Catholic Aged Care Executive Called in for Covid-19 Crisis Management

A senior executive from a Catholic aged care home has been appointed to advise the management of Anglicare’s Western Sydney home, Newmarch

Andrew Kinkade, Catholic Healthcare’s general manager of residential care, was appointed by Anglicare in response to a notice issued by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on May 7 2020. 

Mr Kinkade was appointed as an independent adviser “to ensure the safety and well-being of care recipients”. Sixteen residents of Newmarch House have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak.

Last month Catholic Healthcare’s approach to managing a coronavirus infection by a staff member in one of its homes, Bodington in NSW’s Wentworth Falls, was applauded by the state’s chief health officer. 

On hearing the news late one Friday afternoon that a staff member had tested positive to coronavirus at Bodington, Catholic Healthcare was well prepared. The Home assembled a team to work closely with NSW Health, Commonwealth Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner. 

The following day, Anzac Day, a dedicated team was deployed and all staff and 120 residents were tested. All families received phone calls from the outset to advise them of the situation, followed by daily updates until the situation was resolved.

Catholic Healthcare’s swift response was a direct result of the preparations put in place by the organisation some months ago. In February a special committee made up of senior executives met weekly to develop specific operational protocols. 

This was implemented with additional staff training and support for residents and families at all of its 41 Homes. Further, Catholic Healthcare restricted all visitors since March, which meant contact tracing has been efficient and focused on this group of residents and their care staff.

At the same time, new activities were added to the resident Lifestyle program and new technology was introduced such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype to ensure residents kept in touch with family and friends.

The good news is NSW Health has advised they have now completed testing of residents and staff at Bodington and all tests have returned negative results.

NSW Health is writing up Bodington as a case study for Outbreak Management.

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