All our homes have a COVID-19 Management Plan.
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COVID-19 policies

All our homes have a COVID-19 management plan

Thanks to the hard work of our team, as well as the care and compassion of residents and families, we have established a strong COVID-19 management plan.

Please see our COVID-19 Management Plan below.

Outbreak management

If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs, we go into full lockdown while still caring for all residents’ overall needs.

Resident protection zone

External visiting arrangements have been reintroduced with strict precautions in place. We are facilitating virtual visits as an option to visiting the homes

Staff education

Our staff receives extensive training for infection control procedures on regular and ongoing basis.

PPE supplies

We have adequate supplies of PPE to ensure all staff can perform their regular duties safely.

Staff are MACG only

All our staff are working at MACG homes only, and not at any other aged care providers.

Regulatory review

We continually work with the relevant authorities to ensure our policies are safe and up to date.

Our policies

Covid-19 Vaccine in Aged Care

Medical & Aged Care Group welcome the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to aged care homes this week and the Australian Government’s efforts to prioritise those most at risk.

We will be following the direct health advice provided by the Australian Department of Health and will help to promote this wherever possible.

MACG have a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community, our senior managers and care teams across all homes are working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the effective roll out of the vaccine as soon as it is made available.

The vaccination program remains completely voluntary and free for all residents, employees and volunteers. Our focus is to support all involved and ensure they are fully informed in making their decisions about receiving the vaccine.

The Department of Health is managing the roll out of its vaccination program according to priority suburbs, towns and groups. All stakeholders will be notified as soon as we have been informed of the details. 

For further health advice on the vaccine for people in aged care and older Australians, please review the Department of Health’s resources for aged care residents, families and carers. We also encourage you to seek GP advice on any particular health concerns regarding the vaccine that you may have.

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-vaccinated-for-covid-19/information-for-aged-care-providers-workers-and-residents-about-covid-19-vaccines

 

National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines call the telephone number listed below. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1800 020 080- COVID-19 vaccine enquiries



COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan

We have a comprehensive COVID-19 Management Plan which is reviewed in line with all government regulations and requirements in place for a potential COVID-19 outbreak at our homes. In the event that a case arises at one of our homes, we can act quickly to provide medical care and ensure the safety of all other residents and staff.

If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at any MACG home, full lockdown will occur, as occurs for all other infectious diseases’ outbreaks, with continuing attention to all residents’ overall needs. This will be implemented in a transparent and well communicated way, with an indication of likely timeframe and when the lock down will next be reviewed. Where there is an outbreak or infection, residents may need  to be confined to their rooms, as such activities and exercise will continue to ensure the emotional well-being of our residents is addressed.

Visitor Access into our homes

Medical & Aged Care in line with Australian Government guidelines continue to have protected resident visits at their Homes. This means that the visiting arrangements include prearranged visits for our residents. One household may visit a resident once per day, we must still adhere to the density quoter inside our homes, as per the Governments recommendations. These visits will be organised and coordinated and appointments made by the Administration and Lifestyle staff.  Visits will be Monday to Sunday, visitor attestations and compliance with all infection protocols for either internal or external visits will remain mandatory.



Staff education for Infection Control practices

Our staff receives extensive training for infection control procedures on regular and ongoing basis. This ensure we can prevent any cases of COVID-19 from appearing in our homes, and that we can respond quickly and appropriately in the event that a case does occur.

To assist with infecion control at our homes, staff are to change back into casual clothes, including shoes after their shift – uniforms are not to be worn outside of Aged Care setting. Uniforms are laundered after each use.

Staff sanitise hands prior to entry to the home, complete temperature check and screening questions upon arrival. Staff arrive at the home in air pocket/entrance and again sanitise hands.

Staff are highly educated in the following

  • When to wear PPE
  • Donning and Doffing PPE
  • Signs reminding staff to change masks every 4 hours
  • Guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting Face Shields
  • Guidance on the use of face masks and shields by healthcare workers in all areas of the homes
  • All staff throughout the organisation have completed the Governments education on infection prevention and control for COVID-19

All deliveries and dropped off at front door or the air pocket and maintenance then collects and distributes throughout the home.


Adequate PPE supplies

We have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure all staff can perform their regular duties safely. This helps us prevent any cases of COVID-19 from entering our homes as well having supplies ready in the event that a case does appear.

Reviews by regulatory bodies

Our policies are reviewed by the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission, the Department of Health & Human Services, Infection Control experts and the Australian Defence Force. We continually work with the relevant authorities to ensure our policies are safe and up to date with health advice and restrictions.

Get in touch if you have any questions

Updates and news

Updated 1st of March 2021

Covid-19 Vaccine in Aged Care

Medical & Aged Care Group welcome the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to aged care homes this week and the Australian Government’s efforts to prioritise those most at risk.

We will be following the direct health advice provided by the Australian Department of Health and will help to promote this wherever possible.

MACG have a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community, our senior managers and care teams across all homes are working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the effective roll out of the vaccine as soon as it is made available.

The vaccination program remains completely voluntary and free for all residents, employees and volunteers. Our focus is to support all involved and ensure they are fully informed in making their decisions about receiving the vaccine.

The Department of Health is managing the roll out of its vaccination program according to priority suburbs, towns and groups. All stakeholders will be notified as soon as we have been informed of the details. 

For further health advice on the vaccine for people in aged care and older Australians, please review the Department of Health’s resources for aged care residents, families and carers. We also encourage you to seek GP advice on any particular health concerns regarding the vaccine that you may have.

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-vaccinated-for-covid-19/information-for-aged-care-providers-workers-and-residents-about-covid-19-vaccines

 

National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines call the telephone number listed below. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1800 020 080- COVID-19 vaccine enquiries


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Stacey Menzies
Clinical Education & Development Manager
March 1, 2021

Updated 7th of January 2021

On December 31, 2020 the Victorian Government issued a list of changes and directives for Aged Care facilities in the state.

General Requirements

All visitors must wear a face mask inside residential aged care facilities:

•     Visitors must wear a fitted face mask (surgical or cloth facemask) at all times.

All visitors must continue to practice physical distancing (by staying at least 1.5metres away from others), respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene, within the RACF.

Visitors are required to comply with any staff directions around additional PPE requirements while attending the RACFs.

Enhanced restrictions:

Given the cases identified on 31 December 2020, enhanced restrictions are recommendedin addition to the existing restrictions.

Additional restrictions also apply to Mentone, Mitcham and Hallam and/or a listed exposure site.  It is considered, any person that has visiteda listed exposure site as a person needing to be tested and quarantined.  

Excluded persons:

A visitor must not enter a RACF if they:

•    are not wearing a fitted face mask (unless an exception applies).A face shield on its own does not meet the mask requirement.

•    are unwell or have even the mildest symptoms of coronavirus(COVID-19):

–      fever or temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius

–      loss or change in sense of smell or taste,

–      chills or sweats,

–      cough,

–      sore throat,

–      shortness of breath,

–      and/or runny nose

•    have coronavirus (COVID-19) and are currently required to isolate

•    have been in contact with someone with coronavirus (COVID-19)within the last 14 days and are currently required to quarantine - **Note: this currently applies to any person that have lived or visited a restricted area inNSW and is required to quarantine,

•    have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) due to symptoms and not yet received a result

•    have arrived in Australia from overseas in the last 14 days.

•    Individuals who do not have a current influenza vaccination

In order to ensure excluded persons are prevented from entering the facility, the screening and declaration process is required.

Declarations for staff and visitors

Visitors to RACFs are required to declare in writing before entering a facility that they:

•    do not have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

•    are not a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)case

•    are not currently required to isolate or quarantine, as directed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Declarations can be on paper, an app or equivalent providing it is in writing. A parent orguardian can make a declaration for their child.

In addition to the written declaration, all visitors will be checked for symptoms, including checking for a temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius.

Restrictions for people from or who have visited NSW

The Public Health Unit, DHHS has categorised several areas of NSW as areas of higher risk for coronavirus (COVID-19)transmission. This includes Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong – being a RedZone and the Northern Beaches of Sydney – being a Hot Zone

Residential aged care facilities must ensure that all current screening processes include the ability to screen for visitors and staff who have lived in or visited the restricted NSW zones.

Any visitor who has visited these restricted zones since 11 December 2020 should be considered an excluded person as they would be required to quarantine. Excluded persons cannot enter the facility for any reason. This includes any persons visiting for any purpose (including end of life) unless they have a specific exemption granted by the Chief Health Officer pursuant to Clause 5(5) of the Care Facilities Directions.

 

At this time, visits to any MACG Home will require;

·       To ensure that we are compliant with Fire& Evacuation processes and density quotients,  all visits to MACG homes will need to be prearranged, these will be arranged in 15 minute time slots to prevent everyone arriving at the same time. This will allow for the required screening to take place. Visitors arriving unannounced may not be permitted entry if density limits have been reached. A QR code system is currently being introduced to our Homes which we believe will expedite the visiting registration process.

·       Proof of a current flu vaccination must be provided for adult visitors, in line with government directives

·       At this current time, Family outings will be discouraged however if residents do leave the Home for a family visit, these visits will also need to be prearranged, these will be arranged in 15 minute time slots to prevent everyone arriving at the same time and will enable staff to ensure that the resident is ready for the outing. A disclosure statement will need to be completed on their return to the Home in line with government guidelines and the Home’s requirements for screening and contact tracing if required.

·       At this current time, Residents wanting to go into the community will be discouraged, however if residents chose to go out into the community they will be required to wear masks when indoors, maintain social distancing arrangements and adhere with density quotients whilst away from the Home. On return provide truthful information asto their visiting and location activity whilst away from the Home. Screening will be required on return to the Home.

·       A disclosure statement will be required to be completed by the visitors on entry to the home, as will temperature checks, hand hygiene and Infection Control requirements as outlined by a staff member as part of the screening process.

·       Visits will occur in resident rooms, or the designated area for the Home (especially for resident in shared rooms), or outside in garden areas. Communal areas in the Home such as, lounge areas are not to be used for visits.

·       At this time, a maximum of two visitors at any one time per resident per visit (this will be reviewed regularly),

·       Density quotients will be maintained in line with State Government guidelines. Visitors will be asked to leave the resident’s room if resident care is required during a visit.

·       Social distancing must be respected and maintained during visits

·       Masks are to be worn during visits within the Home, masks can be removed if the visit takes place in outdoor areas, appropriate social distancing is still to be observed

·       To allow the Home to manage the logistics and requirements of visits, visits will commence at 1000 and finish at 1800 hours on Monday to Friday and from 1000and finish at 1630 hours on Saturday and Sunday (if amendments are required at specific homes, these must be discussed with me). We ask that resident meal times (between 1200 – 1300 hours) be respected during these times and with any visit.

·       Visiting times are in place to ensure that staff are also able to provide resident care throughout their shifts. A list of the daily arranged visits must be posted in the nurses station. This will assist care staff to plan their shift to coincide with arranged visiting times.

·       Suspected or confirmed COVID19 cases at the Home will invoke visitor restrictions being reintroduced in line with government directives and the Escalation Tiers.

·       An ongoing and dynamic risk assessment will influence the level of limitation on visitation, the type of visitation restrictions implemented and attendance by a resident to locations external to the residential aged care facility. This means that there are appropriate infection prevention measures in place and an agreement by the resident and family to provide accurate information, and engage in risk mitigation procedures while on the outing/family visit and screening procedures on return.

 

References:                   Visitation Guidelines for Residential Aged Care Facilities December 2020

                                       COVID-19Escalation Tiers

                                       Industry Code for Visiting RACF’s during COVID-19

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Cameron McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
January 7, 2021

Updated 1st of October 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to MACG Aged Care Facilities

Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge continues to be balancing a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of all our residents.

Of concern, it still remains highly apparent that residents in Aged Care facilities are particularly susceptible to the transmission of the virus as can be seen in the media. MACG continues to monitor the situation carefully and continues to review guidelines and interventions to minimise risk to our residents, including such things as;

  • COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan;
  • Staff education on a regular basis relating to Infection Control practices;
  • Adequate PPE supplies being readily available for staff;
  • Staff working at MACG sites only; and,
  • Reviews by various regulatory bodies including the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission, the Dept of Health & Human Services, Infection Control experts and the Australian Defence Force.

These changes are to ensure the safety and protection of all our residents, and whilst the state has a ‘roadmap to reopen’ we need to continue to ensure our staff and residents remain safe. As such Medical & Aged Care has again made the decision to continue with a Resident Protection Zone at their Homes. This means that the current external visiting arrangements will continue to be temporarily suspended. However, these arrangements will be reviewed fortnightly and communicated to all stakeholders, in line with community transmission figures and any guidelines as directed by relevant regulatory and industry bodies.

The decision again made by MACG has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place continue to keep everyone safe.

Additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes are to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other, including pre-arranged or booked window visits. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Judith Knott
GENERAL MANAGER RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE SERVICES
October 1, 2020

Updated 23rd of July 2020

RE: Message from Cameron McPherson - CEO

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Cameron McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
July 23, 2020

Updated 8th of July 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to MACG Aged Care Facilities

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern currently is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transmission of the Coronavirus within our homes.

We note the Victorian Premier’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, and the decision to reintroduce Stage 3 restrictions on those who live in the greater Melbourne Metropolitan area. Clearly defined criteria have been re-established and must be met for any individual leaving their residential address. Our staff are being required to confirm their essential services status when attending shifts at our Homes.

As a result of these changes and to ensure we maximise the safety and protection of all our residents, Medical & Aged Care has made the decision to implement a Resident Protection Zone at their Homes. This means that the current external visiting arrangements will be temporarily suspended. However, these arrangements will be reviewed in four (4) weeks.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Judith Knott
GENERAL MANAGER RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE SERVICES
July 8, 2020

Updated 1st of July 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to Northern Gardens Aged Care

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern currently is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transmission of the Coronavirus within our homes.

We note the Victorian Premier’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, we also note the concerns raised from a small minority of relatives, however, the safety and protection of all our residents remains our number one priority. Following the lockdown announced yesterday by the Premier of the 36 suburbs in the North and North West of Melbourne, Medical & Aged Care at its Northern Gardens Home has made the decision to implement a Resident Protection Zone. Current external visiting arrangements will be temporarily suspended. However, in line with Victorian Government regulations these arrangements will be reviewed in a fortnight.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Judith Knott
GENERAL MANAGER RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE SERVICES
July 1, 2020

Updated 1st of July 2020

Flu Vaccination

From the 1st of May 2020, anyone entering a residential aged care facility is required to provide appropriate evidence of flu vaccination. This applies to employees, contractors and all visitors.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Judith Knott
GENERAL MANAGER RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE SERVICES
July 1, 2020

Updated 7th of May 2020

Visitor Access Code

Further to the communication sent to you Monday, May 04, we would like to outline the principles, rights and responsibilities which will be put in place from Monday May 11, 2020 relating to the Visitor Access Code for all Aged Care Homes.

Firstly, we would like to note that since MACG took the decision to restrict visitor access to its Homes from Monday April 05, 2020, we have received a 97% satisfaction with our decision to do so over this time. In the interests of our residents’ safety we still believe that the best approach is to continue with lockdown measures, however we respect the wishes of the PM and Cabinet.

Whilst MACG have lifted our lockdown, we still recommend that you continue to communicate with your loved ones via Skype, Zoom etc if this is your preferred method, for these arrangements are still very much in place at all our Homes.

Medical & Aged Care Group have in collaboration with our industry peak bodies spent last week focusing on securing a positive outcome around visitor restrictions. A draft Visitor Access Code has been developed  in collaboration with Government, provider and consumer representatives which was adopted by National Cabinet on late Friday, May 01 2020.

MACG has adopted a cohesive industry approach, as such the Visitor Access code aims to ensure that a compassionate and consistent visitor policy that continues to minimise the risk of COVID-19, while providing innovative on-site visiting solutions to maintain the mental health of residents is in place. We believe the Code is striking the right balance between provider and consumer protections.

The Code outlines principles, responsibilities and rights for the Medical & Aged Care Group and residents, families and friends alike, with the underpinning objective to minimise the risk of COVID-19 being introduced to one of our Homes. This code will take effect as of May 11, 2020.

Principles;

1. MACG and their staff will continue to actively facilitate connections between residents and family, families of choice and friends, consistent with the Charter of Aged Care Rights. Our Home will create a solution for onsite visiting which may be through using a dedicated room, the resident’s room, a visiting window or other solution.

2. The Aged Care Quality Standards and Charter of Aged Care Rights always apply.

3. MACG will require that visitors must not visit a Home if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms. Visitors must comply with infection control processes. The entry requirements include being required to respond honestly to screening questions about COVID-19 risk factors, demonstrate an up to date flu vaccination; and complying with visitor requirements which may include hand hygiene, having their temperature checked upon arrival, wearing Personal Protective Equipment if required and remaining in a resident’s room or designated area only.

4. MACG continues to acknowledge that are certain circumstances in which visitation will require in the room visits (or dedicated areas), which may be for a longer period of time, which may require additional infection control training, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment and other such measures as are necessary to adhere to the facility’s infection control procedures. As arranged previously individual arrangements will made with the manager of the Home and the family under these circumstances and include; Residents who are in the ‘end of life’ phase and in their final weeks will be allowed in-person visits from a small number of loved ones on a regular basis. The number of visitors, length, frequency, and nature of the visits will reflect what is needed for the person to die with dignity and comfort.

5. MACG will require visitors to remain only for ‘short’ periods, at all homes these times slots are the hours of 0930 to 1130 and from 1430 to 1630 Monday to Friday and will be subject to a booking system to manage total number of visits. The times for these scheduled visits can be booked, Monday to Friday between the hours of 0900 to 1700 hours with either the Lifestyle Team Leader or the Administration Officer at the Home. Visitors attending the Home for these visits will be escorted to a room at the entrance to the Home at the confirmed and nominated time. Social distancing will need to be maintained during these visits.

6. Families and friends can deliver letters / parcels / gifts / food (in line with the Local Government Guidelines) /communication devices to facilities. Where the Home maybe in lock down due to an active infection outbreak in the Home will accept the delivery on behalf of the resident.

7. If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at any MACG home, full lockdown will occur, as occurs for all other infectious diseases’ outbreaks, with continuing attention to all residents’ overall needs. This will be implemented in a transparent and well communicated way, with an indication of likely timeframe and when the lock down will next be reviewed. Where there is an outbreak or infection, residents may need  to be confined to their rooms, as such activities and exercise will continue to ensure the emotional well-being of our residents is addressed.

8. MACG will continue with the practice for residents to use public spaces within the Home, including outdoor spaces, if there is no outbreak. However, social distancing measures such as restricting the number of people in a common area at a given point in time will be maintained.

9. MACG will continue to ensure a person centred approach to care ensuring that chemical restraint is used only as a last resort in accordance with the Quality Care Principles and in line with individual medication management requirements.

10. Access of residents to external medical and related services (e.g. repair of hearing aids or glasses) will be maintained, in line with service provider guidelines and requirements. Medical assessment and review processes are in place, with area health services, GP visits and telehealth options as appropriate. This may also require wearing of PPE in certain circumstances.

11. MACG will continue to facilitate regular electronic communication between residents and families as requested and scheduled. Additionally, regular and responsive communication with families will continue.

12. MACG reserves the right to vary their own response to COVID-19 if risks change within our local community.

Rights;

MACG, to mitigate risk of infection will refuse entry to our Home to anyone, for any justifiable reason consistent with this Code.

MACG, will move into full lockdown when an outbreak has occurred within our Home, or a declared outbreak has occurred within its local area or if there are other extraordinary circumstances that require it.

Residents, Families and Friends

• To visit residents, must comply with the entry requirements as above.

• Will be provided with regular updates and information about what is happening in the Home.

• Will be provided with additional contact methods such as video conference or telephone calls to supplement any in person visitations.

• Will deliver gifts, clothing, food and other items for the resident.

Responsibilities

• MACG will appropriately support staff in order to facilitate, in person visits, by a resident’s family, family of choice or friends.

• MACG has increased the utility of digital or other communication mechanism to compensate for short visit durations.

• MACG will ensure that the legal representatives of residents (including Power of Attorneys, Guardians and Health Attorneys) are heard, and their substituted decisions are upheld.

• MACG will ensure all staff are vaccinated under current requirements.

Residents, Families and Friends

• Not to visit when displaying even the mildest cold like symptoms and to always be truthful about their health and contact circumstances when interviewed.

• To treat all staff with respect and courtesy, following their instructions.

• Contact the Home before attending for a visit, to secure a mutually convenient time.

• To follow visiting requirements including providing evidence of up to date influenza vaccination, infection control procedures such as washing hands, use of visiting windows, remaining in residents’ rooms – as directed by the aged care staff.

We appreciate that we are all functioning under challenging circumstances relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, the current arrangements are not ideal for residents, families and staff alike. However in the spirit of cooperation, we seek your patience, understanding and assistance during these times. Please note, these arrangements will continue to be reviewed regularly in line with government directives.


Sincerely

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Cameron McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
May 7, 2020

Updated 22nd of April 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff
RE: Visitor Access to Medical & Aged Care Homes

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor restriction to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially connected. Our primary concern at this time is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transfer of the Coronavirus within our homes. In response  Medical & Aged Care Group remains committed to ensure that the risk of a  catastrophic situation that has recently developed in Aged Care facilities in NSW and Tasmania is minimised.  

We note the PM’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, we also note the concerns raised from a small minority of relatives, however, the safety and protection  of all our residents remains our number one priority. Following consultation with industry organisations, the Aged Care Commissioner and health officials, Medical & Aged Care Homes will continue to restrict visitor access.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result with this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems in place at our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

The Managing Director – Aged Care, Cameron McPherson will also be posting a message, further explaining the position of Medical and Aged Care Group. This will be up on all social channels/website in the next few days.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Cameron McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
April 22, 2020

Updated 26th March 2020

It is the responsibility of Medical & Aged Care Group (MACG) to identify and comply with relevant legislation and regulations. MACG must fulfil their legal responsibilities in relation to infection control by adopting standard and transmission-based precautions as directed in the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) and by state/territory public health authorities.

As the number of COVID-19 infections in the community rises, the Government has introduced strict guidelines around social distancing, self-isolation and has stopped mass gatherings.

With the risk of infection between individuals increasing, we have tightened restrictions on visitors to our Homes to preserve the health and wellbeing of our residents and employees.

All homes will be in a form of lockdown. Key pads have been secured, as such visitors will be discouraged from visiting our sites unless it’s essential during this challenging time.

Conditions of entry into our Homes

In line with the information provided by the Australian Government, a decision has been made to place a Condition of Entry for all MACG homes.

  • Visitors will only be allowed entry between the hours of 10am-5 pm Weekdays and 10am-2pm on Weekends (these hours maybe further amended if instructed by the government)
  • Casey Aged Care has been required to reduce visiting hours to 10am-2pm Weekdays and Weekends
  • Visitors are restricted to 2 per resident per day, for a maximum of 1 hour
  • Separate arrangements will be in place for those in " end of life phase" and will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with families and the home
  • Children under the age of 16 will be prohibited from visiting the home
  • Families members who have recently returned from overseas will not be permitted entry to the site, until they have completed a 14 day period of isolation and do not show any symptoms of the virus
  • All visitors will also be required to undertake a temperature check prior to entering the building, if an abnormal reading if detected, the individual will be refused entry and will be directed to see their GP immediately
  • Entry will be restricted via the front door only and visitors will be required to report to reception on arrival before entering the Home
  • Visits with residents will be in resident rooms, outdoor areas or designated areas as determined by the home
  • No personal contact with other residents during their visit and abstain from accessing communal areas e.g. lounge and dining rooms
  • Visits from volunteers, schools and community groups have been discontinued
  • Our suppliers have been notified that all deliveries are required to be left outside for collection by staff
  • Individuals refusing to comply with this directive will result with the individual being refused entry to the home
  • From May 1st, access to the home will be prohibited to those individuals who have not been vaccinated for influenza.

Individuals refusing to comply with this directive will result with the individual being refused entry to the home.

All homes will continue regular in-home activities for residents with each Home’s Lifestyle Program.

All staff are required to undertake a temperature check prior to entering the building, they are required to use hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the building, and are following strict infection control protocols whilst caring for our residents

All staff are undertaking competencies and attending further mandatory infection control education.

Resident Admissions

We are continuing to accept new permanent and respite residents. Please contact our Admissions Coordinator or the relevant Home for further details.

Weekly notices/updates are being provided to staff, residents and visitors in relation to the virus and how MACG are dealing or managing the situation. Any changes implemented will be based on the information from or at the direction of the above noted authorities.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Residential care homes are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 outbreaks. Even when homes actively try to prevent outbreaks occurring, many external factors may lead to residents or staff contracting the COVID-19 and outbreaks in residential care facilities.

If such an event occurs, strategies will need to be implemented to limit and control the spread of the virus within the home. Visitors, in line with Government directives, WILL NOT be able to access the home, all visiting will be stopped for the period of the outbreak and will not come back online until a clearance has been determined by the appropriate health authorities.

We do ask for your understanding in the coming weeks as we implement any required changes in line with the latest advice from health authorities. We seek your patience, assistance and support at this time as our Managers and staff do their best to maintain the welfare and wellbeing of our residents and each other.

Should you require further information regarding COVID-19, please refer to the Commonwealth Department of Health website:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
By
Cameron McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
March 26, 2020

Updated 1st of October 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to MACG Aged Care Facilities

Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge continues to be balancing a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of all our residents. 

Of concern, it still remains highly apparent that residents in Aged Care facilities are particularly susceptible to the transmission of the virus as can be seen in the media. MACG continues to monitor the situation carefully and continues to review guidelines and interventions to minimise risk to our residents, including such things as;

  • COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan;
  • Staff education on a regular basis relating to Infection Control practices;
  • Adequate PPE supplies being readily available for staff;
  • Staff working at MACG sites only; and,
  • Reviews by various regulatory bodies including the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission, the Dept of Health & Human Services, Infection Control experts and the Australian Defence Force.

These changes are to ensure the safety and protection of all our residents, and whilst the state has a ‘roadmap to reopen’ we need to continue to ensure our staff and residents remain safe. As such Medical & Aged Care has again made the decision to continue with a Resident Protection Zone at their Homes. This means that the current external visiting arrangements will continue to be temporarily suspended. However, these arrangements will be reviewed fortnightly and communicated to all stakeholders, in line with community transmission figures and any guidelines as directed by relevant regulatory and industry bodies.

The decision again made by MACG has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place continue to keep everyone safe.

Additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes are to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other, including pre-arranged or booked window visits. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

Judith Knott

General Manager – Residential Aged Care


Updated 23rd of July 2020

RE: Message from Cameron McPherson - CEO

Updated 8th of July 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to MACG Aged Care Facilities

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern currently is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transmission of the Coronavirus within our homes.

We note the Victorian Premier’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, and the decision to reintroduce Stage 3 restrictions on those who live in the greater Melbourne Metropolitan area. Clearly defined criteria have been re-established and must be met for any individual leaving their residential address. Our staff are being required to confirm their essential services status when attending shifts at our Homes.

As a result of these changes and to ensure we maximise the safety and protection of all our residents, Medical & Aged Care has made the decision to implement a Resident Protection Zone at their Homes. This means that the current external visiting arrangements will be temporarily suspended. However, these arrangements will be reviewed in four (4) weeks.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

Judith Knott

General Manager – Residential Aged Care

Updated 1st of July 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff

RE: Visitor Access to Northern Gardens Aged Care

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor access to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially and emotionally connected. Our primary concern currently is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transmission of the Coronavirus within our homes.

We note the Victorian Premier’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, we also note the concerns raised from a small minority of relatives, however, the safety and protection of all our residents remains our number one priority. Following the lockdown announced yesterday by the Premier of the 36 suburbs in the North and North West of Melbourne, Medical & Aged Care at its Northern Gardens Home has made the decision to implement a Resident Protection Zone. Current external visiting arrangements will be temporarily suspended. However, in line with Victorian Government regulations these arrangements will be reviewed in a fortnight.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result from this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems implemented in our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

Judith Knott

General Manager – Residential Aged Care

Updated 1st of July 2020

Flu Vaccination

From the 1st of May 2020, anyone entering a residential aged care facility is required to provide appropriate evidence of flu vaccination. This applies to employees, contractors and all visitors.

Updated 7th of May 2020

Visitor Access Code

Further to the communication sent to you Monday, May 04, we would like to outline the principles, rights and responsibilities which will be put in place from Monday May 11, 2020 relating to the Visitor Access Code for all Aged Care Homes.

Firstly, we would like to note that since MACG took the decision to restrict visitor access to its Homes from Monday April 05, 2020, we have received a 97% satisfaction with our decision to do so over this time. In the interests of our residents’ safety we still believe that the best approach is to continue with lockdown measures, however we respect the wishes of the PM and Cabinet.

Whilst MACG have lifted our lockdown, we still recommend that you continue to communicate with your loved ones via Skype, Zoom etc if this is your preferred method, for these arrangements are still very much in place at all our Homes.

Medical & Aged Care Group have in collaboration with our industry peak bodies spent last week focusing on securing a positive outcome around visitor restrictions. A draft Visitor Access Code has been developed  in collaboration with Government, provider and consumer representatives which was adopted by National Cabinet on late Friday, May 01 2020.

MACG has adopted a cohesive industry approach, as such the Visitor Access code aims to ensure that a compassionate and consistent visitor policy that continues to minimise the risk of COVID-19, while providing innovative on-site visiting solutions to maintain the mental health of residents is in place. We believe the Code is striking the right balance between provider and consumer protections.

The Code outlines principles, responsibilities and rights for the Medical & Aged Care Group and residents, families and friends alike, with the underpinning objective to minimise the risk of COVID-19 being introduced to one of our Homes. This code will take effect as of May 11, 2020.

Principles;

1. MACG and their staff will continue to actively facilitate connections between residents and family, families of choice and friends, consistent with the Charter of Aged Care Rights. Our Home will create a solution for onsite visiting which may be through using a dedicated room, the resident’s room, a visiting window or other solution. 

2. The Aged Care Quality Standards and Charter of Aged Care Rights always apply. 

3. MACG will require that visitors must not visit a Home if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms. Visitors must comply with infection control processes. The entry requirements include being required to respond honestly to screening questions about COVID-19 risk factors, demonstrate an up to date flu vaccination; and complying with visitor requirements which may include hand hygiene, having their temperature checked upon arrival, wearing Personal Protective Equipment if required and remaining in a resident’s room or designated area only. 

4. MACG continues to acknowledge that are certain circumstances in which visitation will require in the room visits (or dedicated areas), which may be for a longer period of time, which may require additional infection control training, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment and other such measures as are necessary to adhere to the facility’s infection control procedures. As arranged previously individual arrangements will made with the manager of the Home and the family under these circumstances and include; Residents who are in the ‘end of life’ phase and in their final weeks will be allowed in-person visits from a small number of loved ones on a regular basis. The number of visitors, length, frequency, and nature of the visits will reflect what is needed for the person to die with dignity and comfort. 

5. MACG will require visitors to remain only for ‘short’ periods, at all homes these times slots are the hours of 0930 to 1130 and from 1430 to 1630 Monday to Friday and will be subject to a booking system to manage total number of visits. The times for these scheduled visits can be booked, Monday to Friday between the hours of 0900 to 1700 hours with either the Lifestyle Team Leader or the Administration Officer at the Home. Visitors attending the Home for these visits will be escorted to a room at the entrance to the Home at the confirmed and nominated time. Social distancing will need to be maintained during these visits.

6. Families and friends can deliver letters / parcels / gifts / food (in line with the Local Government Guidelines) /communication devices to facilities. Where the Home maybe in lock down due to an active infection outbreak in the Home will accept the delivery on behalf of the resident. 

7. If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at any MACG home, full lockdown will occur, as occurs for all other infectious diseases’ outbreaks, with continuing attention to all residents’ overall needs. This will be implemented in a transparent and well communicated way, with an indication of likely timeframe and when the lock down will next be reviewed. Where there is an outbreak or infection, residents may need  to be confined to their rooms, as such activities and exercise will continue to ensure the emotional well-being of our residents is addressed.

8. MACG will continue with the practice for residents to use public spaces within the Home, including outdoor spaces, if there is no outbreak. However, social distancing measures such as restricting the number of people in a common area at a given point in time will be maintained. 

9. MACG will continue to ensure a person centred approach to care ensuring that chemical restraint is used only as a last resort in accordance with the Quality Care Principles and in line with individual medication management requirements. 

10. Access of residents to external medical and related services (e.g. repair of hearing aids or glasses) will be maintained, in line with service provider guidelines and requirements. Medical assessment and review processes are in place, with area health services, GP visits and telehealth options as appropriate. This may also require wearing of PPE in certain circumstances. 

11. MACG will continue to facilitate regular electronic communication between residents and families as requested and scheduled. Additionally, regular and responsive communication with families will continue. 

12. MACG reserves the right to vary their own response to COVID-19 if risks change within our local community. 

Rights;

MACG, to mitigate risk of infection will refuse entry to our Home to anyone, for any justifiable reason consistent with this Code. 

MACG, will move into full lockdown when an outbreak has occurred within our Home, or a declared outbreak has occurred within its local area or if there are other extraordinary circumstances that require it. 

Residents, Families and Friends 

• To visit residents, must comply with the entry requirements as above. 

• Will be provided with regular updates and information about what is happening in the Home. 

• Will be provided with additional contact methods such as video conference or telephone calls to supplement any in person visitations. 

• Will deliver gifts, clothing, food and other items for the resident. 

Responsibilities

• MACG will appropriately support staff in order to facilitate, in person visits, by a resident’s family, family of choice or friends. 

• MACG has increased the utility of digital or other communication mechanism to compensate for short visit durations. 

• MACG will ensure that the legal representatives of residents (including Power of Attorneys, Guardians and Health Attorneys) are heard, and their substituted decisions are upheld. 

• MACG will ensure all staff are vaccinated under current requirements. 

Residents, Families and Friends 

• Not to visit when displaying even the mildest cold like symptoms and to always be truthful about their health and contact circumstances when interviewed. 

• To treat all staff with respect and courtesy, following their instructions. 

• Contact the Home before attending for a visit, to secure a mutually convenient time. 

• To follow visiting requirements including providing evidence of up to date influenza vaccination, infection control procedures such as washing hands, use of visiting windows, remaining in residents’ rooms – as directed by the aged care staff.

We appreciate that we are all functioning under challenging circumstances relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, the current arrangements are not ideal for residents, families and staff alike. However in the spirit of cooperation, we seek your patience, understanding and assistance during these times. Please note, these arrangements will continue to be reviewed regularly in line with government directives.


Sincerely

Cameron McPherson

Managing Director – MACG Aged Care


Updated 22nd of April 2020

To: Residents, Families & Staff
RE: Visitor Access to Medical & Aged Care Homes

During these unprecedented times, Medical & Aged Care continually review and monitor the visitor restriction to our homes. Whilst we appreciate that not all decisions will be perfect for everyone, our challenge is to balance a serious pandemic with keeping people socially connected. Our primary concern at this time is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents. Our residents remain vulnerable to any potential community transfer of the Coronavirus within our homes. In response  Medical & Aged Care Group remains committed to ensure that the risk of a  catastrophic situation that has recently developed in Aged Care facilities in NSW and Tasmania is minimised.  

We note the PM’s remarks in his press conference yesterday, we also note the concerns raised from a small minority of relatives, however, the safety and protection  of all our residents remains our number one priority. Following consultation with industry organisations, the Aged Care Commissioner and health officials, Medical & Aged Care Homes will continue to restrict visitor access.

This decision again has not been made lightly, and we understand and appreciate the anxiety and anguish which may result with this decision, however, as carers and as part of our duty of care to your loved ones we need to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents. To date having these restrictions in place has kept everyone safe.

The past few weeks has seen additional technology and communication systems in place at our homes to ensure that families and residents can see and communicate with each other. Our lifestyle teams are utilising these tools to connect residents with their loved ones and to maintain their emotional well-being.

We also appreciate in certain circumstances, such as a ‘end of life’, mental health issues etc, individual arrangements will be made to accommodate both family and resident needs.

The Managing Director – Aged Care, Cameron McPherson will also be posting a message, further explaining the position of Medical and Aged Care Group. This will be up on all social channels/website in the next few days.

Cameron McPherson, Managing Director – Aged Care

Judith Knott, General Manager – Residential Aged Care

Updated 3rd of April 2020

A special message from our Managing Director, Cameron McPherson

Updated as at 26th March 2020

It is the responsibility of Medical & Aged Care Group (MACG) to identify and comply with relevant legislation and regulations. MACG must fulfil their legal responsibilities in relation to infection control by adopting standard and transmission-based precautions as directed in the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) and by state/territory public health authorities.

As the number of COVID-19 infections in the community rises, the Government has introduced strict guidelines around social distancing, self-isolation and has stopped mass gatherings.

With the risk of infection between individuals increasing, we have tightened restrictions on visitors to our Homes to preserve the health and wellbeing of our residents and employees.

All homes will be in a form of lockdown. Key pads have been secured, as such visitors will be discouraged from visiting our sites unless it’s essential during this challenging time.

Conditions of entry into our Homes

In line with the information provided by the Australian Government, a decision has been made to place a Condition of Entry for all MACG homes.

  • Visitors will only be allowed entry between the hours of 10am-5 pm Weekdays and 10am-2pm on Weekends (these hours maybe further amended if instructed by the government)
  • Casey Aged Care has been required to reduce visiting hours to 10am-2pm Weekdays and Weekends
  • Visitors are restricted to 2 per resident per day, for a maximum of 1 hour
  • Separate arrangements will be in place for those in " end of life phase" and will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with families and the home
  • Children under the age of 16 will be prohibited from visiting the home
  • Families members who have recently returned from overseas will not be permitted entry to the site, until they have completed a 14 day period of isolation and do not show any symptoms of the virus
  • All visitors will also be required to undertake a temperature check prior to entering the building, if an abnormal reading if detected, the individual will be refused entry and will be directed to see their GP immediately
  • Entry will be restricted via the front door only and visitors will be required to report to reception on arrival before entering the Home
  • Visits with residents will be in resident rooms, outdoor areas or designated areas as determined by the home
  • No personal contact with other residents during their visit and abstain from accessing communal areas e.g. lounge and dining rooms
  • Visits from volunteers, schools and community groups have been discontinued
  • Our suppliers have been notified that all deliveries are required to be left outside for collection by staff
  • Individuals refusing to comply with this directive will result with the individual being refused entry to the home
  • From May 1st, access to the home will be prohibited to those individuals who have not been vaccinated for influenza.

Individuals refusing to comply with this directive will result with the individual being refused entry to the home.

All homes will continue regular in-home activities for residents with each Home’s Lifestyle Program.

All staff are required to undertake a temperature check prior to entering the building, they are required to use hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the building, and are following strict infection control protocols whilst caring for our residents

All staff are undertaking competencies and attending further mandatory infection control education.

Resident Admissions

We are continuing to accept new permanent and respite residents. Please contact our Admissions Coordinator or the relevant Home for further details.

Weekly notices/updates are being provided to staff, residents and visitors in relation to the virus and how MACG are dealing or managing the situation. Any changes implemented will be based on the information from or at the direction of the above noted authorities.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Residential care homes are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 outbreaks. Even when homes actively try to prevent outbreaks occurring, many external factors may lead to residents or staff contracting the COVID-19 and outbreaks in residential care facilities.

If such an event occurs, strategies will need to be implemented to limit and control the spread of the virus within the home. Visitors, in line with Government directives, WILL NOT be able to access the home, all visiting will be stopped for the period of the outbreak and will not come back online until a clearance has been determined by the appropriate health authorities.

We do ask for your understanding in the coming weeks as we implement any required changes in line with the latest advice from health authorities. We seek your patience, assistance and support at this time as our Managers and staff do their best to maintain the welfare and wellbeing of our residents and each other.

Should you require further information regarding COVID-19, please refer to the Commonwealth Department of Health website: 

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

 

Cameron McPherson

Managing Director

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