7 May 2020

HHG Legal Group’s Executive Chairman, Simon Creek and Lawyer, Rachel Pocock provide an overview of the visitation directives for aged care facilities this Mother’s Day. 

20200508 Mothersday agedcare

On the 16th of March this year, the WA Health Minister made significant, yet temporary, changes to Sections 157(l)(k) and 190(1)(p) of the Public Health Act 2016 (WA), known as the Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions (2).

Now with Mother’s Day fast approaching and many visitations on the agenda for Sunday, Western Australians need to know the restrictions and limitations around visiting society’s most vulnerable in the time of COVID-19

Already in place since mid-March, under the Directives, is the prohibition of entry to the premises of WA residential aged care facilities, unless, under these strict conditions, a person is:

  • an employee, contractor or officer of that aged care facility;
  • providing necessary goods or services for the facility to adequately operate;
  • delivering or providing paid for or voluntary health, pharmaceutical, or medical services to a resident of the facility;
  • visiting a resident for the purpose of providing care and support (maximum 2-hour visit, and a maximum visiting group of two people) on a particular day AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, is the only visit for that resident on that day;
  • providing end of life support for a resident, which includes religious or spiritual counsel as well as other related services;
  • performing a duty under a written law by an officer, employee or contractor of a public authority;
  • an Emergency Services personnel;
  • a prospective resident of the facility; or
  • a lawyer providing wills and estate planning services to a resident.

In addition to the restrictions of visitors falling outside of the above criteria. Entry will be denied to an aged care facility if an approved visitor:  

  • Has arrived in Western Australia, either from outside of Australia or interstate, within 14 days of the proposed visit;
  • within 14 days has had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • is displaying a temperature of over 38 degrees or suffering symptoms of acute respiratory infection;
  • has not had their 2020 influenza vaccination, if such vaccination is available to the person*; or
  • is a person under 16 years of age (unless providing end of life support for a resident).

How do I prove that I’ve had an up-to-date influenza vaccine?

According to the Federal government’s recently released FAQs on visiting aged care facilities, they suggest that:

  1. Aged care facilities should seek appropriate evidence of immunisation status from individuals seeking to enter the residential aged care facility and suggest appropriate evidence may be a:
    1. statement or record from a health practitioner;
    2. or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.

The Department of Health also suggests that approved facilities may also consider maintaining records to support effective administration and to substantiate their compliance with this requirement. This will also help with returning visitors not having to carry their proof of vaccination each trip.

HHG Legal Group can assist

For over 100 years HHG Legal Group has been proudly serving Western Australian families, business and individuals. Never before has the State seen such a crippling time for many individuals and businesses and we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate.

If you require legal advice or representation we are offering community fee assistance across all our areas of law for those affected by COVID-19. With a choice of consultation methods (video, phone or safely-spaced, face-to-face), should you require some assistance please book a community-priced consultation via the button below or call us on 1800 609 945.

BOOK A CONSULTATION

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

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