This week the aged care industry came together to honour workers in our sector for Aged Care Employee Day. It is a fitting celebration of the wonderful work that our staff do, now more than ever in these challenging times. I encourage you all to participate in the social media campaign with the hashtags #ThanksforCaring and #ACED2020 to highlight videos, stories and photographs acknowledging the thousands of employees who have worked to save lives during COVID-19.
Many initiatives on the ground in Victoria demonstrate how industry and government are working together, such as the immediate transferral of Victorian COVID positive residents out of the communal living environment to purpose designed and resourced accommodation in a hospital. As Victoria has demonstrated, the need to have a national policy along these lines is paramount. CHA will continue to advocate to government for this to happen. The decision to grant pandemic leave to workers in the state is also the right one. More can and should be done and we welcome the hearings that will be held next week by the Royal Commission into what lessons can be learnt about the level of preparedness required for aged care in response to a major infectious disease outbreak in the community. Until then we hope and pray that the surge abates and that as many lives can be saved as possible.