Cabrini Health has demonstrated the flexibility and speed which the COVID-19 pandemic is demanding of our health and aged care sectors, by converting one of its sites into a dedicated facility to care for residents from aged care homes who are COVID-19 positive.
Cabrini recommissioned its rehabilitation site, Hopetoun, in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs and repurposed it into a special facility to care for 28 residents from affected aged care homes from across the city.
Because of the suspension of all but the most urgent elective surgeries, Cabrini has been able to re-prioritise its assets to help meet the sector-wide response, setting up dedicated wards for confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as those suspected of infection.
Cabrini Chief Executive Sue Williams said ”Hopetoun provides a safe environment for stable elderly patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, that can no longer be safely cared for in a residential aged care facility. This arises due to a number of issues, including lack of single rooms, shortage of staff or lack of infection control expertise.
Hopetoun meets a need somewhere between that of an aged care home and an acute ward. It also fulfils our mission to support the most vulnerable members of our community in their time of need.” It also provides us with opportunity to cohort COVID positive patients in order to use PPE more efficiently and free up acute beds to care for more complex or urgent cases.“
“Infections in the aged care have risen quickly as workers often work across multiple sites.
As the infection rate started to rise in the aged care sector, Cabrini saw the risk and moved quickly to encourage and support its employees to make Cabrini their primary place of employment.
Says Ms Williams: “What we have learned during this challenging time is that our health and aged care operations must be flexible. We must be willing to move quickly and I can say proudly that that is exactly what we have done. I commend our teams who, over the course of a few days, were able to turn a rehabilitation facility into a COVID-specific facility that can help the state-wide effort in containing the spread of infection within the aged care sector.”