Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hospital staff deployed in aged care takeover

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced an overhaul of COVID-19 support within the state’s private aged care sector, with medical teams to be deployed to take over clinical care in embattled aged care facilities.

With 384 new cases and six further deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, a visibly flustered Daniel Andrews addressed the media.

He said Eastern Health and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital would close beds today and send staff to those facilities with outbreaks.

“They will move staff, principally Victorian Government-employed registered nurses into a number of aged care settings where there are outbreaks, to essentially take over the clinical care of residents in those settings,” the Premier said.

He said all non-urgent elective surgery would also be axed to free up hospital beds.

Victorian Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton described the state’s figures as “pretty volatile”.

There are now 88 cases associated with Estia Aged Care in Ardeer, 86 from St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner, and 82 linked with Epping Gardens aged care home.

The Premier said almost 2,000 residential aged care residents had been moved from aged care facilities into hospitals.

“When there is no confidence in infection control, where there is no confidence that care can be provided to a suitable standard, then we will do everything we can to move those residents out,” he said.

“Some of the stories we’ve heard, some of what’s gone on in some of these settings is not acceptable,” the Premier said.

“It’s not about blame, and having disputes about who’s in charge of what, it’s about getting on and getting this done.

“I’ve spoke with the Prime Minister, Ministers have been speaking, officials have been speaking – it was a very long night but this is a critical challenge.”

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