A message from Angela Raguz, Chief Operating & Risk Officer

Angela

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HammondCare’s priority has been to maintain and protect the health and wellbeing of residents, clients, patients, staff and volunteers. We recognise the significant challenges that the past 18 months have imposed and want to thank you for your ongoing support and trust in HammondCare as we navigate this time of change.

This website provides information about HammondCare’s approach and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and helpful information about what you can do to reduce the risk.

Find the most up-to-date information and advice on COVID-19 on the Department of Health website

With your support, we can rally together to ensure the safety and well-being for those most vulnerable in our society. We are grateful for your understanding through these changes and for your kind messages of solidarity and support.

We encourage you all to continue to be vigilant against COVID-19 for your own health and for the health of those in the broader community. Please keep safe, and if you can, get vaccinated!

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the HammondCare team 24/7 on 1300 426 666 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.

HammondCare’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic

HammondCare has taken a measured, intelligent approach to the very real risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and has closely followed the directives and guidelines of the Australian and state governments.

Pandemic governance

Since the start of the pandemic, HammondCare has had a dedicated, centralised Pandemic Planning Team to interpret, disseminate and manage the changing government guidelines and to carefully plan our organisational response. This team provides direction to local pandemic teams and enables us to act swiftly, communicate well and to escalate any concerns to our Clinical Governance Team. The Clinical Governance Team includes key members of HammondCare’s Leadership Team as well as HammondCare’s clinical experts and Chief Medical Officer.

Pandemic plans and other measures

Complementing this pandemic governance structure, HammondCare has both an organisational Pandemic Plan and local plans in place. These plans, which include outbreak management protocols, ensure that proactive steps are taken to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and to enable a responsive approach to any changes or concerns that arise. HammondCare reviews, audits and updates these Pandemic Plans regularly based on assessments by our independent Quality, Safety and Risk (QSR) team and on information and guidance from state and federal health bodies.

In response to the pandemic, a number of precautionary measures have been taken across our services. These include:

  • Targeted staff training (e.g. on use of personal protective equipment and infection control measures)
  • Facilitation of increased staff testing for COVID-19 and vaccination (see below for further information)
  • Procurement and rapid dissemination of necessary resources (e.g. face masks, shields, gowns, goggles, gloves and hand sanitisers)
  • Liaison and partnership with government and peak bodies (e.g. in the interpretation of public health orders and in organising on-site testing and vaccination)
  • Implementation of screening processes (e.g. for all clients, residents, patients, families, staff and volunteers)
  • Additional cleaning practices (e.g. in our hospital and residential services)
  • Regular communication updates to all relevant stakeholders.

More detailed information about the measures we are taking in our residential care, home care and hospital services, is set out in the service-specific boxes below.

Please note, if there is a confirmed incidence of COVID-19 infection at any HammondCare location, all residents, clients, patients, families, representatives and staff for that location will immediately be notified by phone call and email/letter. We will do everything possible to keep all these groups frequently updated.

Managing the risk

Residential Services

  • Staff and visitor screening through concierge services (screening is updated daily with new case locations)
  • Training in, and enhanced use of appropriate PPE and infection control measures
  • Monitoring and auditing of infection control practices by the QSR team
  • Reduced movement of staff between services and between cottages at each service
  • Increased cleaning processes, especially in high-touch areas
  • Enhanced precautionary testing of staff, particularly those from areas of higher COVID-19 transmission
  • Offering on-site vaccination clinics to residents and staff and facilitating vaccination of staff through their GPs with paid leave
  • Developing clear escalation processes and decision frameworks for complex COVID-19 scenarios – balanced with necessary flexibility and a compassionate approach
  • Implementing measures to safely enable ongoing engagement and visits for residents, their family and loved ones (see below, Partnering in Care, Visitor Guidelines and Keep in Touch programs)

Hospital Services

  • Staff, patient and visitor screening through concierge services (screening questions are updated daily with new case locations)
  • Training in, and enhanced use of appropriate PPE and infection control measures
  • Signage to encourage safe infection control practices; this is reinforced through QSR audits
  • Increased provision of hand sanitiser and increased cleaning processes, especially in high-touch areas
  • Enhanced precautionary testing of staff, particularly those from areas of higher COVID-19 transmission
  • Introducing visitor restrictions where necessary and appropriate
  • Developing clear escalation processes and decision frameworks for complex COVID-19 scenarios – balanced with necessary flexibility and a compassionate approach

Home Care Services

  • Arranging pre-visit screening for all staff and clients prior to visits (screening questions are updated daily with new case locations)
  • Comprehensive review and follow up by Registered Nurses for clients in any location who may display symptoms, or who may be a casual or close contact
  • Training in, and enhanced use of appropriate PPE and infection control measures
  • Enhanced precautionary testing of staff, particularly those from areas of higher COVID-19 transmission
  • Real-time changes to scheduling to ensure consistent carers while also accommodating increased testing of staff and reduced movement of staff
  • Developing clear escalation processes and decision frameworks for complex COVID-19 scenarios – balanced with necessary flexibility and a compassionate approach
  • Introducing a range of telephone and online services to provide non face to face supports and group activities
  • Increasing the availability and support for technology-based options, including virtual social groups and carer groups
  • Preparing and disseminating care packages to vulnerable clients
  • Arranging pastoral care and volunteer calls and visits to vulnerable clients
  • Prioritising essential care services and postponing non-essential care services where possible to reduce risk; this is always done in partnership with the client and their family

An update on HammondCare's vaccination strategy

HammondCare strongly encourages vaccination to help keep our communities safe and to reduce the risk of transmission to residents, clients, patients, families, staff and volunteers. While the COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory for the general population, from 17 September 2021 vaccination will be mandatory for all residential aged care workers.

Find out more about how HammondCare Residential is managing staff vaccinations.

Read more

We have taken the following steps to encourage and facilitate high vaccination uptake in our services:

  • Offering all HammondCare residents an onsite vaccination; the vast majority of residents have now been vaccinated.
  • Providing information and resources about the COVID-vaccination to HammondCare staff and volunteers through regular communication, including ‘live online chats’ with HammondCare’s Chief Medical Officer.
  • Supporting all HammondCare residential staff to receive their vaccination before the mid-September deadline – including through on-site clinics, paid leave for staff to get vaccinated and working with external vaccine providers to facilitate additional in-reach clinics.
  • Encouraging all other HammondCare staff – in particular, frontline staff in HammondCare At Home, our hospitals and Dementia Support Australia services – to be vaccinated and where possible, offering vaccination to staff and their household members at our onsite clinics.
  • Supporting HammondCare home care clients to receive their vaccination locally through facilitating arrangements with GPs and clinics, and transporting clients to their vaccination appointments.

We also encourage all visitors to our services, to get vaccinated or to speak to their GP about concerns in relation to the vaccine.

More information on the vaccine

Vaccination FAQs

With all the talk in the media about the rollout of vaccines, things can get confusing. So, to clarify how HammondCare is working to support vaccination of residents, patients and clients, we’ve put together the following FAQs to help answer your questions.

Vaccinations are complete at all HammondCare Residential Homes. If your loved one has changed their consent or new to the home please speak with the Residential Manger to arrange vaccination.

HammondCare does not decide which vaccine is given. The Department of Health has advised people in aged care will receive the Pfizer vaccine. So far, consenting HammondCare aged care residents have received the Pfizer vaccine.

While the COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory for the general population, from 17 September 2021 at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for all residential aged care workers. However, we strongly encourage vaccination to help keep our communities safe and to reduce the risk of transmission to residents, clients, patients, families, staff and volunteer.

You don’t need to have the vaccine to live in a HammondCare residential home. A resident or their representative has the freedom to choose whether they want to be vaccinated.

Family members are welcome to take residents or their loved one to a GP or medical centre to be vaccinated at a later date.

All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they’re approved for use in Australia. HammondCare follows advice from the medical authorities regarding vaccination.

If you have concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, you can learn more here.

Whether it’s for a loved one or yourself, it’s always a good idea to chat with your GP for guidance on any vaccine.

All residents and patients are monitored for any adverse side effects. If a reaction to the vaccine occurs, our team will seek medical help immediately. 

HammondCare directly facilitates vaccination for residents with the relevant Primary Health Network. More broadly we recommend accessing Government advice about the roll-out of the vaccine. Many older people, carers and people with chronic health conditions are included in phase 1b of vaccine and should liaise with their GP regarding next steps.

More information about how to receive the vaccine and eligibility checking can be found here

 

Visitor Guidelines

Each HammondCare Site has specific Resident Visitor Guidelines that are tailored to that service. It is important that you make yourself aware of these guidelines before you plan a visit.

NSW Residential Visitor Guidelines

Download

VIC Residential Visitor Guidelines

Download

Partnering in Care

The Partnering in Care Program is a special education program for residential care home visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is designed to help visitors to continue to visit residents in a way that manages risk in an intelligent and measured.

Available to all HammondCare resident’s loved ones, the program helps to educate visitors on topics that can help to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the pandemic.

An online program and face-to-face education sessions are accessible through this program.

Learn more about the Partnering in Care Program

Keep in Touch

In addition to arranging phone and skype calls with loved ones and coordinating special deliveries, residents and their loved ones can share messages, letters and photos through our dedicated KeepInTouch email box.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is the COVIDSafe app?

COVIDSafe has been developed by the Australian Government to help keep the community safe from coronavirus (COVID-19).

HammondCare encourages all residential visitors to download the COVIDSafe Government App.

Learn more

What can I do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Australia?

  • COVID 19 Vaccination icon bottle vaccine

    Get vaccinated!

    Speak to your GP about getting the COVID-19 vaccination and any concerns that you have. The vaccination not only reduces your risk of serious illness should you get COVID-19, it also reduces your risk of transmitting the virus and passing it on to others. 

  • cvirus distance

    Social distance from all people who are not part of your household

    You should be at least 1.5 metres from all other people at all times as much as possible. 

  • cvirus wash hands

    Practice good hygience

    Please remember to follow all hygiene protocols while you are out of the home. Ensure you wash or sanitise your hands, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. Dispose of any used tissues and wash your hands afterwards.

  • cvirus isolate

    If you are feeling unwell, get tested and self-isolate

    If at any time you or someone in your family are not feeling well or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate and get tested. Complacency is one of the biggest risks and we all want to stay healthy and safe. 

  • CVirus Friends Icon no white

    Avoid large public gatherings

    Only attend small gatherings – busy public locations such as cafes, restaurants and shopping centres should be avoided. This is not only to protect yourself but also your loved ones.

  • COVID Safe app no white

    Download the COVID SAFE app

    This app can help keep you, your family and communities safer from the spread of coronavirus, through early notification of possible exposure.

 

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Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to get in contact with the HammondCare team 24/7, on 1300 426 666 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.

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