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Winter Planning Toolkit modules

Module 6: Staffing

Surge capacity if staff are unwell

Last revised: 05 Jun 2023

Surge capacity if staff are unwell

What is surge capacity?

Surge capacity is the capability of a health care system to manage and respond to the unpredictable and sudden increases in demand for health care services.

Planning for a surge in patient demand will help to ensure that your practice has enough immunised/protected and healthy staff available and resources on hand to care for an increased patient load.

Regular whole-of-practice meetings are encouraged to ensure that all practitioners and their staff have a consistent understanding of the issues surrounding sudden surges in patient demand, and how your practice’s surge capacity management plan can help in minimising any stress that these surges may place on the practice team. It is important to do this at the beginning of winter, especially if major changes to operations are planned.

Practices will need to be prepared for the following during the winter months:

  • managing staffing, including absences and extended hours
  • having sufficient PPE
  • hosting more patients in the waiting room, ensuring physical distancing is considered
  • managing increases in patients requiring appointments.
This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

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