Date issued: 30 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. These updates will be provided when there are changes to the situation at Epping Gardens.

Deepest Condolences

Heritage Care pass on our deepest sympathies to all those family, friends and our staff who, through their day to day work, formed emotional connectiveness to all those who have passed.

We can confirm:

  • 85 residents have now tested positive for COVID-19
  • 38 Staff have now tested positive for COVID-19
  • 33 Residents remain on-site at Epping, 11 of whom are COVID-19 positive.

If you have not already, we again ask that you please nominate a primary contact for each resident who can then share the information with other families and friends.

Comments

Heritage Care is grateful for the ongoing support being provided by multiple government departments including the Australian Department of Health, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Australian Defence Force, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria.

We are aware of allegations that we have been resistant to the support offered and would like to assure all parties that we have fully cooperated with all government departments throughout this process and continue to engage daily, providing information as requested. We are working directly with the nurse adviser appointed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and have welcomed their support and guidance thoughout this extremely difficult time.

We are continuing to transfer residents to hospital where clinically indicated and reiterate our belief that this is the best setting for our high-risk residents.

Our staffing numbers and skill mix has continued to improve with more staff being made available to us daily. We are focussing on improving communications and trying to re-establish phone and video calls between families and residents. We have added more phone lines and reception staff during the day to assist with the call volumes.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) free services support older people and their representatives to address issues related to Commonwealth funded aged care services. Should you wish to be connected with an advocate, you can reach OPAN on 1800 237 981.