Report released: Independent Reviews of COVID-19 Outbreaks

The independent review into COVID-19 at St Basil’s Home for the Aged and Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens residential aged care facilities has released a report. An independent national review into COVID-19 outbreaks across Australian residential aged care facilities has also been commissioned.

Date published:
Subscriber announcement
Health sector

St Basil’s Home for the Aged and Heritage Care Epping Gardens

In July and August 2020, Victoria experienced a second wave of COVID-19 infections, at a scale which had never been seen in Australia. It directly affected more than 2,000 aged care residents and 2,200 aged care workers.

The Australian Government commissioned an independent review into the COVID-19 outbreaks at St Basil’s Home for the Aged and Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens residential aged care facilities. The review was conducted by Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly.

We encourage you to review the report.

Lessons learned

This review provided an opportunity to listen and give a voice to those who were directly affected by the outbreak, to understand what occurred, and importantly, what can be learned.

It delivers valuable lessons for governments and the aged care sector. These lessons will assist us to be well positioned to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks of COVID‑19 in aged care services.

Support for care recipients, families and aged care workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of so many Australians. The release of the report may be confronting for anyone affected by the impact of the pandemic on Australia’s aged care sector. The following free support is available:

  • The Older Persons Advocacy Network can be reached on 1800 700 600
  • The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement offers free grief counselling to aged care recipients, their families, loved ones and aged care staff: Phone 1800 22 22 00; upload “My Grief” app available at or via the Google Play and Apple Store
  • Dementia Australia provides advice to people caring for someone with Dementia where behaviours are impacting their care: Phone 1800 699 799
  • Phoenix Australia provides information and tools to support those who have had traumatic experiences: visit
  • The Essential Network for health professionals – a website and mobile app by the Black Dog Institute: visit or upload via the Google Play and Apple Store
  • Beyond Blue  Support Service: Phone 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14
  • Head to Health provides access to free and low cost digital and phone mental health services and supports: visit

National Review of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities

The Commonwealth has commissioned an independent national review into COVID-19 outbreaks across Australian residential aged care facilities (the Review). The Review will examine lessons learnt from the management of COVID-19 outbreaks and identify critical factors which could increase the likelihood of rapid detection and timely response for managing any future outbreaks of COVID-19 or other infectious disease outbreaks.

The review is not service specific, instead drawing general conclusions from providers’ experiences, including those who managed to contain the spread within services. The review will provide recommendations to Government on how preparedness and responsiveness to potential future outbreaks may be monitored and evaluated.

The review has commenced and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021. The terms of reference for the Review are attached.