Bloomhill Position Statement On Coronavirus Response

last updated March 30, 2020

The health of our Bloomhill Family of Clients, Volunteers, Staff, Contractors, their extended families and the community are our focus at present with what is unfolding related to COVID-19.

We place immense value in the trust the community gives us to not only support people of all ages to live well with cancer, but also to offer positive, social community experiences through our cafes, op shops and markets. And we take this responsibility seriously.

In light of recent public health alerts, we have implemented a number of additional, proactive health and safety measures to ensure we can continue to provide you with the best, and safest, Bloomhill experience moving forward.

To help keep you informed of how we are responding to COVID-19, we have summarized some of the things we have put in place this past week. We will keep this page updated and linked to our website.

MEDIA RELEASE, MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR - MARCH 30

Bloomhill Epidemic / Pandemic Management Team

In line with advice from leading clinical and government sources, Bloomhill has put together a Bloomhill Epidemic / Pandemic Management Team with representation from across the organisation.

This team is meeting frequently to ensure our policies, procedures and communications are delivering you with the very best information on any emerging health advice and action required.

As more information comes to light, we will continue to refine our approach to COVID-19 and update you accordingly.

Keeping you Informed

The Bloomhill Coronavirus Health Update Webpage is now live. This is your one-stop shop for information on any impacts to our services, helpful resources and self-assessment tools, as well as links directly to health alerts and advice from verified sources.

You can access the noticeboard via our homepage on www.bloomhill.com.au. Please save this link and check in regularly to keep informed on our updates.

We will also be posting regularly on Facebook useful links and positive messages to keep connected with you, our community, during these uncertain times.

As we move forward, it will be essential for us all to continue to welcome and encourage our community to stay connected with one another – by providing safe, friendly and socially inclusive environments and forums to do so. 

Reinforced Hygiene and Handling.

At Bloomhill, we always practice rigorous hygiene and handling procedures throughout our Centre, stores and food preparation areas. This includes regular handwashing, routine equipment, and surface sanitisation and wearing gloves where appropriate.

We are now taking extra steps to ensure our Centre and Op Shops are clean, hygienic environments for everyone. These measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitisation in all our premises, including high-touch areas such as handrails and counters, and providing complimentary hand sanitiser for clients and patrons.

We have also distributed and installed COVID-19 information and advice flyers across all our premises. These are available to view and download below should you also wish to encourage safe hygiene practices at home and in your workplaces. All Op Shop Managers are also undertaking the COVID-19 Infection Control Training Module.

As at Monday March 30, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all op shop trade - with the exception of our Distribution Centre in Kunda Park.  We believe it was in the best interests of our community to play our part in reducing unnecessary community transmission.

Our Distribution Centre / Op Shop will continue to trade for as long as we can - and continues to accept donations as well as offer its pick up and delivery service - under very strict social distancing and zero contact protocols in place. 

Distribution Centre Trading Details

Staff and Volunteer Health and Safety

Bloomhill is working closely with health authorities to ensure we are in the best position to ensure your safety, to minimize the spread of infection and continue to keep our Centre and Stores open to continue to positively contribute to our community when they need us most.

We are actively following all health and travel advice issued by the Australian Government, including mandatory isolation periods for all team members, volunteers and clients returning from international travel.

We are also ensuring our team is supported with clear health and hygiene protocols in our Centre, café and stores, as well as providing information and support for any team members who need to stay at home if they are unwell for any reason.

We have developed a quick and easy flow chart to help you self-assess your relative risk of coronavirus (covid-19) infection – to protect your own health but also those around you.

Client Care and Support Services

Bloomhill has a strong, professional health care team and are working in close collaboration with health authorities to ensure continuity of care in these uncertain times. We are monitoring the situation closely, and have been able to maintain strict infection control protocols at our Centre and across our various premises up to now.

Our Bloomhill nurses will continue to keep in touch with clients and their families – to ensure client care continues irrespective of what lies ahead. We are actively working alongside our client’s medical teams and encouraging all clients to stay home and self-isolate.

We are now rolling out a range of services and support programs so that client’s have access to the Bloomhill level of care at home  - virtually. Moving forward we will also be operating many of our group activities via ZOOM, so that clients can continue to look after their physical health in the safety of their own homes, but remain connected with their Bloomhill community.

Our nursing staff are working with clients to deliver training and education on how to access and use this new technology. For any clients who are seeing our psychologists, they will now have the option of telephone or Zoom consultations - fully bulk billed under their mental health care plan.

Provisions are now in place for our staff and nurses to telecommute from home.

Client Transport Service

Our client transport services will continue to provide transport to and from essential cancer treatment for clients who are well. We have a good screening process in place to ensure both driver and client safety and we will continue to monitor this risk as the week’s progress.

Additional hygiene practices are now in place and we are following guidelines from public health and transport authorities as best is possible. This includes ensuring any persons accompanying clients are essential and from the same household.

Passengers will be asked to sit behind the driver to achieve as much separation as reasonably possible. Increased frequency of cleaning with disinfectant to minimise any potential transmission of viral droplets.

This service will continue up until April 10.

Emergency Appeal – Coronavirus Response

We have proactively launched an Emergency Appeal – Coronavirus Response to help mitigate the unprecedented financial crisis we are now facing. 

There are FOUR converging factors that have led to the need for this appeal.

1. We are a cash flow organisation

100% of our revenue goes into enabling our FREE, subsidised and rebated cancer care and support services offered from our Wellness Centre in Buderim. We are not a large charity. We do not have reserves to wait 12 weeks out. 

2. We are providing care and support to some of our community’s most vulnerable

We provide crucial cancer care and support services to people with cancer who are vulnerable right now. Not only to catching the Coronavirus but they also are also at risk of additional complications. Our priority must be focused on ensuring their safety right now. Your donations will be put to use straight away. 

3. 90% of our income is now lost

Our project events and fundraising income has now flat-lined. This equates to $177,000 this financial year alone. The closure of our retail outlets means our Op Shop revenue has now also flat lined. This equates to an additional $514,046 over 3 months.

Together the projected loss for 3 months is $692,046. 

4. We rely heavily on our volunteers

For 22 years Bloomhill has been able to serve its community far beyond the dollar value of our organisation thanks to over 450 dedicated volunteers who are passionate about our cause. However, over 51% of our volunteers are aged 60-70 yrs old. A further 29% are aged over 70. Our duty of care is to ensure they are also supported and safe now.

We take our role as stewards of your philanthropy very seriously. and we are doing all we can to ensure these funds are directed where they are needed most right now. Your donations will be used straight away. 

To proactively combat potential scams, or unauthorised fundraising, we advise all donors to make their donations directly to Bloomhill’ website or pledged to the Centre directly by phone or email. www.bloomhill.com.au/donate or [email protected] or phone 54455794

Business Continuity Action Plan

Bloomhill has been a leading provider of cancer care and support and social health and welling for over 22 years. This past 12 months we have been strategically rolling out business improvement initiatives to help us become more sustainable organisation.

Under normal circumstances, these initiatives (op shop revenue tracking, online and outsourced finance reporting, cloud-based systems, website with fundraising capacity, 2030 strategic planning) would have helped us buffer some for the projected impacts in the weeks to come. But this pandemic crisis was not in our planning and we were not prepared for this.

Bloomhill Cancer Care’s Board is acting quickly and with purpose to look at alternate measures that can be put in place to ensure the viability in the weeks ahead. The following is just some of the actions the Board is undertaking:

  • Review of all mission-critical services and budget projections for a range of scenarios, including a 12-week lockdown. Mission-critical services for clients means continued nurse care, transport to essential treatment, and reducing social isolation on health and well being. For our social enterprise this means keeping our retail division viable as long as possible. 
  • Approach all essential service providers e.g. electricity, water, landlords to seek a 12-week reprieve and/or reduction in payments. and exhaust all avenues for a short-term loan to get us through the immediate short term future. 
  • Lobby State Government to help provide some surety by helping to offset a projected $691,046 loss in income over a 12 week period.
  • Work with previous and emerging major donors to boost our emergency appeal through philanthropic support to provide breathing space to put in place further measures.

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

To keep up to date on the latest Coronavirus updates, download the Coronavirus Australia app through the App Store or Google Play below. 

   



 You can also access a government Whatsapp Group to learn more about COVID-19 in Australia. To access this group, click on the WhatsApp logo below. 

  

If you do not have the WhatsApp app on your smartphone, you can easily download the app through the Apple App Store or Android Google Play store below.

     

 

For further information on these apps and WhatsApp group, please head to the Coronavirus Health Alert page here.