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Published: August 4, 2021
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Support for senior Australians as COVID-19 restrictions continue

Senior Australians affected by ongoing lockdowns can access vital support services to ensure they stay socially connected and maintain their health.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said it was important older Australians and their families – particularly those living across hardest-hit local government areas in New South Wales and South East Queensland – understood what was available.

“Challenges remain for senior and vulnerable Australians as we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly the effect of the Delta strain,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Staying connected and healthy has never been more important.

“Aged care services remain open and available to those who need them, especially for isolated Australians.”

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line (1800 171 866) is an important first step for any older Australians who need support or assistance.

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Support for senior Australians as COVID-19 restrictions continue

Published: August 4, 2021
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COVID Testing of asymptomatic residential aged care workers in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

Australians living in aged care are among those most vulnerable to becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19. Stopping this virus from spreading into aged care facilities is our top priority. Testing gives health authorities the chance to find people with COVID-19 who are working in aged care, before they appear unwell. This will help health authorities identify where community transmission is occurring, before there are COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Australian Government, in consultation with Queensland Health, is supporting asymptomatic testing of staff in residential aged care facilities in Greater Brisbane and Sunshine Coast regions. Residential aged care services in these areas will be contacted to be offered in-reach testing for aged care workers. Services in hotspot locations will be prioritised. Please see the fact sheet for further information.

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COVID Testing of asymptomatic residential aged care workers in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Published: August 3, 2021
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Advice to sector – Regulatory response to NSW aged care services in lockdown areas (3 August 2021)

In the current context of the elevated number of COVID-19 positive cases in NSW and the lockdown arrangements introduced by the NSW Government, the Commission has temporarily paused its full program of site-based re-accreditation audits in the Greater Sydney metropolitan area (lockdown area).

This pause in our programmed work is informed by the latest expert advice regarding COVID-19 preventative measures and is aimed at minimising infection risks to aged care consumers and staff of aged care services.

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Advice to sector – Regulatory response to NSW aged care services in lockdown areas (3 August 2021) (.pdf)

Published: July 30, 2021
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Applications open: Home Care Workforce Support Program

The Home Care Workforce Support Program will assist home and aged care providers to attract, train and retain approximately 13,000 new personal care workers, allied health assistants and enrolled nurses.

Applications are open via GrantConnect and will close 2:00pm, Friday 27 August 2021.

Activities under the program could include:

• screening candidates for suitability
• providing mentoring or support services and communities of practice to new workers
• promoting work placements for students undertaking aged care training
• upskilling existing staff to help them supervise students and new staff
• helping providers to attract and keep staff.

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Applications open: Home Care Workforce Support Program

Current Grant Opportunity View – GO4990

Published: July 30, 2021
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Record infrastructure funding and aged care boost

Senior Australians in regional and remote areas will benefit from the single largest investment in residential aged care infrastructure in Australia’s history.

A total of $150 million in capital grants has been allocated following the conclusion of the competitive 2020 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).

This substantial investment by the Australian Government has funded 72 infrastructure projects worth, on average, $2.1 million each.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck, said the investment reflects the Morrison Government’s commitment to greater respect, care and dignity for senior Australians no matter where they live.

“Investing in aged care infrastructure means we can improve the quality and safety of residential aged care from the ground up,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Safe, secure and comfortable residential care homes, designed around the needs of residents, provide the foundation for our five-pillar, five-year aged care reform plan.”

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Record infrastructure funding and aged care boost

Published: July 29, 2021
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Aged Care Quality Bulletin #31 – July 2021

In this issue:

• Commissioner’s message
• On-entry screening and routine monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms
• Limiting the risk that residential staff will need to isolate
• More resources to support providers in relation to new restrictive practices obligations
• From the Chief Clinical Advisor – behaviour support plans
• New Serious Incident Response Scheme resources for providers and consumers
• Provider feedback on site visits moves online from 1 August
• Information about antimicrobial stewardship in aged care
• Updates from the Department of Health
• New and updated Commission resources

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Aged Care Quality Bulletin #31 – July 2021

Published: July 22, 2021
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Delays in aged care police checks and NDIS Worker Screening Checks

The National Police Checking Service (NPCS) conducts every Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (police check) in Australia. It is currently experiencing significant demand. This is causing delays to the processing of aged care police checks and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Worker Screening Checks. Some delays may be up to eight weeks.

To avoid further delays, providers are encouraged to start all police check and NDIS Worker Screening Check renewals 12 weeks before they expire. If you do not manage renewals on behalf of your staff, please encourage your staff to start the renewal process early. This will ensure you meet your responsibility to have clearances in place for all staff.

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Delays in aged care police checks and NDIS Worker Screening Checks

Aged Care Worker Screening Guidelines (.pdf)

Published: July 22, 2021
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COVID-19 Vaccination to become mandatory for Residential aged care workers

On Monday, National Cabinet agreed that the COVID-19 vaccination of residential aged care workers will become mandatory by mid-September 2021.

Residential aged care workers must have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this time.

The requirement will be a condition of working in an aged care facility through shared state, territory and Commonwealth authorities and compliance measures.

The mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of residential aged care workers will be introduced in partnership with state and territories using existing mechanisms.

The Commonwealth will oversee compliance of the mandatory requirement through its reporting and compliances processes with all residential aged care providers.

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COVID-19 Vaccination to become mandatory for Residential aged care workers

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