Uniting AgeWell has implemented an enhanced flu vaccination and infection control program to ensure all its communities are well prepared for the coming flu season.
The organisation is rolling out a comprehensive flu immunisation schedule for staff, including immunisation clinics at all sites throughout April and May, to ensure all employees have easy access to vaccinations free of charge.
Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly said while the organisation previously offered staff free flu vaccines each year, this year they had enhanced the vaccination program and expected all staff to receive the flu vaccine, unless they were unable to for medical reasons.
“Last year was the worst flu season witnessed across Australia and a very difficult time for people in aged care,” he said.
“We have made it very clear to our staff, through multiple communications including staff meetings, newsletters, videos and posters, that we expect them to receive the flu vaccinations unless they are medically exempt.
“We have also included this expectation in all new staff position descriptions and reiterate it in interviews, so everyone is aware what our position is.
Our free staff vaccine clinics at all our sites are already underway, and we will reimburse those who receive it from a community chemist or GP.
Mr Kinnersly said that as in previous years, all Uniting AgeWell residents will also receive their annual flu vaccines, unless there is a medical reason.
“We want to ensure we provide the best possible protection for our clients, which includes protection against the flu from outside and within our services,” he said.
Mr Kinnersly said they had also enhanced the organisation’s wide-ranging infection control and outbreak education and training to ensure they maintained the highest standards of care.
In addition, he said the community played a crucial role in preventing the spread of infection and encouraged all members of the community to get vaccinated against the flu.
“We also ask that visitors remain at home if they feel unwell, to help protect against the spread of flu,” he said.
“Our primary concern is always the health, safety and wellbeing of the people in our care and we are committed to providing the best possible protection for our clients.”