Update from Healthline

6 May 2020

COVID-19 Advice line

  • COVID-19 advice line for primary and community health clinicians: 0800 177 622 being widely promoted in the sector. Community health providers including primary care, pharmacy, midwives and aged residential care providers can access general advice about management of COVID-19, peer review of presenting problems and advice on specialist referral or connection to other services. The helpline will be staffed by primary care nurses GPs, with at least one GP on every shift. Most calls will initially be managed by a nurse, with a GP, pharmacist and midwife available at all times to provide specialist advice, as required. The service is not a source of information about or access to equipment, staffing or funding which are managed through the usual channels.

Call volumes and trends

  • Calls to Healthline have stabilised at between 5-6000 calls a day (same day last year 800).  Good correction since entering level 3 of ED and Ambulance calls but still seeing an increase of 45% of those referred into primary care compared to usual 26% so we still need to reinforce the general practice is open message. Wait times, this week average less than 10 seconds on all Covid and other lines.
  • Mental health seeing a 36.5% increase in 1737 but a change in this service in the last week, under level 3. Drop off in anxiety and trauma but an increase in depression – age group 26-35 is the growing group. Strong theme around first home buyers and young parents and financial distress.  That age group is being impacted the most by job security issues. Younger groups may be the first to lose their jobs as companies retain the more experienced staff.
  • Data – seeing stomach, abdominal and chest pain elevated symptoms – clinical leads saying this might be a symptom of distress, anxiety, trauma.  Seeing increased numbers of Māori accessing compared to pre lock down.