Mandatory Vaccination of Community Care Workers

22 October 2022

Dear Clients and Carers,

As we start to reopen our services across Australia, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on steps HammondCare At Home is taking to keep everyone as safe as possible during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

With the easing of restrictions, there will be changing health advice that we need to follow, including how you can remain safe and protected. Please be assured that we will keep you well informed of each change as they arise.

What is the latest COVID-19 Vaccination status?

HammondCare encourages you, your family and friends to get vaccinated. This remains the most effective protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

Earlier this month HammondCare’s Leadership team advised that staff, volunteers and contractors across our services would need to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination by 31 October 2021.  This will ensure we are doing everything we can to protect everyone and put our Mission into Action by better managing risks as we provide high quality care.

On 15 October, NSW Health announced the mandatory first dose for all NSW-based community care workers (including contractors) was required by 25 October 2021, and the second dose by 29 November 2021.

What impact will these changes have on services, including support from contractors?

We value the support and services contractors provide to home care clients and we want this to continue. However, under the new COVID-19 vaccination requirements, contractors that fail to meet the required deadlines will have their services suspended until the appropriate documentation is provided to us. This may have an impact on your in-home services and we apologise for any inconvenience and distress this may cause. Your Care Manager will discuss other ways we can provide support such as engaging contractors who are vaccinated and have a sound COVID-19 Safety Plan.

HammondCare is requesting all contractors to provide evidence of their COVID-19 Safety Plans. This is a requirement in many states, and we believe it is a good way to ensure that contractors follow COVID-safe measures as restrictions ease.

Is it possible to have assistance with going out into the community? 

As each state reaches their vaccination targets and restrictions ease, you will have greater freedoms that we can support you with. While continuing to use online shopping and Click & Collect, we know that some clients prefer to go shopping themselves.

If you are leaving home for essential items such as to the supermarket or chemist, please ensure that you have proof of your vaccination status for any shopping visits to non-essential retail vendors. If you need help to arrange this, you can speak with your GP or Care Manager.

Wearing a mask is still required if you are at a communal indoor venue such as a café, shopping centre, library, on (or waiting for) public transport, or in a car with a Care Worker.

As restrictions continue to ease, your Care Manager will contact you to discuss your visits and any changes you would like made to your care

What stays the same as we continue to reopen?

Since the pandemic began, HammondCare has maintained many COVID-safe practices including:

  • Socially distancing of at least 1.5 metres
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Cough/sneeze etiquette
  • Wiping down high touch surfaces such as door handles and light switches
  • Getting tested if you have any of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 such as a sore throat, fever or runny nose.

These practices will continue and Care Workers and contractors will ask you the same screening questions you have answered many times before. This helps ensure that you and your household contacts are well, are not isolating for any reason, and have not been to any of the locations visited by a positive case.

Care Workers and contractors are also required to conduct a self-screening task before starting work, to ensure that they are maintaining safety for themselves and clients.

What can you do to stay safe when a Care Worker or contractor are visiting you?

  1. If the contractor or Care Worker asks you a few screening questions, be as open and honest as you can. They may be seeing other people after they visit you, and need to protect themselves, you and others
  2. Wear a mask when Care Workers and contractors are present
  3. If possible, stay in another room away from the Care Worker and contractor while they are working
  4. Make sure the Care Worker and contractor wear a mask at all times
  5. Ask the contractor about their COVID Safety Plan
  6. Practice good cough/sneeze etiquette
  7. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces like door handles, telephones and light switches or ask your Care Worker if they can attend to this for you
  8. If you invite Care Workers or contractors to have refreshments with you, try doing this outside where there is good ventilation. Remember to keep social distancing of at least 1.5 metres.

What can you do if you need more help or want to change your mind about your Care Worker and/ or contractor visits?

You can change your care arrangements, request a contractor visit or cancel a contractor at any time. Please contact your Care Manager on 1800 826 166.

We are here to help you.

Warm regards,

Signature Bay Warburton

Bay Warburton

General Manager, HammondCare At Home