Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, welcomes the Victorian government’s extra help for aged care but is disappointed at Premier Daniel Andrews’ comments about private aged care homes.

LASA General Manager of Policy and Advocacy Tim Hicks said the Premier’s commentary comparing state-run aged care facilities with non-state facilities was unnecessary.

“It has been disappointing and hurtful for many aged care providers and their dedicated staff who are working tirelessly around the clock to protect residents,” he said.

“In metropolitan Melbourne, the state owns 3.9% of residential aged care services and 1.7% of aged care beds.

“The facts are that the proportion of state-owned facilities in Victoria with COVID-19 equates to around 7 per cent of the total homes affected.

“The Premier’s comments about not wanting his own mother in some of the affected homes was unhelpful and will deepen fears, when local providers, state and federal authorities and the Australian Defence Force are working so hard to save lives.”

Today’s announcement that additional professional staff will focus on aged care is welcome.

“To have extra teams of public health experts and nursing staff moved from hospitals and assigned to residential aged care facilities to bolster oversight and care is great news,” said.

“The industry is also grateful that many more options are being made available to transfer residents infected with COVID-19 to hospital.

“We believe positive cases among aged care residents should generally be moved to hospitals, to reduce the chance of cross-infection and increase the level of acute care.

“Freeing up further public and private hospital beds is most welcome.”

Mr Hicks said LASA and Victorian aged care providers would continue their close and collaborative work with the Victorian government.

“We have a strong and cordial working relationship with Premier Andrews’ government and health authorities and we remain totally focused on protecting residents, staff and the community,” he said.

“We also acknowledge the Premier’s words that the people in private aged care homes ‘are all Victorians and we will do everything we can to take care of them’.

“We must continue standing together for the safety and lives of older Australians, regardless of where they live.”

Media contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449