Media event date: 
22 April 2020
Date published: 
23 April 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The health, safety and wellbeing of residents of Anglicare’s Newmarch House remains the highest priority as the battle to combat COVID-19 continues.

Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck has today moved to assure residents, staff and families affected by the impact of the virus at the Sydney facility that the situation is being closely monitored.

“We understand the concerns from families regarding their loved ones,” Minister Colbeck said. “We are listening and acting on advice during this challenging and unprecedented event.”

Minister Colbeck said the Department of Health, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, NSW Ministry of Health and Anglicare are working in lockstep to coordinate and deliver an effective response which prioritises the health and wellbeing of every resident of Newmarch.

This includes attendance by parties at regular case conferencing to focus on the safety and continuity of care for all residents.

The Department has also activated and is funding a surge workforce to support Anglicare, including:

  •   Access to staff through the Mable platform;
  •   Deployment of an emergency response team through Aspen, including a First Nurse Responder to assess the staffing requirements, Registered Nurses, allied health professionals and personal care workers.
  •  Commonwealth facilitation of a roster of General Practitioners to provide continuity of care for all residents.

“The Government has provided and is fast-tracking access to personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of residents and staff,” Minister Colbeck said.

The Federal Government has also provided a suite of training for all aged care workers covering outbreak management procedures, when and how to use PPE and infection control and provider Anglicare is ensuring all their staff at Newmarch have completed this training. 

Anglicare will call a resident and family meeting tomorrow – this will include representatives from the Department of Health, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN).

OPAN is an independent organisation providing advocacy, information and education to older people and their families.

“The Morrison Government has put significant investments into workforce surge support for providers around the country,” Minister Colbeck said.

“We stand ready to help Newmarch and other aged care facilities nationwide as we navigate this difficult time.

“The protection of Senior Australians has never been more important.”