Media event date: 
26 July 2020
Date published: 
27 July 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Australian Government has today held a meeting with families of residents at St Basil’s Home for the Aged.

The online information session was aimed at strengthening the lines of communication with families who remain concerned about the health and wellbeing of their loved ones.

It was used to outline the processes in place and strategies which lay ahead as the Commonwealth Government continues to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

The meeting brought together representatives of Commonwealth and State Governments, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, OPAN and a representative from the new Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said expert teams at the site were ensuring quality standards in care were being met.   

“We understand the emotional impact the situation is having on residents, staff and families,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of those residents who remain on site while also ensuring families have the information they need.”

Additionally, from tomorrow the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre will co-ordinate efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic across facilities.

Supported by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria, Emergency Management Australian (EMA) and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), the response centre will offer a scalable and coordinated response mechanism as we continue to respond to the pandemic.

The Response Centre will be led by an executive team including clinical and operational leads, enabling a rapid response as required.

It will include staff from Department of Health, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, DHHS, EMA, EMV and Defence.

The Commonwealth is already providing a surge workforce and supplementation support of more than 450 in aged care facilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a challenging situation for the aged care sector in Australia,” Minister Colbeck said. “But the Australian Government continues to work pro-actively to ensure measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.”