Min­is­ter vis­its aged hos­tel

Fa­tal in­fluenza out­break

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY KYLIE WIL­SON kwil­son@ne­me­dia.com.au

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.

PHOTO: Kylie Wil­son

LO­CAL VISIT: Min­is­ter for Aged Care and Indige­nous Health Ken Wy­att with Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) at St Cather­ine’s Hos­tel on Mon­day.

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