The Australian Government has held a virtual meeting with families of residents at the embattled St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Victoria.
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck said the online ‘information session’ was aimed at strengthening the lines of communication with families concerned about the health and wellbeing of their loved ones.
“We understand the emotional impact the situation is having on residents, staff and families,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of those residents who remain on site while also ensuring families have the information they need.”
The meeting brought together representatives of Commonwealth and State Governments, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, OPAN and a representative from the new Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.
He said those on the call outlined the processes in place and strategies which lay ahead as authorities battle to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a challenging situation for the aged care sector in Australia,” Mr Colbeck said.
“But the Australian Government continues to work pro-actively to ensure measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.”
He said expert teams at the St Basil’s Home site were ensuring quality standards in care were being met.
The Minister said additionally, from today, the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre would co-ordinate efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic across facilities.
Supported by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria, Emergency Management Australian (EMA) and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), the response centre will offer a scalable and coordinated response mechanism as we continue to respond to the pandemic.
He said the Response Centre would be led by an executive team including clinical and operational leads, enabling a rapid response as required.
It will include staff from Department of Health, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, DHHS, EMA, EMV and Defence.