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Staff praised for response to COVID-related lockdown

Friday, 05 Jun 2020

Ironically, in the hours between us finalising the planning of a June-3 simulated COVID outbreak at Merindah Lodge – to rigorously test our SWH COVID Outbreak Management residential aged care policies and procedures – and June-3 itself, staff and residents got real-life experience.

Merindah Lodge went into lockdown for 24 hours until a resident displaying worrying symptoms was, thankfully, found to be COVID-free. So Wednesday’s planned mock-outbreak was instead replaced by a two-hour evaluation exercise to assess how well we’d performed.

The evaluation included clinical logistics, additional COVID monitoring of all Merindah residents, PPE supply and usage, meals provision, cleaning requirements, briefing the families of residents, and the planning of potential staff deficits should staff have become infected. The feedback, including that from Merindah residents, concluded staff had been very well prepared, and their calmness and expertise had instilled confidence in everyone caught up in the pandemic threat.

‘We’re really, really lucky we’re not a stand-alone residential aged care facility; that we’re part of South West Healthcare and supported by proactive teams with such amazing expertise in infection prevention, supply chain management, food services logistics and environmental services provision,’ Camperdown campus manager Janine Dureau-Finn told staff at the evaluation session.

‘COVID, like influenza, is the new norm and in my opinion last week’s experience won’t be the last. And what last week showed us was that we’re capable and ready.’

Page last updated: 15 December 2020

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