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Weekly Wrap 22 October 2021

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Aged care news highlights from the week ending 22 October 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

 

COVID test kits delivered to 460 high risk facilities

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, nine in 10 aged care workers are more willing to attend their shift with rapid antigen testing in place, according to the Federal Government’s pilot involving more than 60 facilities. At 18 October, approximately 1.8 million rapid antigen tests from the National Medical Stockpile have been delivered to 464 aged care homes in in NSW (355) and Victoria (109) to screen workers and visitors on a voluntary basis.

 

Aged care workforce nearly 100 per cent vaxxed as Australia hits jab milestone

According to Aged Care Insite, after fears that the mandatory vaccination rules may cause havoc among the aged care sector, Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed that nearly 100 per cent of the workforce is now fully vaccinated. In a speech to parliament on Tuesday, Hunt said that "extraordinarily", 99.8 per cent of aged care workers have come forward to get vaccinated which is "a testament to all involved".

 

Aged care peak body’s booster shot call for aged care residents finally heard with demand for workers to be included

According to Aged Care 101, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) have welcomed Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt’s announcement that he will prioritise aged care residents for vaccine boosters – but they want the workers included. Mr Hunt said on Wednesday that he hoped Pfizer booster jab clinics will start in aged care homes in the second week of November – just a few weeks away.

 

WA is adopting our strongest COVID vaccine mandate, and the rest of the country is watching with interest

According to ABC News, as the West Australian government rolls out the toughest vaccine mandate in the country, with 75 per cent of the workforce told to get the jab, many other states will be watching on with interest to see how it unfolds in COVID-free WA.

 

 

Other News

 

Hall & Prior CEO Graeme Prior: many aged care homes will close

According to The Weekly Source, Hall & Prior Health & Aged Care Group CEO Graeme Prior, who owns and operates 30 RACS in WA and NSW, is warning of a period of consolidation in the sector and that investors have to accept long-term lower returns as compliance costs rise. Mr Prior said the Perth-based privately-owned company wants to build or acquire more facilities to expand the business in the future, as operators exit the industry after it was the subject of a two-year Aged Care Royal Commission.

 

Aged care CCTV trial addresses early challenges

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, false alarms for falls and blind spots are among the hurdles South Australia’s trial of a video and audio surveillance system in residential aged care has overcome in its first six months. SA Health commenced a 12-month trial of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring system to enhance resident safety and care in March with technology partner Sturdie Trade Services.

 

Shingles vax program extended to 2023

According to The Senior, the Federal Government has back-pedalled on its plan to scrap the free shingles vaccine for those aged 71-79. People aged 70 can receive a free vaccine under the National Immunisation Program with a five-year catch-up program since 2016 allowing people aged 71 to 79, who missed out at age 70, to also have the vaccine free. That catch-up period was due to expire on October 31, 2021.

 

Trauma training program piloted for NSW care workers

According to Community Care Review, the NSW government will pilot a trauma training program to help aged, disability and community services workers support the people they work with and look after their own mental health.

 

Dairy rich diets drastically reduce fractures in aged care residents: research

According to Aged Care Insite, adding extra dairy into the diets of residents can drastically reduce fractures and falls in aged care, according to a new study. A two year trial — carried out by the University of Melbourne and Austin Health — tested the impact of adding calcium and protein through dairy foods into the diet of 7195 residents from 60 Victorian aged-care facilities. Amazingly, the study found a 33 per cent reduction in all fractures across the group.

 

 

Legislation

 

No significant developments this week.

 

Workfroce CTA (1)

 

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