Hospitalisation of aged care residents should happen before major outbreaks

Release date: 28 Jul 2020

The peak body for non-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) says it is fantastic that hospitalisation of aged care residents has increased but that it should occur at the first instance in order to prevent major outbreaks and maximise chances of survival.

“Aged care homes simply aren't designed or funded to be able to provide hospital-level containment and treatment of this virus and need the support of the public health system," ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said.

“This should be happening before we end up with these terrible outcomes. Unfortunately, what's happening at the moment with transfer to hospital is not a preventative measure. 

“In order to prevent mass outbreaks as we've seen over the last week, we need hospitalisation to happen as soon as someone tests positive. This is the only way to guarantee the best possible disease control and treatment.

"We are calling on the Commonwealth and States to work together to guarantee that the first cases in aged care homes can be automatically transferred in order to protect older people in care and to prevent mass outbreaks.

“In the face of this unprecedented pandemic aged care providers are doing everything they can to protect the older residents in their care. 

“Aged care workers are some of the most passionate and hard-working people in the wider health system - but residential aged care simply isn’t funded or resourced to be able to operate like a hospital,” Ms Sparrow said.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0408 584 439

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia


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