ACSA’s Pat Sparrow wants hospital transfers at first diagnosis

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The Aged & Community Services Australia CEO has been quoted in The Australian as wanting the transfer of aged care residents to hospital at first diagnosis of COVID-19.

This compares with the case-by-case review process advocated by the various health departments around the country.

Ms Sparrow is quoted: “We’re not hospitals. We’re not set up as hospitals.”

“We just think everyone needs to be done, including transferring people”.

“We need to acknowledge people in aged care are some of the most vulnerable people in the community to this virus”.

“We’ve got to make sure that all of the rest of the people are protected.”

Yesterday we reported the state’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said sometimes the safest place to treat COVID positive residents is in the home.

At the same time Royal Melbourne Hospital announced it was setting up a 24-bed ward for COVID positive aged care residents.

Given that on Monday 28 residents and aged care staff had tested positive alone, an automatic transfer on Monday would have filled Royal Melbourne’s new aged care ward.

Victoria normally has a capacity 460 ICU beds; an extra 840 are currently being brought online. This would currently accommodate aged care residents but could easily change and then hard decisions on access would need to be made.