white_complispace_logo

COVID-19 Regulatory Changes

Residential Aged Care

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2021

Request Updates by Email

Stay Up-to-date

CompliSpace has put together the following matrix of legislative and regulatory changes, best practice resources, and advice from regulators and government departments to ensure that your organisation has the most up-to-date information regarding your obligations regarding the prevention and management of COVID-19 outbreaks.

COVID-19 advice and obligations are changing almost weekly at the moment, so it is not always possible for your organisation to have all its policies and procedures reflect new advice in a timely way. This resource will ensure that you are aware of changing advice and obligations as they happen, while we continue to work with you on maintaining and updating policies, procedures and practice.

Please ensure that you check this resource regularly (we suggest once a week). If you'd like to opt-in for an email that notifies you when this page is updated, please click the button below.

Request Updates by Email

Importantly, this Page relates to COVID-19 legislative and regulatory updates only. It does not replace the quarterly Aged Care Law Monitor publication that encompasses legislative and regulatory updates in other subject areas.

 

If you'd like a print-friendly version of the updates, please click below.

Download a Print-friendly Version

What to Look For

The following legend is used to assist your organisation in prioritising its response to COVID-19 advice and obligations:

 

new

Indicates a change/addition that is new to this Landing Page (removed after a change has been in place for 2 weeks)

CompliCare Icon-1

Indicates that the associated CompliCare content has been updated to reflect the change/addition.

Red Circle

Requires action as soon as possible

- The date of effect has already commenced or is about to commence; and
- Non-compliance could be a breach of legal obligations; or
- Non-compliance could be harmful to persons within your organisation
Yellow Circle

Requires action, but not immediately

- The date of effect is not imminent

- The recommendation is only a guideline/ not mandatory

Green Circle

No action is required due to the nature of the advice/guideline. Your organisation should still be aware of this requirement.

 

Aged Care Quality Standards

 

Requirement

States/

Territories

Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

Green Circle

Unannounced Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission visits returning in June

National

Effective from 27 June 2020

 

The Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson PSM, has declared that assessors have recommenced site visits as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

 

Green Circle

All RACFs will have a Service Compliance Rating in the ‘Find a Provider’ section of the My Aged Care website.

National

Effective from 1 July 2020

 

The rating is provided by the ACQSC and will reflect a service’s current compliance position (i.e. whether a service has a sanction or non-compliance notice and the outcome of the most recent performance assessment by the Commission against the ACQS).

Service Compliance Ratings: Information for residential aged care service providers

Green Circle

Short-notice site visits to continue throughout COVID

National

Announced 18 May 2020

 

The Commission continues to conduct site visits as part of our risk-based regulatory response to COVID-19.

In general, these visits are undertaken at short notice (ie. providing less than 24 hours’ notice to the approved provider), noting that the Commission may also undertake unannounced visits at any time.

Recently, visits have been related to Infection Control Preparedness.

Aged Care Quality Bulletin #18 May 22 2020

Refer to Infection Prevention and Control on this Page for more resources

 

Clinical Care

 

Requirement

States/

Territories

Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

Green Circle

Digital Image Prescriptions

National

Announced 29 May 2020

Consumer/ Resident Care > Clinical Care > Medication Management > Medication Selection and Prescribing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all states and territories have enabled/broadened the scope of permitted image-based prescriptions.

Review the arrangements in your state/territory to ensure your facility can make the most out of digital prescriptions.

Prescriptions via telehealth – state and territory rules

NOW REVOKED

Green Circle

A registered pharmacist can sell or supply a specified substitute medicine, contrary to the instructions on the prescription, during a “serious medicine shortage”

VIC

Effective from 1 August 2020 to 31 December 2020 (dates inclusive) unless earlier revoked

Consumer/ Resident Care > Clinical Care > Medication Management > Medication Selection and Prescribing

This currently applies to Metformin (modified release) 500mg tablets. Permissible substitutes include:
· Metformin immediate-release 500 mg tablets
·Metformin modified release 1000 mg tablets
Providers should make note of the emergency prescribing powers now available to pharmacists and consult the link in the Resources for more details.

Public Health Emergency Order under Section 22D (PHEO #7) (Vic)

Red Circle

 

NOW CEASED: Temporary allowance for Schedule 8 medicines to be prescribed without a Schedule 8 permit for non drug-dependent persons

 

VIC

Ceased midnight 27 September 2020

Consumer/ Resident Care > Clinical Care > Medication Management > Medication Selection and Prescribing

The earlier public health order (No. 3) was amended to remove the 30-day prescribing limit for special Schedule 8 poisons.

Public Health Emergency Order under Section 22D (PHEO #6) (ViC)

 

Consumer Care and Rights

 

Requirement

States/

Territories

Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

Yellow Circle

 

Updated COVID-19 Emergency Leave Provisions

National

Available from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020

Financial Governance > Financial Governance Procedures

Declaration of COVID-19 pandemic as an “emergency situation” – period extended.
Emergency leave for COVID-19 was previously only available until 30 June 2020.


CompliSpace policies have been updated to reflect the Emergency Leave Entitlements. However, providers need to ensure that any fees paid by a resident, from 1 April, to retain their place whilst taking social leave must be reimbursed.

Department of Health Media Release - Leave extended for aged care residents during COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Information for permanent aged care residents – emergency leave

 

ACE Articles:

Emergency Leave Entitlements for Aged Care Residents – Update

 New Emergency Leave Entitlements for Aged Care Residents: What This Means for Providers

 Coronavirus Visitor Control in Aged Care: Check Your Readiness

Green Circle

Updated advice for understanding the use of restrictive practices and managing behaviours in a time of pandemic

National

24 August 2020

Consumer Care > Consumer Safety and Behaviour

The fact sheet is produced by Dementia Australia and provides tips to support a person living with dementia where behaviour may be affecting their care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACQSC resource for outbreak management planning in aged care recommends providers have a clinical governance framework in place to minimise the use of restraints, including during an outbreak (see ‘Isolating and Cohorting of Residents, pp 21-24).

Department of Health, Restrictive practices: understanding and managing behaviours in a time of pandemic

Outbreak management planning in aged care

Green Circle

Latest research relating to the management of psychological and emotional health and wellbeing

National

28 July 2020

Consumer Care > Consumer Dignity and Choice > Consumer Emotional Support

palliAGED care has collated the most recent research into best practice in the psychosocial care of older persons.
The ‘Care and Service Delivery’ section of the ACQSC resource for outbreak management planning in aged care (p 67) also provides useful information on this topic.

palliAGED Care, Psychosocial Care - Synthesis


Outbreak management planning in aged care

Green Circle

RACFs can refer residents to a free telehealth counselling and support service available during COVID-19

National

Available from June 2020

Consumer Care > Consumer Dignity and Choice > Consumer Emotional Support Policy

Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults is providing free services during COVID-19 for aged care residents, and family members, friends or staff caring for aged care residents.

Counsellors are provisionally registered psychologists, social work interns, and counselling postgraduates, who are supervised by experienced practitioners.

Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults

 

Yellow Circle

Recently Updated

Consumers requiring COVID-19 isolation can be temporarily moved to a different location to comply with Public Health Orders

National

14 May 2020

Consumer Care > Ongoing Assessment and Planning with Consumers > Security of Tenure

If there is no space within the home that is suitable for isolation, the resident is required to travel directly to a suitable place to stay until they are medically cleared.


The decision whether an aged care facility is suitable is made by the State or Territory Public Health Unit in consultation with the aged care provider, resident and their family.


The Commonwealth Department of Health has also released a new fact sheet (published 11 November 2020 and updated on 2 December 2020) for providers about how funding works in relation to the temporary relocation of residents in emergency situations.

Temporary relocation of residents in emergency situations

Exiting residents from residential aged care

Security of tenure during COVID-19

new

 

Yellow Circle

Department of Health resources for the transfer of residents to and from hospital during the WA COVID-19 pandemic

WA

22 December

Consumer Care 

The resource includes checklists to guide and support the decision to transfer residents to and from hospitals during COVID-19.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Western Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities: Resident transfer to and from hospital

NOW REVOKED

Yellow Circle

Temporary changes to Advance Care Directives/ Power of Attorney requirements

QLD

Expires 31st December 2020

Consumer Care > Advance Care Planning

Temporary modifications have been made to the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld), which allows:
• witnessing of wills, EPA and AHD forms to be completed via video
• nurse practitioners, as well as doctors, to carry out capacity assessments necessary for people to make AHDs
• for these capacity assessments to be conducted via video.

End of life documents during COVID-19, Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General

 

Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020

Yellow Circle

Temporary changes to Advance Care Directives/ Power of Attorney requirements

National

Announced 24 August 2020

Consumer Care > Consumer Safety and Behaviour >

Temporary modifications have been made to the following acts:
• Electronic Transactions Act (Vic) (2000) (ETA)
• Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018 (Vic)
• Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic)
Key effects include:
• a witness can now remotely witness a person sign a document or confirm a person’s identity over audio visual link
• statutory declarations can be witnessed remotely
• the execution and witnessing of POAs, including EPOAs and related instruments, can be witnessed by an attorney remotely.
See the resources for more detailed requirements.

Electronic signing and remote witnessing during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Victoria State Government

 

COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Electronic Signing and Witnessing) Regulations 2020

 

 

Green Circle

COVID-19 restrictions on certain medical services to be eased

VIC

Announced 27 September 2020

Services and Supports > External Services and Consumer Referral

Dental clinics can recommence non-urgent services with a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

All AHPRA registered health workers – and in addition, social work, speech pathology, dietetics, audiology, exercise physiology, orthotists, prosthetists – may provide some face to face services.

Elective surgery is resuming in stages, in line with the Victorian Government’s roadmap for reopening.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) daily update

Green Circle

Advice for maintaining communication when a resident tests positive for COVID-19

VIC

Announced 24 August 2020

Consumer Care > Consumer Dignity and Choice > Communicating with Consumers

Advice can also apply to other facilities nationally. It includes advice on how RACF can prepare their communication systems in case they experience a COVID-19 outbreak.

Department of Health, Advice for aged care facilities and staff in Victoria

 

Entry and Visitation Restrictions

This section contains the latest Aged Care restrictions, under each state/territory’s Public Health Order/Direction for Residential Aged Care Facilities.

Changes will affect the ‘Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19’ policy, contained in the Work Safe Policies in the Work Health and Safety module.

 

States/

Territories

Affected

Key Dates

Overview of Changes

Resources

 

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

National

20 November 2020

*Note that some states have guidelines and restrictions that are applicable in certain circumstances and override guidelines in the Industry Code.
The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 has been updated to introduce:
• Revised visitation guidelines for RACFs
• A “tiered approach” for RACFs responding to COVID-19

Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

 

NSW

15 December 2020

No 4 Order includes the following amendments:
• Residents are no longer restricted to two visitors.
• Persons entering to provide a care and support visit are not required to have the flu vaccination.
• Persons entering to provide a "welfare or wellbeing" visit to residents or to accompany a prospective resident do not have to have a flu vaccination.
• The operator of a residential aged care facility or facilities is required to consider the advice of the Chief Health Officer in deciding the number of visitors who can enter the premises.

NSW Public Health Order and Restrictions


Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 4) 2020

new

Red Circle

NSW

30 December 2020 till at last 6 January 2021

RACFs must follow NSW Health advice to residential aged care facilities, in addition to the Public Health Order (No 4).
Also check the NSW COVID-19 website for areas of active community transmission.

 

Advice to residential aged care facilities


Latest COVID-19 case locations and alerts in NSW

 

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

 

VIC

11:59pm, 3 January 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a summary of the current directions and precautions that all RACFs are advised to follow.
It includes ‘Enhanced Measures’ that must be followed by RACFs in nominated geographic areas and identified exposure sites (see the ‘Outbreak Alert’ page).

Directions - Care facilities (No 19)

Visiting care facilities, Victoria State Government

Case alerts – public exposure sites

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

 

QLD

1:00 a.m. 4 January 2021

Recent updates have been made in response to the COVID-19 clusters in Victoria. Other restrictions from the previous Aged Care Direction still apply.

Aged Care Direction (No. 17)


Protecting aged care residents, Queensland Government


CompliCare Icon-1

Policy

Updated

 

ACT

from 14 May 2020 until Public Emergency Ends

Public Health Emergency declaration has been extended until 17 February 2021.

Public Health (Residential Aged Care Facilities) Emergency Direction 2020 (No 3)

Public Health (Emergency) Declaration Further Extension 2020 (No 12)

Red Circle

WA

Effective from 18 September 2020

Entry restrictions have been relaxed, such that persons are only restricted for RACFs where, in the preceding 14 days, they have:

·  returned from overseas
·  been informed that they are a “close contact”; or
· any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (defined in the public health order).

Entry restrictions do not apply to residents.

Restrictions still apply to persons who do not have an up to date influenza vaccination and are not exempt under the Order.

Persons providing services to a resident at the facility are not permitted to enter where it would be reasonably practicable for the service to be provided via telehealth/similar.

Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions (No 4)

 

COVID-19 information for aged care and community care providers

 

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

SA

1 January 2021

  • To reduce the spread of COVID-19 within South Australia, the State Coordinator has issued a Direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 to limit entry into residential aged care facilities (RACF) in South Australia.

    In particular, no person who has been to a prohibited location can enter or remain on the premises of a RACF in SA. See the Contact Tracing page for the latest prohibited locations and health alerts.

Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 21) (COVID-19) Direction 2020

Aged Care – COVID-19, SA Health

Contact Tracing, SA Health

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

NT

23 November 2020

See the resources for details of the restrictions on visits to RACFs.

COVID-19 Directions (No. 40) 2020 Directions for Aged Care Facilities

Residential aged care, Northern Territory Government

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

TAS

26 October 2020

Direction No. 10 for Residential Aged Care Facilities is now in force.

Aged care facility visits, Tasmanian Government

Governance

 

Requirement

States/

Territories

Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

 

Green Circle

Business Improvement Fund grants for residential aged care extended.

National

Applications are now open and must be submitted by 2:00pm 30 April 2021

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance

 

Providers can apply for funds to improve business operations, support the sale of a facility to another provider, or closure where there are no other options available.
For more information visit the GrantConnect website or email queries to bif@health.gov.au.
Applications must be submitted via GrantConnect by 2:00 pm AEST on 30 April 2021.

Business Improvement Fund for residential care, Department of Health

ACSA Webinar: Accessing Grants from the Business Improvement Fund

Accessing Grants from the Business Improvement Fund Presentation Slides

Green Circle

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19

National

4 August 2020 – 30 June 2021

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance
Human Resources Management

This grant is designed to assist with costs associated with the effects on staffing as a result of COVID-19 (e.g., single facility policy, training requirements etc.)

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 GO4215

 

Green Circle

Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) reviews being undertaken at the Department of Health Offices.

National

Until further notice

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance

Services and Supports > External Service Providers

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, AFCI reviews are being undertaken at the Department of Health offices until further notice. For more information, refer to the resource.

The Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), Department of Health

Green Circle

Temporary increase to residential care subsidy

National

Effective from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020

 

All residential care providers are receiving a portion of an additional $78.3 million. This is being administered through an uplift to subsidies paid through the Aged Care Funding Instrument.

Protecting older Australians: COVID-19 update 31 March 2020

Green Circle

COVID-19 Aged Care Support Grant will reimburse eligible aged care providers for eligible expenditure incurred in managing direct impacts of COVID-19

National

Applications for funding available until 31 May 2021.

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance > Financial Governance Procedures

Eligible applicants can apply for funding for each impacted service for the periods between the date on which the resident, staff member or client is tested for COVID-19 and the date on which direct COVID-19 impacts are resolved (i.e. no infected or isolated residents, staff members or clients). Eligible applicants can fill out an online application form       

Aged Care Quality Bulletin #18 May 22 2020

Green Circle

Daily accommodation fee calculated based on 365-day year, even on a leap year.

National

 

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance > Financial Governance Procedures

Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2) (the Principles) refer to 365 days for working out:

- the DAP (or contribution) equivalent to a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) (or contribution)

- the amount of interest on a RAD (or contribution) balance or accommodation bond balance.

Calculating residential accommodation payments in a leap year

 

Human Resources

 

Requirement

States/Territories Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

 

Red Circle

Mandatory COVID-19 Infection Control Training

National 

Effective from 1 September 2020

 

Providers need to ensure all staff have completed the COVID-19 Infection Control training.

This is important given that unannounced spot checks are being conducted by the Commission across all jurisdictions to observe infection control practices, and ensure that staff, management and visitors are adhering to safe personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols, and safe infection control arrangements.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Statement from Ms Janet Anderson PSM

Green Circle

Additional Workforce Retention Bonus, totalling $154.5 million, to support the continuity of aged care workforce in residential and home care.

National

Applications closed 4 September 2020.

Providers who believe they should have submitted a variation and did not by the due date, should email acwr@health.gov.au.

Corporate Governance > Financial Governance

Payments will be made to providers automatically on the date specified, unless providers need to submit a variation.
Aged care providers and agencies will then pay the retention bonus to eligible staff.
Variations need to be submitted to acwr@health.gov.au
There were previously two payments: one for staff employed in June, and one for staff employed at 31 August 2020.
The variation process for the second payment closed 4 September 2020. Adjusted grant schedules will be issued in the last week in September with funds being paid to nominated bank accounts after 5 business days.
Provider who believe they should have submitted a variation and did not by the due date, should email acwr@health.gov.au. Note: only variations of 10% or more (either reduced or increased) should be submitted.

Department of Health, Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus Payment for residential and home care workers

 

Green Circle

Relaxation of Student Visa Work Requirements

National

Prior to 8 September 2020

Human Resources

Employees on student visas can temporarily work for more than 40 hours a week if they are:

· employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020;
· employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider; or
· enrolled in a health care related course and are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials.

Department of Home Affairs: Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders

Green Circle

Support for Aged Care workers grant opportunity

National

Applications close 30 June 2021

 

The grant is to assist RACFs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) providers and approved Home Care providers to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care service.

More information on eligibility can be found here.

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity now open

new

Yellow Circle

Paid pandemic leave for residential aged care employees covered under certain Awards

National (see here for exclusions)

The first pay period on or after 29 July 2020 until 29 March 2021

Human Resources > Employee Leave Entitlements

Paid pandemic leave is available to employers and employees covered by:

· The Aged Care Award

· Nurses Award who work in the aged care industry

· Health Services Award who work in the aged care industry

Previously, this was available till 29 October 2020. This has been extended to 29 March 2021.

 

Fair Work Ombudsman, ‘Paid pandemic leave in some awards’

 

Green Circle

No entitlement to personal/carer's and compassionate leave entitlements during stand down.

National

Effective from 19 May 2020

Human Resources > Employee Leave Entitlements > Personal and Carer's Leave

Employees lawfully stood down, in accordance with the FW Act, are not entitled to personal/carer’s leave (including sick leave) or compassionate leave during the stand down period. This is unless they are under an Enterprise Agreement and the agreement clearly and expressly states the employee is entitled to it.

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), sections 524 and 525

Fair Work Ombudsman, Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

Yellow Circle

Mandatory notification of subcontracting arrangements

National

Last updated 24 April 2020

Corporate Governance > Workforce Governance

Approved providers that engage the services of an external organisation to assist with their COVID-19 HR needs must complete this form and email it to materialchange@agedcarequality.gov.au.

Providers must also inform the subcontracted organisation that the Commission is being notified, in accordance with Privacy laws.

Notifying of a subcontracting arrangement – responding to COVID-19

 

Red Circle

Mandatory PPE for workers that cannot avoid working at multiple facilities

QLD

1.00a.m. 3 November 2020

Human Resources > Secondary Employment
Infection Prevention and Control > Personal Protective Equipment

It is recommended that RACF prevent staff from working across multiple care facilities wherever possible. If staff do work across multiple care facilities, the staff member must:
• notify the Home about the other care facility workplaces
• notify the Home if they become aware of a COVID-19 case at the other workplace
• wear appropriate personal protective equipment in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance
• stay at home if they are unwell.

Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance


Questions and answers about visiting Queensland residential aged care facilities, Queensland Department of Health

Red Circle

Mandatory Workforce Management Plan

QLD

1.00a.m. 3 November 2020

Human Resources

The latest Public Health Directions relating to RACFs requires facilities to have a work force management plan. The Queensland Department of Health has provided a template.

Workforce Management Plan template

Red Circle

Mandatory Register for staff working across multiple facilities 

SA

5 November 2020

Human Resources > Secondary Employment

A personal care worker, if possible, should not provide personal care at more than one Residential Aged Care Facility within 14 days of providing personal care at a different facility.

However, they may provide care at more than one facility provided they notify the facility operator that they are doing so. The facility must keep a register of those workers who do provide care at more than one facility.

COVID Response Updates, Government of SA

Yellow Circle

“Single-facility policy” for permanent and casual workers who work in a COVID-19 Hotspot

VIC

Effective from 27 July 2020 – 25 Sep 2020 (possibility of extension, as required by Cth or Vic Government advice or the pandemic situation)

Human Resources > Secondary Employment

To contain the spread of coronavirus in Victoria, residential aged care workers in declared areas are now restricted to working at a single site.

Support is available through the:

“Guiding Principles”, which contains specific guidelines to assist providers, with facilities in hotspots, to implement a “single-facility policy”.

The restriction prevents permanent and casual workers employed at the facility from working at multiple facilities.

Victorian Department of Health COVID-19

Guiding Principles for residential aged care –

keeping Victorian residents and workers safe

Red Circle

new

Single site working arrangements for RACFs in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area

NSW

24 December until the Australian Government advises the Northern Beaches is no longer a hotspot

Human Resources > Secondary Employment

Guiding Principles for RAC has been updated for providers and workers in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area. These Principles outline the actions providers, and their workers should take to implement a single site working arrangement as soon as practicable.
See the ‘Governance’ section of this page for more information on available grants.
Converge International is offering up to five free counselling sessions per person for workers impacted by single site arrangements.

Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping NSW residents and workers safe


Support Hub

Yellow Circle

Employers are required to allow employees to work from home if it is reasonably practicable

NSW

Effective from 1 July 2020

Human Resources > General Employment Conditions

 

Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020

Green Circle

Certain workers are exempt from registration and can engage in regulated activities for the period that the WWVP amendment regulation is operational

ACT

Effective from 6 May 2020 – 6 May 2021

Human Resources > Recruitment and Selection Procedures

The WWVP (Background Checking) Amendment Regulation exempts Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, and public employees of Commonwealth, state or territory entities, from registration under the Working with Vulnerable People scheme, while engaged in ‘regulated activities’ on behalf of the Territory for the purposes of supporting the COVID-19 emergency.

A person will be exempt from registration and can engage in regulated activities until the new section 4A inserted by the Regulation expires (12 months from commencement).

Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Amendment Regulation 2020 (ACT)

 

Infection Prevention and Control

 

Requirement

States/Territories Affected

Key Dates

Affected CompliSpace Content

Overview of Requirement

Resources

 

Red Circle

New Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission guidelines for developing Outbreak Management Plans

National

11 December 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

 

Outbreak management planning, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

 

Red Circle 

CompliCare Icon-1

Policy

Updated

Further guidance on IPC and Control Lead Requirements

National

November 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Clinical Governance

All providers must:
• appoint an IPC Lead (see resources for guidance on suitable IPC leads). Note the deadline for appointing an IPC Lead was 1 December 2020
• ensure IPC leads have received or are enrolled in the minimum training requirements (see the resources for the mandatory training modules and other approved courses) – all courses must be completed by 28 February 2021
• report on their IPC lead (see resources for reporting requirements. Note that the reporting deadline was 31 December 2020)

Further guidance on infection prevention and control lead requirements, Department of Health

Infection prevention and control leads, Department of Health

 

Green Circle

New Department pf Industry, Science, Energy and Resources guide to purchasing PPE for COVID-19

National

Published 23 October 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Personal Protective Equipment

This Guide is intended to help buyers of PPE be more confident in their purchasing decisions, by providing information on PPE and factors to be aware of when buying PPE.

This Guide is not intended to replace information from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Safe Work Australia or other health authorities.

It also does not contain exhaustive information on PPE certifications and standards. It acts as a starting point and it is advised that additional information be sought out to inform purchasing decisions.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Buyers Guide COVID-19, Australian Government

Yellow Circle

New COVID-19 PPE donning and doffing posters

National

9 October 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Personal Protective Equipment

Victorian Aged Care Response Centre has developed posters for RACFs to print and display in strategic locations around the facility.
They show how to correctly put on and take off PPE when entering or leaving areas with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, or without any cases.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – putting on and taking off personal protective equipment – posters, Department of Health (Cth)

 

Yellow Circle

Recently

Updated

Updated Department of Health guidelines for managing a COVID-19 outbreak in aged care

National

25 November 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

Providers should review the guidelines against their current Outbreak Management Plan.
Guidelines include:
• the definition of an “outbreak”
• resources on specific parts of outbreak management
• reporting requirements; and
• support available from the Department of Health.

Managing a COVID-19 outbreak in aged care

 

Yellow Circle

Unannounced spot checks extended to all jurisditions

National

Effective from 17 September 2020

 

The Commission has been conducting infection control spot checks to observe infection control defences to ensure that services are adhering to infection control arrangements, including safe PPE protocols.

These were initially done in Victoria and NSW but are being extended to all jurisdictions.

The Commission has reported on findings from its early infection control monitoring activities. This includes an overview of what providers are doing well, and what needs to be improved on,

Providers should consult the Department of Health resource to prepare for a potential spot check.  

Infection Control Spot Checks, Department of Health (Cth)

Infection Control Monitoring Checklist

COVID-19 Management Flowchart

COVID-19 Are you alert and ready?

First 24 hours – managing COVID-19 in a residential aged care facility

 

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential care facilities

National

18 November 2020

Infection Prevention and Control

This document has been updated to reflect the latest advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on visitor restrictions in residential aged care facilities.

Providers should review the guidelines to ensure their current infection control practices are consistent with the guidelines.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential care facilities, Department of Health (Cth)

CompliCare Icon-1

Policy

Updated

Updates to the CDNA national guidelines of the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities.

National

Updated 14 July 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

Key updates in the following areas:

  • Outbreak identification and management
  • Roles and responsibilities of government agencies
  • Additional members for the Outbreak Management Team

CDNA National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public

Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Care

Facilities in Australia

Green Circle

New Translated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources to provide to consumers

National

Issued June 2020

Consumer Care > Communicating with Consumers

COVID-19 resources available in 63 different languages.

Fact sheets and guidelines

COVIDSafe app

COVID-19 SBS Videos

Yellow Circle

Joint Management Protocol for COVID-19 Outbreak in a Residential Aged Care Facility

NSW

Issued 10 July 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

This protocol outlines the roles and responsibilities of relevant parties, governance structures, escalation procedures and expectations around information sharing and timeframes, relating to the management of COVID-19.

Your Outbreak Management Plan should be consistent with the joint management protocol.

Protocol to support joint management of a COVID-19 outbreak in a residential aged care facility (RACF) in NSW

Yellow Circle

Notification Protocol in VIC of suspected/ confirmed cases

VIC

Issued 20 August 2020 

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

Suspected cases need to be notified to the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre via email: VACRC.COVID19Notifications@health.gov.au

and include the following text: SUSPECTED COVID-19 CASE REPORTING

Confirmed cases need to be notified immediately to the Victorian Government via the PHU publichealth.operations@dhhs.vic.gov.au and the Department of Health agedcareCOVIDcases@health.gov.au.

Residential aged care - who to contact about a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19

Red Circle

Recently

Updated

New “Enhanced” directions and precautions for residential aged care facilities in Mentone, Mitcham and Hallam and/or a listed exposure site

VIC

31 December 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

Enhanced directions include the following:
• All persons entering RACFs must wear a fitted mask at all times.
• Workers must wear a surgical mask if there are no known cases, suspected cases or quarantining persons in the facility. Otherwise, N95 masks are required.
• Staff and visitors to RACFs are required to declare in writing at the start of each shift or before entering a facility that they:
o do not have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
o are not a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) case
o are not currently required to isolate or quarantine, as directed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
• Screening of residents
• Steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
• Cleaning and PPE requirements
The enhanced directions are intended to be in addition to the existing restrictions.
Providers should check the Victorian Health and Human Services

 

 

Red Circle

Further Updates to the Mandatory COVID-19 Infection Control Measures

SA

October 2020

Infection Prevention and Control > Outbreak Management

The latest updates require all RACFs to:
• ensure all employees or contractors who provide personal care or nursing care to residents must complete Understanding COVID-19 for Aged Care Workers by 1 October 2020. Refresher training must be completed every two months.
• submit a COVID-19 Infection Control Plan for all communal areas at the facility to the Department for Health and Wellbeing for approval.
Plans can be submitted to: Health.COVIDInfectionControlPlan@sa.gov.au

See the SA Health site for a full list of the requirements.

Aged Care - COVID-19, SA Health

Residential Aged Care Facilities COVID Infection Control Plan Template

Residential Aged Care Facility COVID-19 Infection Control Plan Guidance

 

More Resources for Residential Aged Care Providers

ACLM-2

Quarterly report for boards and executives that summarises key legal, regulatory and compliance changes that affect the residential aged care industry.

ACE - horizontal

Aged Care Essentials (ACE) is a weekly online publication focused on helping Aged Care Providers understand their ever-changing and ever-increasing regulatory and compliance obligations.

About CompliSpace

CompliSpace specialises in governance, risk, compliance and policy management (GRC&P) solutions for organisations in highly-regulated industries including residential aged care. It helps residential aged care providers meet their obligations so they can focus on their core purpose – caring for consumers and supporting their staff.

About CompliCare

CompliCare is a solution that helps residential aged care providers continuously meet the requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards and to create a compliance culture that staff will embrace.

Request a Conversation