Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 Update 11 April 2022

In this issue: Winter Preparedness Webinar, Updated Portal FAQs, Aged Care Emergency and Crisis Management Training Program extended to 30 June 2022 and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Winter Preparedness Webinar

Enhanced preparation within the sector and continued response capability will ensure senior Australians continue to receive safe and quality care as aged care providers face the impacts from winter viruses such as influenza, as well as continuing to respond to the threat of COVID-19. You can find more details and resources on preparing for the winter season in our previous message "Preparing your aged care service for winter – readiness".

The Department is hosting a series of free webinars to help aged care providers to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks.

The first webinar, focussing on readiness will be on: Wednesday 13 April 2022 from 11.00am to 12.00pm (AEST).

The session will include a moderated Q&A session with Departmental officials along with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, and we invite you to submit questions in advance when you register to attend.

Two further webinars are being planned. Details will be provided soon.

Updated Portal FAQs

A reminder that residential aged care facilities (RACFs) can request additional PPE to support a current outbreak through the COVID-19 Portal. Providers are responsible for maintaining their standard PPE supply through their existing commercial channels. A standard pack co-contributes to the supply along with the facilities own PPE supplies.

To assist providers in submitting requests through the COVID-19 Portal, the Department has issued updated information in the updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) document.

The COVID-19 Support Portal is accessed through the My Aged Care Provider Portal. If you are experiencing any issues with ordering through the portal, please call the My Aged Care Service Provider Helpline on 1800 836 799.

REMINDER - Aged Care Emergency and Crisis Management Training Program extended to 30 June 2022

The recent emergency events across the country, including ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic and response to natural disasters, continue to highlight the importance of effective crisis management and decision making for aged care providers.

Providers are reminded that availability of the online training modules delivered as part of the Aged Care Emergency and Crisis Management Training Program 2021 has been extended until 30 June 2022.

Importantly, the training retains particular relevance in the context of preparing for and responding to a range current and recent issues impacting the sector, including:

  • major flooding events across south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales;
  • ongoing Omicron COVID-19 outbreaks; and
  • the upcoming 2022 influenza season.

Targeted at aged care provider senior leaders, the training can help equip you with the knowledge, tools and confidence to build or strengthen your organisation’s emergency and crisis management capability and assist to better ensure continued delivery of safe and quality care in challenging situations.

The self-paced online modules are available now and are completely free for participants, with over 1,512 registrations to date - register here. Participants who finish all modules will be able to print off a transcript upon course completion.

The training continues to be delivered by First 5 Minutes and RiskLogic, supported by funding from the Department of Health.

Information for Western Australian Aged Care Providers – Organising PCR testing during an Outbreak

There are a number of Clinipath guidance documents available for Western Australian residential aged care facilities (RACFs) on the arrangement and booking of PCR testing when you have a positive resident and/or two positive staff members (RAT or PCR). These include:

WA services should note that a RACF can determine the extent of initial testing, taking into consideration the unique circumstances of their facility.

Testing guidance is provided in the attached Commonwealth document “Pathology Surge Sonic Clinipath RACF Testing during a COVID-19 Outbreak- RACF Guidance”. Wait times at Clinipath Drive Thru clinics can be found on the Clinipath website: Drive Thru hours & wait times. Staff are able to visit any pathology service for testing, for example if it is closer or wait times are shorter.

WA providers should also refer to the WA Department of Health Guidance for the management of COVID-19 outbreaks in WA Residential Aged Care Facilities

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