UPDATE ON VISITING

There has been no updated advice from NSW Health about visitors to aged care facilities in the Bankstown area. Over the past few weeks we have forwarded requests to the local Public Health Unit from families to visit for compassionate reasons and only a few requests have been granted.  We apologise to the families who have been denied requests however the decision is made by the local Public Health Unit and we must comply with their decision.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MEDIA REPORTS IN VICTORIA AND AGED CARE ROYAL COMMISSION

We have summarised some of the questions we have received over the past week from residents and families about issues arising in Victoria and also the Aged Care Royal Commission

If a resident tests positive in a facility at BCAC can they be transferred to hospital for treatment?

Aged care facilities have received correspondence from the Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health and Medical research asking that aged care facilities speak to families about your wishes regarding hospital transfer should an outbreak occur in the facility where you loved one lives. I have attached a copy of this correspondence for your information.

If a resident has the capacity to make their own decisions we will be asking them in addition to family members for their wishes.  This information will be recorded in our clinical software system so that all staff can quickly identify who requested a hospital transfer.

We will be asking for information on the following

  1. If your family member tests positive for COVID do you want them to be transferred to hospital for medical care?
  2. If your family member does not have a positive COVID test during an outbreak and the Public Unit Health advice is to relocate negative COVID residents to a hospital to help manage the outbreak – do you consent to this transfer?

This survey will be issued tomorrow with an SMS notification to the Primary contact advising when it has been sent.

Can an ambulance service refuse to accept the booking for anyone at an aged care facility once an outbreak has been declared?

We wrote to NSW Ambulance to request a response and they have reassured us that they would not refuse to transfer a resident to hospital if a higher degree of medical care is required than can be provide in the facility.

BCAC will work with families to ensure your wishes and those of your loved ones are respected and factored into any discussion about where the care is delivered.

Is BCAC working with the local health districts (LHD) to prevent and manage any outbreaks?

BCAC is part of a weekly meeting with the LHD and have previously issued advice to our residents and families on any important matters raised at these meetings.  We have also requested a review of our Outbreak Management Plan from the Infection Control experts to see if there is any additional strategies we should include.

Have staff completed the government online PPE training?

BCAC uses an online learning system to provide some of our education to staff, and 100% of staff have completed a detailed online course that meets the requirements for PPE training.  In addition to this we have previously notified you that all staff have had a competency assessment on how to put on and take off PPE correctly.  We are also auditing regularly to ensure that the education has been embedded into the clinical practice of staff.

What plans do you have if 80-100% of staff needed to be sent home to self-isolate?

We have an agreement with a nursing agency to supply staff at very short notice to cover shifts if a significant number of our staff needed to self-isolate.  To prevent this occurring in the first instance we have rostered staff to work in one location in a facility ie high care, memory care etc and staff are not sharing tea rooms and are also using social distancing and masks.  Handover between shifts is not occurring in small office spaces so that social distancing can occur.

Staff who must work across the facility eg maintenance,  care managers, staff transporting food/laundry (in larger villages)  are not spending any more time than needed in the areas than required.

Despite our plans it is possible that 100% of staff may be required to isolate so we have prepared a detailed orientation for agency staff, we can monitor clinical care via software remotely and direct care expectations through this system and we have the resources of our other facilities to assist as required.

Deborah Key
CEO