Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 9 May 2022

In this issue edition: leadership and governance webinar for RACFs, state and territory directions, supporting visitation in RACFs - resources.

Date published:
Health sector

Leadership and governance webinar for RACFs

The Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission are hosting a joint webinar on leadership and governance for residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in a COVID outbreak.

The webinar will focus on leadership and governance including a presentation of case studies on leadership and governance that will be useful to inform planning and embedding these concepts at the forefront of an outbreak. The following presenters will be on the panel:

  • Nicole Jarvis, A/g First Assistant Secretary, Service Delivery Division, Department of Health
  • Janet Anderson, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner
  • Professor Alison McMillan, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Department of Health.

Who should attend?

Residential aged care providers including CEOs, facility managers and IPC leads.


When: Wednesday 11 May 2022 – 2pm to 3pm AEST.


Participants will need to register to attend this free webinar.

This webinar will be recorded and available on the department’s website for on demand viewing.

Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions prior to the event in the registration link, or on the day via the Q+A function.

State and territory directions

Most States and Territories have recently updated their directions on how close contacts are treated in the community, aged are providers are reminded to stay up to date with the latest advice on your State or Territory websites:

Supporting Visitation in RACFs

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee supports having visitors in residential aged care facilities in the least restrictive manner possible:

  • visits must be in line with the known or likely wishes and preferences of residents
  • visitors include family, friends, visiting health workers and support staff.

The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 (the Code) can help providers to apply restrictions with care and compassion. The Code keeps residents and their loved ones at the centre of decision making.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) outlines their position on provider responsibilities relating to visitor access in their fact sheet: Ensuring safe visitor access to residential aged care.

The Commission is committed to the concept of ‘essential visitors’ and is looking for providers to engage proactively with consumers and their representatives (in advance of any COVID-19 exposure or outbreak) to identify these people and ensure that they continue to have access to a service unless a public health order or written public health advice prohibits this. Essential visitors include:

  1. Partners in care – a person who has a close and continuing relationship with the care recipient and provides aspects of regular routine care and companionship
  2. Named visitor – if a resident does not have a partner in care, they may nominate one person to be a named visitor
  3. Visitor at end of life – visits to residents at or approaching the end of life should be facilitated for anyone and not be time limited.

The Commission may take regulatory action where access for essential visitors is not adequately supported.

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