Dear Residents in PAC Residential Care Homes and their Representatives
We are aware of recent statements by the Chief Medical Officer and Prime Minister regarding visiting arrangements at residential care homes.
COVID-19 is an evolving situation and we have always maintained that we will reconsider our visitation policy as new information on the outbreak comes to light. There is new medical evidence that the rate of community transmission in Australia is not as high as previously thought, and this creates a situation where we are in a position to conduct a review of visitation arrangements. However, at this stage PAC has not made changes to its current visitation policy. Therefore no visitors or volunteers are allowed into PAC residential care homes, except in cases of end-of-life care.
Our primary concern at all times is the health and wellbeing of our residents. Unfortunately, advanced age and pre-existing medical conditions are two of the most important risk factors making individuals vulnerable to COVID-19. We must therefore carefully manage visitation to our care homes to protect residents. We know how much our residents value in-person visits by their family, friends and loved ones. However our position has been that reducing the number of visitors reduces the chances of COVID-19 entering the homes.
We are mindful of the fact that there are different points of view among our residents and their loved ones, with some wishing to resume receiving outside visitors into the homes immediately and other residents steadfastly against this, as they are concerned about COVID-19 entering the homes via visitors. To that end we will be conducting a survey to obtain resident and family feedback before making changes to the current visitation policy. The survey will allow all PAC residents to have their say on the visitation policy.
Residents and their representatives will be receiving the survey shortly and we will use the results to assist us in determining any amendments to the PAC visitation policy in consultation with the management team and the PAC Board. We anticipate making a decision on any changes to the visitation policy by the end of April.
Once again, the health and safety of our residents is at the forefront of all our decision-making and we appreciate your ongoing co-operation. We will be in touch soon with the survey results. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Service Manager.
Paul Sadler, CEO