Warrigal Stirling among the first aged care homes in Australia to get the jab

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Warrigal Stirling will be one of thirteen aged care facilities across nine identified Canberra suburbs to receive the Pfizer vaccine as part of the national roll-out beginning Monday, as announced yesterday by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell has welcomed the news stating, “We knew the vaccine was coming and we are very pleased that older people and frontline care staff are given top priority for the first vaccine available.”

“Even though the rush in the first week to vaccinate the people that live and work in over 200 aged care homes is creating quite a scramble, this announcement delivers on that promise and we warmly welcome it.”, Mr Sewell said.

Warrigal has been working with staff, residents and their families to ensure an effective implementation within the short timeframes required are in place.

Mr Sewell said, “We sincerely apologise to any families that feel rushed when asked to urgently consider their loved one’s needs and to give formal consent to receive the vaccine.”

Since the pandemic began in 2020, Warrigal has been focused on protecting its community from COVID-19, updating outbreak preparedness plans and taking many other serious protective actions under the guidelines and direction of ACT Health and the Public Health Department and will continue to follow any future advice on vaccination.

“We encourage all our residents and staff to get vaccinated and to take advantage of the Government’s free COVID-19 vaccination program. Aged care staff will be monitoring every single person who receives the vaccine very carefully and making sure they are well and achieve the maximum benefit from this extraordinary global project that has now begun in Australia” Mr Sewell said.

Warrigal Stirling’s vaccinations will take place on-site on Wednesday, 24 Feb 2021 from 8am.

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Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

Warrigal welcomes news of early COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

An announcement made by the Australian Government with plans to bring forward the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to February 2021 has been welcomed by Warrigal, along with news that aged care staff and residents are priorities for early access to the vaccine.

The decision on whether the vaccination will be made mandatory for aged care employees now rests with State/Territory Governments as part of their public health orders, as is the case for flu vaccinations. 

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said Warrigal strongly supports Aged and Community Services Australia’s (ACSA) position that it should be at least strongly recommended, if not a requirement, for all employees and residents to receive the vaccination.

“Whether the vaccine should be compulsory for aged care residents and workers is a question for the Government to address, but we must remember that older people are the most at risk in our communities and that they are supported by workers who are the front line in this pandemic.

Aged care workers have a role to play in supporting these public health programs to ensure that they, and those they care for, are vaccinated.” Mr Sewell said.

Since March 2020, Warrigal has been focused on protecting its community from COVID-19, updating outbreak preparedness plans and taking many other serious protective actions under the guidelines and direction of NSW Health and the Public Health Department and will continue to follow any future advice on vaccination. 

The safety of our residents, customers, families and staff remains our utmost priority and we will continue to review our procedures and take strong action as needed to ensure we keep them safe.”

“We do acknowledge that vaccination alone will not guarantee our residents and staff will be safe from COVID-19, but continued practice of other prevention and control measures such as the use of PPE, and prevention measures by the community, for example not visiting homes if at all unwell will help to keep residents and staff safe from COVID-19.” said Mr Sewell.

The rollout of a national vaccination program requires significant planning and logistics. The current plan is for the Commonwealth to manage nationally the vaccinations of residents in residential aged care. Warrigal is interested to learn what the protocols and plans are and will communicate new developments as more information becomes available.

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Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

FINAL_Media_Statement_Warrigal_welcomes_early_vaccine.pdf

Aged Care Visitor Limits Ease Before the Festive Season Arrives

Warrigal welcomes the NSW revised public health order that makes visiting an age care home in NSW much easier from today.

Under the changes, more people will be able to visit their loved ones in an aged care home, with the two-visitor rule now removed.

The need for influenza vaccinations for people providing care and support visits at aged care homes has also been eased, but temperature screening, contact tracing and social distancing is still mandatory.

Warrigal is confident that relatives coming to visit will feel relieved that not only have their loved ones been kept safe during this global pandemic but that they can now enjoy social connection and time together during the festive season.

Whilst older people are still the most vulnerable Australians to the COVID-19 virus, and the pandemic is still raging out of control in many places in the world, there are very low rates of community transmissions in NSW which have led to the easing of restrictions, even for frail, older people.

The safety of Warrigal’s residents/customers, villagers and staff remain of utmost importance. Even with restrictions easing and borders opening up, Warrigal would like to reiterate that there is no room for complacency. More than 27,000 Australians have contracted the virus and more than 900 have died. The key to keeping safe in the months ahead is to keep practicing social distancing and ensuring testing takes place if any symptoms arise.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell would like to thank everyone for doing the right thing on behalf of the community, which has led to one of the world’s safest places from COVID-19.

“I would like to thank all frontline workers especially our own frontline aged care staff for diligently working hard, day in and day out, 24/7 this year to keep so many older people safe.”

“On behalf of Warrigal, our thanks also go to grocery store workers, health and hospital workers and many other people who have delivered essential frontline services during this extraordinary year like no other.”

“We hope and pray that Christmas will be a joyous relief from a very difficult year and refresh us all for the ongoing “COVID19-normal” safety strategies that we will need to apply in 2021.”

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Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia, Community Relations | M+61 (4) 3665 5808

   

Warrigal Now Calls Canberra Home

Warrigal has expanded into Canberra and will today assume responsibility for the previously owned Bupa Aged Care Homes in Calwell and Stirling.

With a long, proud history as a not-for-profit offering community- based services including aged care, retirement living and home care services, Warrigal look forward to having an increased community presence in Canberra and to be able to reach more older people and to support them to have great lives.

Celebrations are being held at both Care Homes to mark the significant event in Warrigal’s history and also to welcome both the managers, staff, residents and families of these homes to the Warrigal family.

Warrigal’s CEO Mark Sewell says, “We have been working closely with the staff at Bupa over recent months to ensure the smooth transition to Warrigal. We welcome the staff and residents and look forward to building these relationships and to continue our commitment to older people in Canberra and surrounding areas.”

Phil Mackney Regional Operations Director, Northern Region Bupa Aged Care said, “We have worked extremely closely with Warrigal to ensure a smooth transition for all residents and employees at Stirling and Calwell. Both homes are fantastic communities that provide high quality care and we wish them well under their new owners.”

Warrigal’s newest Aged Care Home at Queanbeyan is in close proximity and existing staff will offer support to the additional homes. Staff at both Stirling and Calwell will remain the same as will the level of care offered to residents and their families.

All staff jobs are secure and residents and families will continue to receive communications to ensure that their experience with Warrigal is a positive one, in conjunction with Warrigal’s vision of ensuring that older people have great lives.

The homes will now be officially known as Warrigal Stirling and Warrigal Calwell.

ENDS

Media Opportunity:                       

11.30am Tuesday 1st December 2020 at Warrigal Calwell

43 Were Street Calwell

Warrigal Media Enquiries:            Carolyn Dews, 0455086556

Warrigal to Expand Services to Canberra

Warrigal is excited to announce that it will extend its provision of aged care services to Canberra, with Bupa having agreed to a sale of two of their homes to Warrigal.

The homes to be acquired are two aged care homes in Calwell and Stirling in Canberra, a total of 288 aged care places.

Warrigal, a local not-for-profit aged care provider has been offering high-quality aged care services for over 50 years, running 9 other care homes across the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, and Queanbeyan regions, as well as villages and home care services.

Warrigal Chief Executive Officer, Mark Sewell, said he is proud of Warrigal’s achievements and caring culture and the addition of these two homes will complement and expand the services Warrigal provides to the aged care community in this area.

“We’re really excited about these homes joining Warrigal and look forward to the contribution Warrigal can make with its significant experience in offering high quality aged care services for over 50 years”.

“The Calwell and Stirling homes are in close proximity to our Queanbeyan home.   This means we can offer a high level of localised support to both homes to residents and their families as well as staff”.

“This expansion will allow us to reach and support older people from these new areas, which aligns with our values and vision of older people living great lives through a comprehensive, local and trusted aged care system. Our first steps will be to ensure the well-being of residents and any staff concerns are addressed.”

Phil Mackney, Regional Operations Director, Northern Region, Bupa Aged Care, said “We believe that Warrigal, with a strong presence throughout southern NSW, is well placed to meet residents’ needs, and has the local resources and support network to successfully operate the Stirling and Calwell care homes. We’ve spoken to our residents and assured them they will continue to be cared for by the team of employees they know and trust, while being supported by a reputable local provider.”

Meetings in the coming weeks will be scheduled to provide residents, relatives, and employees an opportunity to meet with the senior managers of Warrigal and to address any questions.

Warrigal will assume full responsibility for these homes and all the staff from 1st December 2020, subject to approval from the Department of Health.

ENDS

Media Contact:

Elsbeth Olalia, Community Relations |M +61 (4) 3665 5808 | eolalia@warrigal.com.au

 

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