Today’s newsletter provides information about the latest Directions for South Australian residential aged care facilities, including the requirement for staff to use PPE, to complete infection control training and to not work at more than one aged care facility. South Australian aged care residents also have a visitor limit of two per day. We also have information from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) on residential aged care provider assessment contacts happening in South Australia.
Aged Care Online Claiming (ACOC) and Aged Care Online Services (ACOS) portals will close this Friday and providers are urged to request access to Aged Care Provider Portal (ACPP) as soon as possible, to lodge their claims.
There’s also information about the ending of the Victorian Guiding Principles, which have been in place since July 2020. Supports are available for the transition to normal working arrangements. Also included, is the updated advice from NSW Health regarding visitor and staff restrictions in residential and home aged care settings.
Again we encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams. And encourage them to subscribe for future updates.
Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.
Updated Direction for South Australian residential aged care
In response to a number of new cases of COVID-19 in South Australia, the South Australian government has issued updated Directions for Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs).
The updated Direction outline the following requirements:
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn if a worker is providing care to a resident and cannot maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from the resident. The South Australian COVID-19 Strategy for Residential Aged Care Facilities outlines how and when PPE should be worn.
- Care workers must not provide personal care to a resident at a second RACF within 14 days of providing care to a resident at another RACF. Care workers, including contractors and volunteers, must notify the RACF of any additional places of employment.
- A worker must not enter or remain on the premises of a RACF unless they have completed COVID-19 infection control training.
- Residents will be restricted to two visitors per day.
All aged care workers are reminded to complete COVID-19 infection control training. Additional training modules, specifically designed for aged care workers are also available on the Department of Health’s website.
ACQSC Assessment contacts of South Australian residential services
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) has begun telephoning all approved providers of residential services in South Australia from Monday 16 November 2020.
The Commission is seeking assurances from providers that COVID-19 response plans have been developed and are ready for immediate activation. This includes confirmation that services have arrangements in place to manage risks to consumers and to provide staffing supply.
The telephone call is not an assessment of performance against the Standards. The call will take approximately 30 minutes and arrangements will be made to call back if the provider is busy at the time of the call.
ACOC & ACOS closing this Friday, providers to use ACPP instead
This Friday 20 November 2020 at 9pm (AEDT) Aged Care Online Claiming (ACOC) and Aged Care Online Services (ACOS) portals will close.
After this date, providers will need to submit claims either:
- Manually; or
- Digitally through the Aged Care Provider Portal (ACPP) or appropriate business-to-government (B2G) software.
Providers using business-to-government (B2G) software will need to get ACPP access to continue checking the status of their submitted events and claims regardless of any third party software they currently use.
Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, providers have until this Friday (20 November 2020) to request access to the ACPP. It may take up two weeks for applications to be processed.
Once you have access to the ACPP, you can start using it straight away.
Visit the Services Australia website for more information.
Victorian Guiding Principles ending on 30 November
The Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping Victorian residents and workers safe (the Principles) began on 27 July 2020 and will end on 30 November 2020 in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Providers of non-government aged care facilities should begin transitioning with normal working arrangements recommencing from 1 December 2020. Public Sector facilities in Victoria are continuing single site arrangements until February 2021, as funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Various supports are available to assist this transition:
- The Guiding Principles Support Hub or free call 1800 491 793
- Staff counselling support, visit Converge International or free call 1800 687 327 (till Dec 30)
- Please state that you are from the "Vic Residential Aged Care Workforce" when booking an appointment
- The Support for Aged Care Workers (SACWIC) grant ends on 30 November. Eligible providers can lodge SACWIC applications until 30 June 2021.
Providers are also encouraged to continue to limit workforce mobility where possible and to take steps to understand their workforce by developing a register for recording each workers’ mobility, skills and training. The Department is currently updating the CDNA national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia to include advice relating to preparing for single site workforce arrangements should these be implemented in the future.
Updated NSW advice for aged care visitors
- Have in the last 14 days been in a location of interest in New Zealand
- On or after 7 November 2020 have been in a contact tracing location in South Australia.
NSW aged care providers should continue to monitor the NSW COVID-19 Website for regular updates of venues where confirmed COVID-19 cases have recently attended.