1. New Patient Visit regime

Remote Appointments

For a number of patients, we have already moved to phone, Skype or Facetime based consultations. People are pleased that they do not have to travel, that it is convenient and that it is a lower risk to them.

In-Person Consults

I am still seeing patients face to face when appropriate. For those patients that want to attend the clinic we have introduced the following regime:

1. Patients are questioned on conditions of COVID-19

    • “Have you travelled or been in contact with anyone who has travelled overseas in the last 14 days?”
    • “Do you have any flu-like or other symptoms?"

2. Patient’s background and medical information is obtained prior to their appointment either via email forms or website and emailed back or questions obtained via telephone.

3. Four chairs in the waiting room only, spaced apart 1.5m. No magazines available.

4. On the day our staff will liaise with you about the timing of your entry to our rooms.

5. Upon entering the hospital you will need to go to Level 5 for COVID screening and temperature checks before proceeding to Level 7.

6. Once you enter the rooms (most of the time you will be the only one in the waiting room) you will be told to use the sanitizer gel provided. You will then go straight in with Dr Stanford. His room has no linen or material chairs and is thoroughly disinfected between patients.

7. When you come out to pay (no cash) after using EFTPOS machine and receive your receipt, the room is again cleaned (chair, desk and EFTPOS machine) using disinfectant wipes.

This is also outlined on my website https://spinalsurgeonsydney.com.au/for-patients/covid-19 patient consults.

We are using my website as a rapid response communication platform, so please visit for regular updates. It would be even faster if you sent us your email address to info@powspine.com.au.

We will only use it to send information updates.

Follow up Appointments

In most cases, telephone calls are all that’s needed to discuss and offer further advice about scan results or even post-operative care.

2. Health issues continue

Whilst our focus is on helping those affected by COVID-19 everyone else’s health issues continue. In fact, under stress people’s felt experiences become heightened.

We still need to support them, and a consultation and diagnosis can help put their minds at ease. A treatment plan from you gives them a pathway forward, and in uncertain times that can be a major relief.

3. Some surgeries can continue

For patients that have loss of neurological function, surgery is still available.

It will go through a rigorous hospital prioritisation process, but I am happy to advocate on their behalf if I believe it is warranted. After all, I only operate on 17% of my patients so by the time I do I know it’s critical.


If you have any queries, please just call on 02 9650 4893 or email me directly at ralphstanford@powspine.com.au.

We are here to support you and your patients through these difficult times.

Posted 7 April 2020

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