Ballarat’s Aged Care Workforce – Ministerial Response
Scroll down for the Minister’s response, or click here to discover more about how we’re working for Wendouree.
Original adjournment matter from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –
I direct my adjournment matter to the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, and the action I seek is for him to visit my electorate of Wendouree to thank the outstanding aged-care workforce at Ballarat Health Services for the excellent job they did managing the COVID outbreak at Bill Crawford Lodge.
Ballarat Aged Care is the largest public aged-care provider in the country, with 424 beds, and there have been zero deaths and only five cases of COVID-an outstanding achievement. Two residents and three nurses were infected but all have recovered and are going well. This is because the outbreak was so well managed by infectious disease specialists, clinicians, nurses, allied health, ward assistants, cleaners and catering staff as well as support from staff at Jack Lonsdale Lodge.
There are many frail aged-care residents, but due to the quality clinical care, safety and compassion shown by staff they have been protected from this deadly virus. Nurse-patient ratios and the clinical response are critical factors in keeping patients safe throughout the COVID pandemic. The management and containment of the virus was world’s best practice. The use of PPE, screening, cleaning, separating and active testing prevented the spread to the rest of Ballarat.
Thank you to the entire BHS aged-care workforce for their efforts and everyone at Ballarat Health Services for the job they have done and the leadership they provided for our community. I am very proud of the excellent care that Ballarat Health Services aged care provides and would welcome a visit by the minister to formally recognise our hardworking and committed workforce. I look forward to the minister’s response.
Response from the Hon Luke Donnellan MP, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers (15 March 2021) –
I would like to sincerely thank you for your invitation to visit Bill Crawford and Talbot Place aged care facilities. The last year has been incredibly challenging for everyone in aged care, and Ballarat Health Services have played a vital role in caring for and keeping safe some of our most vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. I appreciated the opportunity to meet, thank and acknowledge the dedicated, skilled and hardworking staff at Ballarat Health Services. I also enjoyed meeting residents and inspecting the facilities with you.
As you are aware, the Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting strong public sector residential aged care services and since December 2014 has invested more than $370 million for capital improvements for public aged care across the state.
Over the past three years, Talbot Place has received $655,000 in capital funding to upgrade its kitchens and laundry, IT systems and resident facilities – ensuring residents and staff have access to high quality facilities and continuing to ensure older Victorians in the Ballarat community have a safe and comfortable home, where they know they’ll be well cared for.