Update 10 January 2022

Happy New Year to you all. I sincerely hope that you have had some rest and been able to spend time with those you love over the festive period.

With the significant increase in transmission of COVID-19 in our community over the past few weeks I wanted to provide you with an update of how this is impacting our services and what we are doing to manage the situation.

Firstly if your child or loved one has been directly impacted in an outbreak you will be contacted directly by phone at the time. Otherwise I will do service updates like these regularly and have them posted on our website.

Accommodation settings

We unfortunately have had multiple outbreaks in our accommodation setting. This has resulted in a small number of clients testing positive for COVID – 19. To date all have experienced very mild symptoms. Most of the outbreaks have involved caregivers testing positive but not clients.

When a house is actively managing an outbreak or a suspected outbreak they are required to lockdown and work in full PPE. During this time there are no visitors allowed to the house and the clients are to isolate in the house.

All our clients impacted in this way are doing a wonderful job at coping with this and the caregivers have been fantastic in supporting the clients during this time. We will of course continue to use FaceTime technology so that you can video call when you like.

The management structure for our accommodation setting is being restructured for the short term in order to resource the daily management of COVID – 19 in our accommodation services.

Community Campuses

We continue to keep our 3 community campuses that run our Programs of Support open and I am committed to doing so for as long as possible. Regular RAT testing of caregivers and clients on site is working well and we have had minimal interruptions to this service since this began.

RAT testing

We have been able to procure a supply of RAT tests and are now asking that caregivers (in conjunction to our community campuses) who work in or attend our Accommodation setting to test first before entering an accommodation home. Once the supply of RAT tests improves we will expand this to all our service areas.

N95 Masks

All our caregivers that work in direct support roles will be wearing N95 masks and eye protection. There are no exceptions to this.

Pre screening

If you receive IS support or Allied health services from us then our caregivers will be calling ahead and asking pre- screening questions before commencing support. We have been doing this over the past 2 years and will continue to do this for the foreseeable future.

Booster shots

This week the Victorian State Government announced that a 3rd Booster vaccination of COVID - 19 was required for all caregivers working in Disability services. Already our caregivers are double vaccinated but Accord will be ensuring that all our caregivers receive their 3rd dose by the recommended dates and have it recorded with us.

I strongly encourage you also to get a booster dose and to support your child or loved one to do so as well. We are trying to arrange clinics again at our sites but are not able to obtain this service until probably February so I encourage you to book at state run hubs, local pharmacies or with your GP as soon as you are eligible.

Clinical Nurse Consultant- Karen Cavanagh

Lastly, Accord now has its own Clinical Nurse Consultant on staff - Karen Cavanagh. Karen is an experienced registered Nurse who has a wealth of experience in working with clients who have a disability. She is currently playing an active role in the health management of clients in accommodation but is available to support all our service streams in supporting clients to health optimisation. Karen has strong oversight of all COVID – 19 impacted accommodation sites and positive clients and is also a great liaison with the healthcare system and in particular our hospitals.

This is another resource that we have to better support our Accord Clients.

You are welcome to contact me anytime by email at [email protected] or via my mobile 0428 239 883

Yours sincerely

Lisa Evans

Group Director Community Services & CEO SJG Accord