Jul 30, 2020

Warning issued to other states to learn from Victoria’s aged care bungle

Pat Sparrow, CEO, of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), the peak body for non-profit aged care providers this afternoon issued “a warning” to all aged care providers in other states.

“Things in Victoria are difficult and I think all that all states should actually make sure that they step in and take all first cases in residential aged care to hospital”.

“We need to use hospitalisation as a preventative measure, not once things have got out of hand to take everyone to hospital”.

The announcement comes after Victoria recorded it’s the highest day on record with 723 new COVID-19 cases and 13 more deaths –  with 16 of these cases residents in aged care.

The number of active cases in Victorian aged care is now 456, with a further 58 staff affected.

Sparrow said, “The other thing I want to warn people about in other states because we are seeing community transmission increase in other states is to make sure that we are having all the coordination necessary between all of the bodies that it requires to get this right”.

“We’ve got a Victorian response centre now that’s working and operational.

“But we need to make sure that that’s in place right now in other states as community transmissions start to increase.

“The first cases that are identified should be taken to hospital”.

“The reason we think that’s important as we think that gives that individual person the very best possibility and care and the very best chance of survival”.

She went on to say, “Aged care is not a hospital and we can’t provide hospital level of care”.

“What it also does if those first cases are removed, what it does is gives us time as residential care providers to set the facility up to make sure that we can deliver hospital in the home if that’s required and if other people are diagnosed as positive.

“If we get preparation right, hopefully, what’s going to happen is that we are going to be able to contain the spread and we think that taking people to hospital is part of that.

“As a preventative measure so that we don’t see what we’ve seen in Victoria is when there are lots of people infected in a facility”.

“We’ve seen the commonwealth and the state government, actually, it’s largely the state government that is taking everybody in the facility to hospital”.

“We are saying that we think that if we do that with the first cases upfront, that’s a way of trying to reduce the spread but allowing us to get ready”.

“And perhaps getting better care perhaps than they have in the last few days here”.

Image: supplied ACSA

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