Doutta Galla COVID-19

10 August 2020 

Dear Family Members and Friends, 

After a very rocky start this morning, with a severe shortage of staff available to work, the outcome of the incredible efforts of the limited staff at the home, the many staff behind the scenes and our other service partners, have resulted in 14 residents not detected to have COVID-19 being transferred to private hospitals. Two residents were transferred to hospital earlier in the day, and another four residents who tested positive were transferred last week. This means that tonight there are 27 residents at Yarraville, with enough of the right staff to ensure that they are safe, comfortable and better able to be cared for, and the residents that have gone to a private hospital will also have the care and support they require until we can welcome them back. 

Today on-site, Robyn Simpson, our General Manager of Services, Quality and Compliance, who with her background was also able to provide personal care and support to many residents herself. We also saw the return of Carlo Rizzi, Clinical Manager whom many of you know. Both had been supporting our Footscray home and are now based at Yarraville Village. 

Supporting Yarraville Village today we had the Emergency Medical Officer, three nurses from the Aged Care Liaison Team from Western Health, (who as well as reviewing the clinical health and welfare of our residents, assisted in their direct care), and a fleet of ambulance drivers who took our residents to Footscray Hospital, St. Vincent’s Private Hospital, Brunswick Private Hospital and Epworth Private Hospital. All worked together to facilitate the transfer of residents so that the load on the home could be shared amongst a number of services. 

As you know things have been moving at a rapid pace and advocating for the Yarraville Village residents has been my absolute focus and priority over the last several days. By now all of the families will have been contacted with specific details of where your loved one is tonight. I appreciate that even though we have had staff from other parts of Doutta Galla, including senior nursing staff, call most of you today, you are frustrated that you have not always been able to get through directly to the site. As you can imagine with the many activities that have taken place today and with the shortage of available staff we started the day with, we have had to draw on all our resources. We are doing our utmost to make this better tomorrow, and each day after that. I am pleased to report that despite this vey ‘big’ day in the life of the Home, there were some moments of joy with ‘window visits’, birthday cake, flowers and phone calls. Although not as many personal calls as we would like but again I hope this will get better each day as the Home becomes more settled. 

I cannot express my gratitude enough to the very many people including different sections of the State and Federal Governments, the newly established Aged Care Response Team and in particular our colleagues at Western Health who have worked together to achieve this outcome. 

As well I do want to acknowledge the work of the amazing ‘behind the scenes’ staff who spent the last week working around the clock to source staff for our home. They have been tireless and unrelenting in their wish to ensure that our residents have the care they deserve and the care they are used to at Yarraville. 

Although it might not be as immediate as you would like, we will do our best to keep you as up to date as possible, and to get back to you as soon as we can. If you have an enquiry or concern about the transfer of your family member to hospital, please call the home on 9687 8233. Please note that with the high volume of calls the phone will be diverted to other staff who may be able to assist you. The email address for written questions or concerns is covid19questions@dgas.org.au. 

I wish us all a restful and peaceful night. 

Yours sincerely 

Vanda Iaconese
CEO