Aged care service specialists Silver Chain is providing registered nurses for in-person visits to aged care residents with COVID-19.

The Perth-based program aims to bring health care directly to COVID 19-positive patients living in residential aged care facilities to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations due to worsening health conditions.

“This is an important initiative supporting WA GPs and their COVID-19 positive patients who may be vulnerable and needing additional health care support,” Silver Chain WA executive director Renae Lavell told Australian Ageing Agenda.

The program – which also includes telehealth support – is being run under an agreement with the WA Primary Health Alliance and in consultation with local GPs.

Silver Chain’s registered nurses will be dispatched to provide care for a range of health conditions, said Ms Lavell. “Silver Chain can provide a wrap-around service for other health conditions including disease care, minor injuries, wound care and catheter management.”  

WA Primary Health Alliance general manager Mark Cockayne said the service will enable COVID-positive people in residential facilities to continue to be cared for in the community.

“Delivered face-to-face or via telehealth, at no cost to the patient, the COVID-positive home visiting service will allow people to receive the care that they need during the after-hours period or when their primary care provider may not have capacity to offer a home visit,” Mr Cockayne said.

“In addition to treatment for COVID-19, the service will include assessment and management relating to other health conditions that require attention while the person is isolating that may result in being hospitalised for reasons unrelated to their COVID-positive status,” he added.

Silver Chain provides health and aged care services to more than 105,000 clients across Australia a year. Ms Lavell said the partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance “was a great example of how the health sector can work together to provide additional support to at-risk patients during this challenge time.”

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