The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has given aged care providers Anglicare a deadline of 5.00 pm today to make changes at their Newmarch House facility or face having their license to operate revoked.
Commissioner Janet Anderson delivered a scathing assessment of the infection control practices at Newmarch House, noting that these actions came after a previous administrative direction on April 23, followed by a non-compliance notice.
Anglicare Sydney has been told it must agree in writing by 5.00 pm today that they would not admit any new residents into the facility and they must also immediately appoint a government-approved manager for their facility.
Sadly, a total of 16 residents have already died at the facility, and 37 residents and 29 staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
Investigators yesterday confirmed that the outbreak at Newmarch House can most likely be traced back to one employee who worked six shifts at the facility.
It was also earlier revealed that the worker had no symptoms of sickness while working.
Unfortunately, three staff have tested positive for COVID-19 as early as this week, while one agency worker was stood down on Monday for repeatedly breaching protocol for personal protective equipment use.
Anglicare Sydney, CEO Grant Millard acknowledged the regulatory action and reiterated their primary concerns.
“Since the outbreak, we have had generous support of providers in the Aged Care sector, including Commonwealth and NSW Governments, and various agencies,” he said.
“While the outbreak at Newmarch House has proved very challenging for all involved, the situation has substantially improved. We will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders as we work through the continuing challenges in the coming weeks.
“Our primary concern remains the health, wellbeing, and safety of our residents, their families, and our staff.
Federal Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck said the regulatory action “provides support to Anglicare in the form of additional capacity supporting the oversight of Newmarch”.
“When Anglicare were unable to maintain adequate staffing the government stepped in and provided the resources to bring numbers to a level required to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. There has been no limit placed on these resources,” said Mr. Colbeck.
Photo Credit – iStock – Heiko Küverling – Photo does not depict persons/places contained within the body of the text.