Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs)
The following information and resources are available to GPs in aged care for COVID-19:
- Videos: Using PPE and hand sanitising (RACGP)
- Posters: PPE don and how to remove PPE (RACGP)
- Guide for general practitioners to inform shared decision making with patients around risk of severe illness related to COVID-19 (Australian Government)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities - CDNA National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities in Australia – Letter to GPs (Appendix 6)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people in aged care facilities - to reduce the risk of transmission to residents, residential aged care facilities conduct a number of important strategies including screening visitors on their current health status before they enter e.g. checking temperature (Australian Government)
RACF COVID-19 Outbreak: 'Statement of Wishes' package
In preparation for the possibility of COVID-19 outbreaks in local Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), we have developed this 'Statement of Wishes' package, which provides templates to support GPs and RACFs to have conversations with residents and their families about their wishes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of this package, GPs may receive correspondence from the RACFs you work with. The full package along with interactive pdf versions of the templates contained in the package are listed below:
RACF Outbreak Plan
We have developed a preparedness and response plan for primary care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF).
GPs who provide care to local RACF residents have been invited to complete a feedback survey to ensure our region is better prepared for managing any COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities.
The CDNA has developed guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in RACF in Australia and how to manage COVID-19 in RACF in the first 24 hours
Advance Care Planning (ACP)
The COVID-19 issues that have arisen recently in two of our local Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) have highlighted the importance of Advance Care Planning. We encourage GPs with older, vulnerable patients - particularly patients in RACFs - to prioritise putting in place or updating Advance Care Plans (ACPs), with inclusion of COVID-19.
It is important to involve the patient and their families in this process. The following resources can help you:
Aged Care Support
Virtual Aged Care Service (VACS)
In an effort to reduce risk of exposure and presentations to hospital, the Virtual Aged Care Service (VACS) team has increased it's workforce to provide additional assistance to RACFs. The single point of contact telephone number for VACS is 0407 411 387. They have been able to establish Telehealth links with all the RACFs in our region, allowing them to remotely review residents who have been referred.
NSW Ambulance Secondary Triage Model for RACFs
NSW Health is implementing a secondary triage model for NSW Ambulance for calls coming from RACFs.
- All calls from RACF to NSW Ambulance will be assessed for flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms
- If the Resident meets this criteria, an Emergency Specialist Doctor will contact the RACF for an over-the-phone consultation.
- The Emergency Doctor will determine a care plan suited to the patients care needs.
- If appropriate, referrals to community-based services (e.g. Hospital in the Home, Community Nursing and RACF outreach) are provided. OR If the patient is clinically suitable or hospital care, they will be transferred to hospital for further assessment and care.
There are a range of COVID-19 related resources available:
Other resources are available below:
Newmarch House Independent Review
An independent review into the COVID-19 outbreak at Newmarch House has been released by the Department of Health. The review was undertaken by Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly.