Stawell Regional Health is looking to expand its casual workforce.
The organisation, which manages the Stawell Hospital, is calling on expressions of interest for employment should the need arise to greatly expand the hospital's capabilities due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Stawell Regional Health employs almost 300 staff and has 18 beds at Stawell Hospital, but can expand to 33 beds if required, according to SRH chief executive officer Kate Pryde.
Ms Pryde said in such circumstances, staff numbers at the hospital would need to almost double.
"As part of the pandemic planning we scope up various phases from what we do currently (business as usual) to a worse case scenario," she said.
"We're now looking ahead to a worst-case scenario, and that would have our organisation double current bed capacity, so we need to think about how we would support that."
Ms Pryde said the organisation's usually-flexible workforce was now limited, with staff at the locked-down residential care facility unable to come to work at the hospital.
"Where we once had a fairly agile and flexible workforce working between the two sites, we now consider that a significant risk," she said.
While the Northern Grampians Shire had recorded three COVID-19 cases, Stawell Regional Health had had no reports of a case.
Ms Pryde said if the hospital saw a jump in cases, it would not just be more nurses and medical professionals needed, but "domestic staff" to clean, change beds, and deliver meals.
"Our domestic staff is crucial to us at this point in time," she said.
"It's all about maintaining a level of sanitisation and cleanliness.
"With increasing patient numbers, every element of my organisation needs to expand.
"It is about trying to identify those people in our community and provide them an opportunity of employment where we have our needs."
Five weeks into its COVID-19 response, the hospital had transitioned nearly all appointments to virtual 'telehealth' appointments and last week opened its Respiratory Assessment Centre.
"It would be lovely to get through this with minimal cases," Ms Pryde said.
"Stay home and stay safe."
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