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Quality agency to conduct sector-wide review of infection control procedures

The Minister for Aged Care has ordered an “urgent review” into the infectious disease management practices of all aged care facilities following an increase in flu-related deaths in residential aged care this winter.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt told AAA the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency would “examine the management of infectious diseases outbreak procedures, including vaccinations of staff and residents, across the aged care sector.”

Questions posed by AAA to Minister Wyatt regarding the scope and nature of the agency’s review were referred to the quality agency.

The details of how the examination will be conducted and what it will involve are currently being finalised, a spokesperson for the quality agency told AAA on Wednesday morning.

The review announcement came on Sunday when Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Minister for Aged Care Key Wyatt also announced that Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy would look at ways to boost vaccination rates among residential aged care workers including making the flu vaccination compulsory (read that story here).

Both investigations have been prompted by the deaths of now eight residents at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta in Victoria and reports of fatalities from the flu at Strathdevon Aged Care in Tasmania.

“Older people are always vulnerable to the flu, but the many deaths this year are unacceptable,” Mr Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt said he has also instructed the quality agency to conduct a review audit of the St John’s Wangaratta and the Strathdevon aged care facilities to assess their performance against the 44 accreditation standards, which includes infection control systems and processes.

“The quality agency has been advised that the Strathdevon home is being reopened, meaning this review audit will begin on Monday, 11 September,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The review audit of St John’s Wangaratta is also expected to start next week but this will depend on when the home is reopened,” he said.

The completed review audit reports will be provided to the secretary of the Department of Health and will be published on the quality agency’s website.

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4 Responses to Quality agency to conduct sector-wide review of infection control procedures

  1. Anonymous September 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    had the flu jab so did many of the residents in the aged facility that i work in they and myself all got sick. no staff to replace sick staff so bosses make you feel guilty for taking sick leave. its a no win situation

  2. Michael Warn November 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    Don’t worry, help is on the way.

    Another urgent review will fix everything

  3. Anonymous for fear of reprisal November 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

    I can vouch for anonymous above! Until very recently, management of aged care facility would give you half an hour lecture on why you should not take sick leave or you would be coerced into taking more than 1 day especially if it was going into a weekend and therefore loosing your penalties; a tactic designed to ensure you wouldn’t consider taking sick leave again. Also a tactic of not being allowed to lodge generic Statutory Declaration form for sick leave but having to submit the facility’s changed wording/questions Stat Dec form and not allowing to it to be signed by the local pharmacist opposite the facility, ensuring obstacles to taking sick leave. Everyone must call the facility manager 24/7 to have the sick leave approved before being allowed to contact facility for sick leave replacement. Employees continue to attend work under duress within a bullying environment; head office ignore past complaints and employ verbal tactics to dissuade vulnerable and weaker individuals, corruption at its worst. It is such a disgrace that in this day and age we are subject to this abuse and therefore our elderly are put at risk. Many of the older employees are too scared to stand up for fear of a quick staged and forced exit! Sounds bizarre to a reader who is not there, but it is 100% accurate.

  4. Michael Warn November 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

    Hmmm…you seem very focused on sickies. How many have you clocked up so far this year?

    Perhaps it’s just management’s (misguided) attempt at dealing with employees dedicated to scamming every entitlement listed in the EBA?

    Or maybe it was a slow afternoon and they just randomly decided to restrict the pharmacist’s power to sanction your leave?

    (Who’s cousin was he and how much did he charge ?)

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