Important information for staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors who work and or visit a residential care facility.
No entry until you have had a Flu Vaccination. Remember: You MUST inform us immediately if you display any respiratory symptoms.
As many of you may be aware, as of May 1, 2020, it will be mandatory for anyone entering an aged care facility to be vaccinated against influenza. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others (e.g. cleaners, tradesman, gardeners and maintenance staff).
Presently, we are in lockdown and only allow visitors for palliative residents. However, those visitors, and any future visitors to Shepparton Villages residential care facilities must be up to date with flu vaccination as of May 1, 2020.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the only absolute contraindication to flu vaccination is a history of previous anaphylaxis following vaccination, those who have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome following previous flu vaccination and people on check point inhibitor drugs for cancer treatment. People who suffer from egg allergies—unless they have anaphylaxis—can be safely immunised.
At Shepparton Villages, we will be providing flu vaccinations for all staff, and while there has been a shortage of supply, we have been able to secure a supply which has not arrived as yet. Given this, more information will be provided directly to staff on when vaccinations will take place. Staff who may have already had their flu shot will be reimbursed up to $20 on provision of appropriate evidence.
All staff will have to be either vaccinated by us or provide evidence that they have been vaccinated elsewhere and or provide evidence that they have a previous history of the above medical issues. Staff who choose not to be vaccinated will not be able to attend work due to breaching legislative requirements.
We will require visitors to sign into facilities indicating that they have received their flu vaccination. Under the state and territory directions, aged care providers are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises if they do not meet the flu vaccination (and other) requirements set out in the relevant state and territory directions.
While we are closed to visitors at the moment, once restrictions ease off and we re-open our doors to family and visitors, as a future visitor you may be asked to provide appropriate evidence of your immunisation status as we will be undertaking random audits to ensure compliance.
Appropriate evidence may be documentation from your GP, or local pharmacy, a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
While vaccination for all residents is important to protect themselves and others against flu, residents have the right to refuse vaccinations.
The flu vaccination requirements under state and territory directions do not apply to residents of a residential aged care facility. However, all residents at Shepparton Villages have been offered and received vaccinations if they chose to do so.
Once we re-open our facilities to the public – including our much-valued volunteers, we will also need to ensure our volunteers comply with this new legislation. Shepparton Villages will provide vaccinations for volunteers under 65 who have not already received their flu shot. However, many of our volunteers are over 65 hence require a different type of vaccination which they can seek from their GP for free.
For volunteers under 65 Shepparton Villages will supply once vaccinations become available.
We managed to get through Easter, ensuring our residents both in the facilities and in our Independent Living Units received an Easter egg. For the ILU residents, they received a hand delivered Easter surprise from our gardeners who were good sports and donned the rabbit ears for some fun.
Our staff also received an Easter egg – in fact we ordered around 900 eggs to ensure no-one missed out!
Thanks to all who worked to make this Easter special under the current restrictions.
This is a question being asked by us all. However, while Victoria remains in a State of Emergency (which has been extended until May 11) Shepparton Villages will remain closed to the public.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and the efforts being made to keep in touch with loved ones.
We will keep everyone informed as the situation changes. However, if you have any concerns, please call your facility Care Manager or give us a call at the office, (03) 58 320 800.