like your session to be delivered.
Please understand if there is a delay in responding to your queries. As many of you are aware I am a sole practitioner and to keep services affordable I manage all contacts and queries myself. Please be assured I am doing everything I can to manage my client responsibilities with my ethical, legal and social obligations however this may mean less accessibility to me at this time. I am investigating alternate supports to meet the demand but these will take some time to put in place.
If you are waiting on documentation from me, please be aware that there may be a delay in providing these for the foreseeable future. I will do what I can to meet all deadlines to the best of my ability.
If you intend on using telehealth (video) services, please forward your email address to email@example.com to ensure that the video link can be forwarded to you.
Check back regularly for updates. Information and resources for clients will be added as available so please refer here before contacting with queries.
I recognise that many people are worried about finances at this time. It is my intention to continue to provide quality services to all individuals who require it. I can confirm the following:
Worksafe Victoria has approved on-going payments for telephone/telehealth for all clients under a workcover claim;
NDIS has approved on-going payments for telephone/telehealth for all current NDIS participants;
Most private health insurers have approved telephone/telehealth funding for individuals with psychological services included in their policy. Please contact your insurer directly for details relating to your policy entitlements;
Medicare has at this stage approved bulk-billing telephone/telehealth services only for ‘vulnerable’ clients. A description of vulnerable clients is available on the 15/03/20 update on this page.
It is our current belief that the Federal Government will be extending Medicare bulk-billing to all clients from 30/03/2020. This will be confirmed as information becomes available.
If you are not covered by any of the above funding, please be assured that your appointments will continue as scheduled despite uncertain funding. There will be no out of pocket fees for clients who currently don’t meet funding through other means.
Mental Health Care Plans
As of this update, Medicare are still requiring valid mental health care plans for all clients who want to access psychological services with Medicare rebates. Any changes to this will be updated on this page.
I am aware of the demand on GPs at the moment, and this is making it difficult for clients to access their normal GP for mental health care plans. If you are having difficulty with this please contact your GP practice and speak directly with reception staff about your options. At this stage no appointments without a valid mental health care plan can be accepted.
With the move to telehealth new procedures for documentation delivery are as follows:
Documents including mental health care plans, reports, document requests etc can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Documents can be faxed to 03 9923 6089
Clear photographs of all document pages can be emailed to email@example.com texted to 0432 395 291
Please do not bring documents to Wallace Avenue Specialist Suites as I can not guarantee reception will be open or that documents will be delivered to me in a timely fashion.
Info for session delivery is here
On the advice of the Australian Federal Government and in the interests of community safety, the following changes at this practice will commence on Monday 16th March, 2020. These changes apply to clients of Claire McCallum only. For information regarding other practitioners at Wallace Avenue Specialist Suites please contact the individual provider directly or the main reception on 8560 3355.
The practice will remain open until further notice.
Telehealth (Skype, FaceTime or telephone) appointments are now available under Medicare bulk billing for the following clients only:
- a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient in a hospital; or
- a person who has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee; or
- a person considered vulnerable including
- individuals over 70 years old; or
- individuals over 50 years old and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or
- individuals who are pregnant; or
- individuals who are the care-giver of a child up to 12 months old; or
- individuals already under treatment for chronic health conditions or are immune compromised; or
- individuals who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection
If you do not meet the above criteria, Telehealth covered under Medicare is not available to you at this time. Any requests for Telehealth appointments will require private payment at a discounted rate of $100 per session.
If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, please do not attend your scheduled appointment until further notice. If you have been advised to self-isolate due to potential contact with an infected or suspected infected person please do not attend your scheduled appointment. All cancellation fees for appointments will be waived for the foreseeable future. You can cancel your appointment by replying 'no' to your appointment text reminder, texting Claire on 0432 395 291 or calling 0432 395 291 and leaving a voice message. All cancelled appointments will be rebooked as soon as possible.
Information relating to other telehealth funding (including workcover, NDIS, TAC etc) will be provided as it becomes available on this website. Please check back for further updates.
Measures for a potential lockdown or mass self-isolation are currently being put in place to ensure on-going support and treatment is available to all clients. These decisions are being made on the advice of official recommendations from the Australian Federal Government and in the best interests of all clients.
Given the increase in enquiries and the need to secure up to date information, there will be a regrettable delay in responses from the clinic for the foreseeable future. We are doing everything we can to respond to all queries in a timely manner however your patience is greatly appreciated at this time. If you have an existing booking to change or wish to make a booking, you are encouraged to do so via the online booking system which will assist in reducing the volume of text and phone enquiries.
Your consideration and kindness towards others is appreciated and we will endeavour to ensure the current situation has as little disruption to your engagement with the service as possible. Thank you and please check back for further updates.