Aged care sector
Residents of residential aged care facilities (RACFs) are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and are more vulnerable to serious complications if they do become infected. The single most important measure for preventing COVID-19 in RACFs is the avoidance of exposure.
RACFs must implement measures to prevent introduction of COVID-19 into their facility and ensure they are prepared to manage outbreaks of COVID-19, should they occur. Detailed guidelines on managing outbreaks are provided in the Australian Department of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities.
Details of restrictions on entry into residential aged care facilities (RACFs) can be found in the Chief Health Officer’s public health directions on aged care.
A fact sheet providing guidance on how to plan COVID Safe festive season events in aged care can be found here.
- Management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities booklet (PDF 9442 kB) (source: Queensland Health)
A suite of collaborative pathways for managing ssuspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in residential aged care facilities.
- Checklist for Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) preparation for COVID-19 prevention and outbreak management (source: Queensland Health)
This checklist is intended to guide requirements for RACF pandemic preparation
- COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care – Workforce Framework (PDF 554 kB) (source: Queensland Health)
This document provides advice and information on workforce responses to support residential aged care providers to plan for and respond to workforce issues associated with COVID-19.
- COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care – Report on Response Planning and Progress March 2020 to March 2021– Workforce Framework (PDF 1453 kB) (source: Queensland Health)
Date Uploaded: 02/09/21
Queensland Health has implemented a range of measures to support the aged care sector, working with its Commonwealth counterparts and other state Government Departments to deliver responses to the COVID-19 challenge. This report provides an overview of the relevant work undertaken during the first year of the pandemic.
- COVID-19 infection control training (source: Australian Government)
This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19.
- Personal protective equipment (source: Queensland Health)
This PPE information should be used to keep patients, colleagues and healthcare workers safe.
- Aged care resources (source: Australian Government)
This list of resources includes apps, audio and video resources and other publications about aged care.
- Community-based palliative care preparedness (source: caring@home)
These resources were developed on behalf of the Australian Government to support the preparedness of palliative care service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic delivering services to home-based patients.
- Report on COVID-19 Outbreak at North Rockhampton Nursing Centre (source: Queensland Health)
Date Uploaded: 07/05/21
This document provides an overview of the response to the May 2020 COVID-19 incident at a Queensland Health operated residential aged care facility in Rockhampton. Information about experiences and learnings from the incident is provided to support/improve outbreak management planning by other aged care providers.
- Queensland Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young's message to Queensland's residential aged care workers regarding the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Grand Rounds Panel Session
On 21 December 2020, Queensland Health delivered a Grand Rounds Panel Session to share learnings to support pandemic planning and preparedness in responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs). The Grand Rounds Panel Session was also an opportunity to raise awareness of roles and responsibilities, in an effort to strengthen pandemic planning, preparedness, and future responses by RACF providers.
The discussion was facilitated by Dr Jillann Farmer, Deputy Director-General, Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ). Panel members were leaders in the outbreak responses in facilities in North Rockhampton, Pinjarra Hills, and Laidley, which experienced COVID cases in staff members. A CEQ clinical lead who was deployed for the Victorian response, and a Commonwealth case manager also participated. Discussions covered the response to the three COVID-19 incidents in Queensland RACFs, as well as work undertaken during a deployment to Victoria.
- Guidance for transfer of residents of aged care facilities in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak
In response to a COVID-19 outbreak in a Queensland RACF, it is recommended that any decisions which arise in relation to relocating COVID-19 positive residents incorporate a flexible approach based on the following considerations in order of priority - infection control practices, the wishes of the resident and their family, clinical need, the capacity of the system and pandemic stage.
- Transitions between hospital and RACFs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
This guidance document provides a consistent approach to the care of RACF residents attending an acute healthcare facility during the pandemic.
- Discharge letter Transitions between hospital and RACFs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
TThis letter should be used in conjunction with the Transitions between hospital and RACFs during the COVID-19 Pandemic guidance document.
- COVID-19 Testing framework implementation plan Testing Strategies for Residential Aged Care
This framework outline the full suite of testing options for SARS-CoV-2 to optimise case ascertainment, surveillance and inform the public health response.
- COVID-19 Outbreak Management, Preparing and responding – Guidance for Residential Aged Care Facilities in Queensland (source: Partnership inc. Queensland Health)
This document supports Residential Aged Care Facilities in Queensland to prepare for, prevent against and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities (source: Australian Government)
The Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) developed these national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia.
- Acute respiratory illness (potential COVID-19 or influenza pathway) (PDF 502 kB) (source: Queensland Health)
This pathway details isolation and treatment steps to be taken in managing suspected COVID-19 cases in residential aged care facilities.
- Management of potential or confirmed RACF COVID-19 outbreak (PDF 532 kB) (source: Queensland Health)
This checklist will assist residential aged care facilities in managing a potential or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
- First 24 hours in a COVID-19 outbreak (source: Australian Government)
This fact sheet describes the steps you should take in the first 24 hours following the identification of a COVID-19 positive case.
- Planning and Rapid Response – COVID in Aged Care (source: Queensland Health)
Date Uploaded: 17/09/21
This document provides guidance to the sector and government on how to plan for and respond to COVID-19 a case(s) in Residential Aged Care. It articulates the roles and the responsibilities of providers and state and Commonwealth agencies and the process for escalating the response to stand up the Aged Care Health Emergency Response Operations Centre if required.
- COVID-19 update for residential aged care facilities August 2020
This update contains advice on planning and preparing for COVID-19, infection protection information and more.
- Clinical Governance Framework for rapid response to COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities (source: Queensland Health)
Date Updated: 10/08/21
This document helps to ensure an integrated, adaptive clinical governance system and facilitates a cohesive clinical response to RACF COVID-19 outbreak management, with RACF residents and families at the centre. The focus of the document is on the roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and communications required to facilitate an integrated response.
- Pandemic response guidance - Personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability accommodation services
The RACF and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance is designed to provide clarity and consistency for decisions regarding PPE use in various pandemic settings.
- Guidance for Managing Communications and Engagement - COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care Facilities (source: Queensland Health)
Date Uploaded: 04/03/21
This document provides general information to support aged care providers and government and other stakeholders to plan and deliver communications related to COVD-19 in residential aged care, including during outbreaks.
- Communications and Engagement Actions - COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care Facilities (source: Queensland Health)
Date Uploaded: 04/03/21
This document provides detailed information about the communication actions to be undertaken to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care Facilities.
- Advanced care planning advice (source: Queensland Government)
This website provides information and resources about advance care planning for consumers and health professionals.
- Aged care clinical guide – Palliative and end-of-life care (source: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners)
This fifth edition provides guidance on the often complex care of older people, whether living in the community or residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
- PallConsult - 24/7 palliative care advice (source: Queensland Government)
PallConsult boosts the ability of local healthcare teams to deliver patient-centred palliative care, especially in rural and remote parts of the State.
- Principles of Palliative Care for Residents of Residential Aged Care Facilities during COVID-19 (source: Queensland Government)
This document presents high level principles underpinning the proactive, coordinated and effective palliative care to be delivered by healthcare professionals for residential aged care facility palliative residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Guidance for persons in quarantine visiting residents receiving end-of-life care (source: Queensland Government)
- Strategies to increase advance care planning uptake in residential aged care facilities (source: Queensland Government)
This document provides pathways to increase advance care planning in the context of COVID-19 to inform patient-centred treatment and care plans in residential aged care facilities.
This virtual leadership and skill development series is designed to support the capacity and capability of Residential and Aged Care and Disability Service facilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions will are Train the Trainer’ in nature and and provide a conduit to existing and emerging resources.
This live series runs daily from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 August 2020, with recordings added to this page 24-48 hours post-session.
COVID-19 Incident Management Team
Optimising the value of visiting health professionals in a COVID-19 environment
Leading a COVID-19 safe team: Personal and staff wellness
Professional Governance Issues, Surge workforce techniques and Information sharing
Train the Trainer principles
- Tips for residential aged care providers (Source: Dementia Australia)
Information for residential aged care providers regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and supporting people living with dementia.
- Service continuity and emergency events in aged care (source: Australian Government)
This information details how preparing for emergencies can help lessen their effect and impact on your ability to provide a service.
- COVID-19 Consumer Resources (source: Australian Government)
This range of resources will help consumers understand their options on staying safe, keeping in touch with loved ones and keeping fit and active.