I hope this message finds you well. Our thoughts have been with our clients and staff who have been affected by the recent devastating floods. It was, once again, terrible to witness the destruction and loss caused by an extreme weather event.
Protecting our clients and staff
For over 12 months now we’ve been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re extremely proud of the way we’ve adapted and put measures in place to safeguard both client and staff health and wellbeing.
We’ve been developing an agile approach to COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns that enables us to respond quickly to any COVID-19 incidents in a localised way. We have timely and robust processes in place to allow for decisions to be made, implemented and communicated to both affected staff and clients in the case of a localised COVID-19 outbreak or lockdown.
Our standard COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures are still in place.
- Staff self-screening and client screening
- Hand hygiene and cough etiquette
- Physical distancing (1.5m)
- Staff are to wear a surgical mask where physical distancing is not possible and when indicated in our Infection Prevention and Control Procedure.
Our frontline staff are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Most of you will be eligible during Phase 1b and some in Phase 2a. It’s fantastic that our frontline health workers, as well as you, our clients, will soon have the opportunity to receive the vaccine. Some of you may have already received your first dose.
Of course, there have been significant delays with the vaccine rollout and new parameters announced last week for the Astra Zeneca vaccine. While this is unfortunate, we know that the more people who are vaccinated the more manageable the virus will be, so we strongly encourage everyone to receive the vaccination when it is available to them.
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, you can ask your GP or visit the Australian Government’s Is it True? website. This site provides you with evidence-based answers to the most common questions about the vaccines. Vaccination against COVID-19 protects not only yourself but assists in protecting the whole community.
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
If you have been following the Royal Commission’s work over the past two years you will be aware of the many horrific stories of abuse and neglect that were shared with the Commissioners.
The recommendations in the Commission’s final report address the urgent need for structural change, significantly increased funding and a new aged care act, along with the development of quality indicators, and the need for a much larger, skilled workforce, among many others. These recommendations are very much welcomed by integratedliving. We fully support the findings of the report and will work in partnership with the government and sector to help make these recommendations a reality.
As a home care provider assisting people in rural, regional and remote communities, we have long championed the rights of every client to receive person-centred, dignified care so they can remain living safely and well in their own homes and as part of their community. It is incredibly important that the Royal Commission has called out the need for a list of rights for people seeking and receiving aged care.
We are waiting on the response from Government before the end of May and anticipate additional funding for aged care to be included in the May budget. We are progressing our Integrated Health System Demonstrator as it aligns with many of the Royal Commission recommendations and is particularly important in demonstrating how existing aged and health care funding can be maximised in rural, regional and remote communities. You can read more about this below.
I recently spoke on ABC Central West Radio following the release of the final report and you can listen to that interview below.
Interview audio provided courtesy of ABC Central West and 2BS Radio Central Tablelands.
Introducing our Integrated Health Systems Demonstrator
Both myself and our Chief Health Transformation Officer, Kylie Houlihan, have spent time in Canberra over the past month introducing our proposed new service delivery model, Integrated Health System Demonstrator, to members of Parliament and the Department of Health.
Our hope for this new service delivery model is that it will bridge the gap between aged care and health services available for people in cities compared to those living in rural, regional, and remote areas.
Our Integrated Health Systems Demonstrator will leverage the digital technologies and multidisciplinary care to address some of the fragmented and segregated nature of health and aged care in regional, rural and remote communities.
The model will adopt a mix of virtual and face-to-face care, improving access to specialist health and community care services that aren’t always available outside the cities, and will be supported by the wrap around services we currently provide on the ground.
We want people in the communities we serve, who are ageing and living with complex health needs, to have that equitable access to all the services they need, to stay living safe and well in their local communities.
Our Integrated Health Systems Demonstrator model proposal is being well received and is pre-empting many of the needed improvements to the aged care system that were flagged in the Royal Commission’s final report. We’ve been developing this over the past few years and it’s exciting to see it begin to come to life. We’ll keep you informed as we progress this important work. In the meantime, you can read more about it here.
Our Virtual Forums
In February and March, we hosted a series of virtual forums aimed at assisting people in understanding how the aged care system works – what services are on offer, how to access them and where to go for help. These forums were designed for people who are looking into aged care services for themselves or members of their family.
We also hosted a series of forums for people who are interested in working in the aged care sector as it’s vitally important that we continue to build a skilled workforce to help the sector meet demand into the future.
These forums were recorded and are now available on our website for anyone to watch. If you know someone who is thinking about accessing aged care services, please direct them to these helpful presentations. They are a wonderful resource for people thinking about aged care services, taking much of the mystery out of the process. Each are presented by our operational leadership team who are subject matter experts in community aged care. One of the key takeaways of the forums is that with aged care, it’s all about being proactive – getting organised prior to needing services so you can access the support you need when you need it.
These presentations are worth watching for our current clients too! You can watch them here.
Stay safe and take care.
Chief Executive Officer
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