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Covid-19 aged care update – Infection Prevention and Control lead

Covid-19 aged care update – Infection Prevention and Control lead

The Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health*, Dr Brendan Murphy, has written to all Commonwealth-funded aged care facilities (private and not-for-profit) explaining the requirement for each facility to engage an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) lead.

ANMF understands the appointment of an IPC lead needs to occur before 1 December 2020.

According to the Department of Health website, an IPC lead:

  • must be a member of the nursing staff who has completed (or initially is in the process of completing) an identified IPC course
  • must be employed by and report to the provider
  • observes, assesses and reports on IPC of the service
  • helps develop procedures
  • provides advice within the service
  • must work on site and be dedicated to a facility
  • may have a broader role in the facility and could be an existing member of the nursing staff.

ANMF advises that members may be approached by their employer to take on the role. As an existing employee, appointment to the role should be the subject of consultation and agreement with you and should involve a discussion about the way in which any additional duties (including the training required) may impact on your existing position and workload.

If you are approached to take on the role of the IPC lead contact the ANMF Member Assistance service via our online inquiry form to obtain advice.

Aged care testing information translations available

Do you know a personal care worker colleague or other aged care worker who does not have English as a first language? Please let them know they can access translated information about asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.

The Federal Department of Health’s Fact sheet: testing of asymptomatic aged care workers is available in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Dinka, Dutch, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Maltese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Current protective equipment guidance for residential aged care

The requirement for all residential aged care staff, including support staff with no resident contact, to wear face shields/goggles remains. This is in addition to PPE, including a surgical mask or particulate filter respirator.

Source: DHHS Personal protective equipment: guidance for residential aged care – 28 August.

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Encourage your colleagues to join ANMF

Please invite your aged care nursing and personal care worker colleagues to join their union so they have access to support, advice and information about their employment. Let them know they can join online.

*  This newsflash was edited on 13 November 2020. In the original version Dr Brendan Murphy was incorrectly called the Commonwealth Chief Health Officer instead of his correct title – the Secretary of the Department of Health.

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