Support and resources are needed to realise RC COVID-19 recommendations

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Support and resources are needed to realise RC COVID-19 recommendations

November 8, 2021

The Federal government may have accepted the 38 recommendations outlined in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s COVID-19 Special Report but OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers warns that support and resources are needed for the sector.

 

“We have been telling government for many years that the aged care model, poor funding and patchwork politics was a storm waiting to happen, and the pandemic was, sadly, that storm,” Mr Wohlers said.

 

The Royal Commissioners supported this viewpoint, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed shortcomings and systemic weaknesses in the aged care system where “many of the issues were not new.”

 

In its submission to the Royal Commission’s COVID-19 special report, OCAV called on the government to provide adequate funding for emergency management, crisis leadership and outbreak training.

 

OCAV also called on the Royal Commission to review current guidelines into the design of aged care facilities.

 

These recommendations from the Commissioners Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly were accepted.

 

The Commissioners have urged the Commonwealth Department of Health to review current guidelines and minimum standards required for adequate ventilation in both new and existing residential aged care facilities. In response, the government noted the aged care built environment measures in the 2021-22 Budget and said it would work with relevant stakeholders to develop a new aged care accommodation framework to commence July 2024.

 

Providers have also been called on to ensure that sufficient staff complete online training and monitoring to prepare them to manage an outbreak.

 

The Independent Review of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities final report outlines nine key lines of defence to minimise risk of COVID-19 outbreaks. These are:

  • built environment and infrastructure
  • clinical care
  • effective interagency communication
  • emergency response
  • infection prevention and control
  • leadership, management and governance
  • planning and preparation
  • preventing social isolation
  • workforce and staff mental health.

 

 

 

Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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