02 June 2021

As a proud member of Public Pathology Australia, VCS Foundation is pleased to support the national campaign “Public Pathology – Community First, Always”. The campaign highlights the important contribution that public pathology makes to the public health system and to the everyday lives of Australians, putting the community first.

The impact of COVID-19 has been rapid, far-reaching, unpredictable and devastating. It has profoundly affected all of us – personally, professionally, physically and psychologically. Across Australia, the swift and effective efforts of our public pathology and clinical teams have been central to the COVID-19 response. Public pathology helps keep our communities safe.

VCS Foundation rose to the challenge, rapidly diversifying our specialist cervical screening laboratory operations to introduce SARS-CoV-2 testing and providing essential courier services and test consumables to Victoria’s Quarantine Hotels program.

COVID-19 testing

Our laboratory and clerical teams have worked tirelessly 7 days a week to process a record-breaking number of SARS-CoV-2 tests following the recent Victorian outbreak. We have been receiving well over 1,200 samples per day and this figure continues to grow. Even with these high volumes, all results are reported by the VCS Pathology service the next day to the Victorian Department of Health. We thank our VCS Pathology staff for going above and beyond; they embody the Community First, Always values.

 

Arresting the dramatic fall in cervical screening rates due to COVID-19

Cervical screening rates fell dramatically during 2020, coinciding with public health measures to restrict movement and social contact. Unfortunately we are seeing cervical screening tests plummet again during the latest lockdown in May-June 2021. To ensure underscreened women are not disproportionately affected by the pandemic, VCS Foundation launched the home-based HPV self-collection initiative.

This service assists clinicians to support underscreened patients to participate in cervical screening from the safety of their home. Upon request from a healthcare practitioner, VCS Pathology sends a home self-collection kit to patients who are identified as underscreened during a telehealth consultation. You can read more about home based self-collection here.

Please watch the campaign video below:


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