Aug 13, 2020

Control of three aged care facilities assumed by Victorian Government as care workers are brought in from SA, WA and Qld

The Victorian government announced that it has assumed control of three aged care facilities in Melbourne’s west as 86 new cases connected to aged care were recorded today. There are now a total of 2018 cases across the sector in residents and workers.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed state health services have now assumed operations of the Glenlyn, Florence and Kalyna aged care centres in Melbourne’s west.

“They’ve essentially taken those three facilities over so that vulnerable residents can get the care they need,” he told reporters.

The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre

Amid mounting pressure, the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre, a joint arrangement between the Commonwealth and State Governments, has responded to the pandemic by providing further support. The support has been designed to focus on continuity of care for residents, the safety and wellbeing of staff and residents and improving communication with families.

Transfer of residents to hospitals 

Today the Response Center announced that over 400 residents in aged care facilities have now been moved to hospitals, including 14 residents who were moved this week.

In his daily press update, Andrews spoke of the transfers.

“In some cases, all of the negative cases have been taken out and have gone to hospital.

“In some cases, all of the positive cases have been taken out and have gone to hospital.

“In other cases, it’s a mixture of both,” Andrews said.

“They’re not decisions that are made by members of parliament, politicians, members of the government,” he said.

“They are decisions that are, rightly, made by treating doctors, experts in this field.”

Addressing staff shortages

Support has been drawn from other states that are less impacted by the pandemic. In addition to two existing teams already in place from South Australia – a further two teams of six personnel from Queensland and Western Australia were deployed this week to support the workforce in aged care facilities. These teams are made up of nurses, personal care workers and hotel services.

Hospital staff have also been deployed to aged care homes and CEOs of all major metro and regional hospitals and aged care provider peak bodies have been contacted and briefed to ensure they have the support they need.

The Response Centre is working with Qantas, Virgin and Spotless to consider whether underutilised staff in those businesses can be retrained to support aged care services.

Infection protection, training and PPE

In response to needs for better infection protection and control, AUSMAT has deployed 24 members into Victoria who have now made 61 visits across 41 aged care facilities. They have been assessing existing procedures, including the use of PPE.

Meanwhile a team from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is on the ground making daily visits and delivering unannounced on-the-spot checks for appropriate PPE usage and infection control practices.

As HelloCare reported earlier this week, face-to-face training is now available through Monash University and yesterday 30 staff from allied health services were trained as residential aged care safety officers. Their role will be to support staff in higher risk facilities in safety, facility operations and PPE compliance.

Today 20 ADF staff were trained in PPE usage and compliance and will be deployed to facilities next week. More training sessions will continue in the coming weeks with the support of the ADF.

Communication and testing

Communication support has been provided by the Response Centre for seven aged care facilities making 859 outbound calls to families of residents and fielding 682 inbound calls since 23 July 2020.


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