Date issued: 27 July 2020

Issued by: The Executive, Heritage Care

Issued to: Residents, Families, Staff, Contractors at Epping Gardens, Heritage Care

Purpose: To provide all stakeholders with information about COVID-19 at Epping Gardens and our responses.

Updates
Sadly, we advise we were informed of the passing of a second resident who was in hospital who had tested positive to COVID-19. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the family and friends.

We can confirm:

  • The number of residents remains at 61 for testing positive to COVID-19.
  • No further increase in staff results which remains at 22 positive cases.
  • Testing was completed onsite today for all residents and staff who previously tested negative.

Whilst we completely understand your distress and anxieties about the situation of your loved one, we seek your cooperation to nominate a primary contact for each resident who can then share the information with other families and friends.

Comments:

Since the first notification sent 20 July 2020 and the CEO Message sent 25 July 2020, Heritage Care advocated for residents to be transferred to hospital. Unfortunately, this was opposed by the Department and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission as not being the best process when raised during the scheduled daily meetings. Heritage Care made this decision in the best interests of residents and staff. This was not about abrogating our responsibilities, it is us wanting the best outcomes for our residents.

In addition:

  • The Chief Executive Officer had a direct discussion with Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians today resulting in much needed additional support.
  • Residents are being transitioned to alternative care settings, including hospitals, ensuring they receive the care and service according to their needs.
  • Our staffing numbers and skill mix is adequate to meet the care and services over the next 24 hours. We expect our staffing numbers to improve as staff return from isolation and when appropriate, have our residents returned to Epping Gardens in a considered, collaborative and coordinated manner.
  • The news report on Channel Nine this evening is correct in that a small number of staff chose to have a private function at Epping Gardens. All staff members involved were stood down immediately when we were alerted. It is important to state we did not endorse this activity, nor were we aware this was organised. We consider this to be an extemely serious breach of Heritage Care’s expectations.
  • We disclosed this information to The Department, Commission and police as soon as we were informed.
    Below is a link below from the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN).

Should you wish to be connected with an advocate, advise the Epping Gardens team via reception.eg@heritagecare.com.au.
https://agedcarequality.govcms.gov.au/sites/default/files/media/a4_guide_-_what_to_expect_during_a_covid-19_outbreak.pdf