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Weekly Wrap 12 November 2021

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Aged care news highlights from the week ending 12 November 2021, aggregated by CompliSpace.

The information in the Weekly Wrap is aggregated from other news sources to provide you with news that is relevant to the aged care sector across Australia and worldwide. Each paragraph is a summary of the subject matter covered in the particular news article. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of CompliSpace.


 

Coronavirus/COVID-19 News

 

Essential visitor scheme endorsed by peaks

According to Aged Care Insite, a new scheme to allow visitors into aged care homes through a COVID-19 lockdown has been drafted in the wake of mounting reports of residents being left in extended isolation. The Council on the Ageing (COTA) announced an essential visitors concept in a call to renew the industry visitation codes.

 

Feedback invited on new aged care visitation code

According to The Senior, Australians can provide feedback on the revised Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes, developed by 12 aged care consumer and provider organisations. The Code seeks to balance reasonable safety measures in aged care while respecting the rights of older Australians and their emotional wellbeing. The consultation closes noon, November 19, 2021.

 

Residential aged care admissions during COVID‑19

According to the Department of Health, the safety and well-being of aged care residents and staff remains a priority, as the Australian Government continues to work with states and territories and the aged care sector to transition to living with COVID‑19.

To assist with the COVID-19 emergency, the Government is encouraging residential aged care providers who have capacity to admit people being discharged from hospital where possible. While admission practices are a matter for individual providers, we would strongly encourage you to consider people with higher dementia support needs and those with lower means.

If you do admit people with higher dementia needs, Dementia Support Australia (DSA) are able to offer support planning, clinical advice and information to service providers. More information is available at www.dementia.com.au. Further, there is also financial support available to providers for residents who cannot pay for some or all of their accommodation costs or are facing financial hardship. Additional information is available on the accommodation supplement and on financial hardship.

There have also been a number of funding announcements and new initiatives to support aged care providers during COVID-19. Further details on these measures can be found on the department's website. All aged care homes must follow the New Resident Entrance Protocol on COVID‑19 vaccination to protect new and existing residents. Providers should work with hospitals to ensure that:

  • new entrants to residential aged care are offered a minimum first dose of a COVID‑19 vaccine prior to being discharged
  • a resident’s COVID-19 vaccination status is included in the clinical transfer notes provided on discharge from hospital.

Providers are also reminded that their security of tenure obligations apply to existing residents returning from hospital.

 

Online now: National webinar on COVID-19 booster vaccinations in residential aged care

According to the Department of Health, a recording of the live webinar on the COVID-19 booster vaccination rollout in residential aged care, held on 3 November 2021, is now available on the Department’s website.

National webinar on COVID-19 booster vaccination rollout in residential aged care | Australian Government Department of Health

Aimed at residential aged care providers and services, residents, their families and representatives and workers the webinar provides detailed information on the upcoming national roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine booster program in residential aged care.

 

COVID-19 outbreaks exposed shortfalls in aged care, finds review

According to Aged Care Guide, recommendations from a review into COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities aim to fix "shortcomings and systemic weaknesses" in the aged care system that were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

 

 

Other News

 

To Dip or Not to Dip flyer

According to the Department of Health, this flyer has information about antibiotics for aged care residents and their families, carers and representatives. The Commission has developed To Dip or Not to Dip, a quality improvement activity that incorporates an evidence-based clinical pathway, which aims to improve the diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections (UTI) in older people living in aged care services.

 

The role of the pharmacist in residential aged care

Available on Youtube now is the first webinar in a four-part series, presented jointly by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission). In this webinar we reviewed the role and functions of the Commission and the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The opportunities for pharmacists to work with aged care providers to assist them to meet legislative requirements were also discussed.

 

Australia’s largest trade deal locked in, outrage from advocates

According to Aged Care Insite, Australia has ratified one of the largest trade agreements in history despite concerns that it may deter reform to the aged care system. Federal parliament passed the enabling legislation for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), without making aged care exempt from trade liberalisation. Advocates and trade experts have warned that this loophole could potentially enable foreign investors to dispute reforms and limit regulation.

 

Aged care: effective leadership critical in managing outbreaks

According to Hospital and Healthcare, the federal government has accepted all 38 recommendations from the Independent Review of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities. The review, said Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt, and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck, was an important blueprint as we navigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

 

Extension: Have your say about changes to allocation of residential aged care places

According to the Department of Health, you are invited to have your say on the design and implementation of a new residential aged care system. This will replace the Aged Care Approvals Round and allocate residential care places directly to senior Australians from 1 July 2024.

You can share your views by completing the online survey on the department’s Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub. The timeframe for the survey has been extended by one week and submissions will now close at 6:00pm AEDT, Sunday 21 November 2021.

 

Alliance to tackle food, nutrition in aged care

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the Maggie Beer Foundation has launched an initiative to bring together a broad range of multi-disciplinary food and nutrition professionals to improve the mealtime experience of aged care residents. The Alliance of the Willing will include experts and professional from across the country such as chefs, cooks, scientists, dietitians, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, medical experts, philanthropists, corporations, peak bodies, governments, and aged care organisations.

 

Free interpreting service for aged care providers

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides translation services in over 160 languages. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Approved providers can register to use this service for free.

 

One-third of aged care homes the subject of a complaint to the regulator

According to The Weekly Source, the Federal Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector April to June performance report shows that 33% of residential care services were the subject of a complaint to the Commission. The number of complaints per 100 residential care consumers fell over the last quarter to 0.84 per 100 residential care consumers.

 

 

Legislation

 

Poisons Amendment Act 2021 (No. 21 of 2021) [TAS] - assented 12.11.2021

The Poisons Act 1971 provides for the regulation, control and prohibition of the importation, making, refining, preparation, sale, supply, use, possession and prescription of scheduled substances (medicines).

The Poisons Amendment Act amends the Poisons Act to facilitate Tasmania’s implementation of a nationally consistent system of Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) for certain high-risk prescription medicines. The amendments are needed to allow the system to operate in Tasmania and are largely reflective of provisions in place in other states and territories.

The Poisons Amendment Act includes provisions mandating the RTPM’s use by prescribers (medical practitioners, dentists and other prescribed registered health practitioners with the ability to prescribe medications) and dispensers (pharmacists and other prescribed registered health practitioners with the ability to dispense medications on prescription).

 

 

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