Minister visits aged hostel
Fatal influenza outbreak
HE may not have visited St John’s Village while in Wangaratta on Monday, but Federal Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, remains interested in the outcome of an inquiry into the influenza outbreak which claimed eight lives at the nursing home a month ago.
Mr Wyatt said the incident was currently being examined by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, and he was awaiting the results.
He said all aged care providers meet certain protocols during situations such as the flu outbreak, and the outcome of the investigation will determine if any specific issues need to be addressed.
Mr Wyatt said sudden deaths in aged care have a “significant” impact on family.
He urged people visiting residents in aged care homes to wear face masks to help limit the spread of infection.
St John’s Village had its outbreak status lifted on September 18 and while the facility is open again, entry is restricted to a single access point at their main reception.
All visitors must follow respiratory infection control protocols, as well as specify the part of St John’s they are visiting.
Prospective visitors are urged to be vigilant about their health and refrain from visiting if they are experiencing flu like symptoms.
St John’s Village is currently working closely with the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency ( AACQA) and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services in examining the outbreak.
A DHHS spokesperson told the Wangaratta Chronicle that claims of Victorian delays in notifying the Commonwealth of the flu outbreak at St John’s Retirement Village are untrue.
The spokesperson said AACQA was notified by DHHS on August 12 - as per agreement.
The official also confirmed that calls for new measures to be considered in the wake of the worst flu season in decades - such as mandatory flu injections in some health and care workplaces - remains on the table for discussions among all state, territory and federal health ministers after the flu season is over.
LOCAL VISIT: Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt with Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) at St Catherine’s Hostel on Monday.