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SHED & FHED – COVID Peak Surge Model of Care Changes

January 19, 2022

COVID Peak Surge – Model of Care changes

In response to Victoria’s COVID Peak Surge Status and the activation of a state-wide code brown, the Emergency Departments at Footscray and Sunshine will be altering the COVID Model of Care.

The COVID Peak Surge Model of Care aims to:

  1. Improve provision of care to patients who are acutely unwell
  2. Improve access to care for low acuity patients who can be rapidly reviewed and discharged
  3. Reduce strain on staffing resources

At a high level, the altered model of care removes the process of streaming patients by COVID risk and replaces it with streaming by acuity (high acuity v low acuity).

Patients will be streamed to a High or Low Acuity cubicle according to triage category and a defined set of clinical criteria.

High and Low Acuity Zones


Adult Acute Area = High Acuity Zone – twenty four points of care

Short Stay Unit = Low Acuity Zone – twenty four points of care



Red and Yellow = High Acuity Zone – twenty four points of care

Blue and Fast Track = Low Acuity Zone – twelve points of care


Nursing ratios:

Nursing ratios will be altered  to optimise care for high acuity patients. A a ratio of 1:3 will be maintained in the high acuity area and 1:1 in the resuscitation zone. In the low acuity zone the Nursing ratio will be between 1:4 and 1:6, with additional alternative staffing resources being deployed to the low acuity area.


Infection prevention principles:

The following strategies will be implemented throughout the department:

  1. All patients will be placed in N95 masks
  2. Air exchanges will be maximised in all areas of the ED
  3. Patients who are PCR or RAT positive, who are have aerosol generating procedures or have aerosol generating behaviours, will be placed under a McMonty Hood where possible
  4. Tier 3 PPE and good hand hygiene practices should be observed


Full details of the COVID Peak Surge Model of Care can be found here:

COVID Peak Surge Status Model of  Care



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