In parts of Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to evolve rapidly. From the start of the pandemic, KinCare has been committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of its Customers and staff.
With the safety of our community being our highest priority, we have introduced a range of measures to keep everyone safe. Additionally, we are constantly updating our policies and protocols in line with state and territory health advice.
Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
In October 2021, KinCare’s Senior Leadership Team made the decision to adopt a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy to safeguard the health of staff and their families, Customers and visitors, and the wider community. This means that vaccination for COVID-19 is now a condition of employment for all KinCare staff.
For many months, KinCare has actively encouraged and supported all staff to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. As a result, the percentage of KinCare staff who were already vaccinated in September 2021 was above the national average. However, the elevated threat the Delta variant poses to our Customers and the community has led to the decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff, as KinCare recognise the important role that vaccination plays in reducing the risk of transmission and adverse health outcomes for all Australians.
We believe now is the time to go further to minimise risk and protect our staff and Customers from the highly contagious and deadly risks of the Delta variant.
We are confident a fully vaccinated workforce will ensure that KinCare can continue to provide safe and effective care services, during the evolving phases of the Government’s National Plan.
In line with our policy, all staff are required to have received their second dose vaccination by 20 December 2021, and their booster vaccination by 30 June 2022 – unless their state has a requirement that individuals must receive a booster vaccination by an earlier date.
In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the current outbreaks across the country on a daily basis.
How we are keeping our community safe
We have formed a COVID-19 Clinical Governance team who monitor all Government requirements and advice, and develop policies, procedures and training above and beyond minimum requirements. We stay up to date with how the situation is unfolding across the country and have regular contact with each state and territory Health Department.
We communicate regularly with staff about updates to requirements and the importance of standard precautions including proper hand hygiene, screening Customers, cough etiquette and social distancing.
We provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, disinfectant, wipes and other items free of charge to staff. We also provide training in appropriate and safe donning and doffing of PPE, and complete in-field ‘spot checks’ for our staff to monitor their use of PPE in a safe and effective manner.
Our service provision model also allows for us to make timely decisions on whether to have services modified to remote working practices.
What our staff are doing
Every day staff members are asked to confirm that they are well – this is a COVID-19 self-screening as well as a wellbeing check-in. Staff must answer a series of questions and advise of symptoms, no matter how minor. Any staff member who is feeling unwell is advised to get tested and to self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Similarly, if they have visited a hotspot – or are associated with a confirmed case – as per government guidelines, they must get tested and self-isolate as informed by the current health guidelines.
Depending on the health advice, staff may be required to wear PPE while delivering services. This is provided free of charge by KinCare.
What our Customers can do to help
Customers and their families should review the latest COVID-19 case locations in their state and to stay up to date on the latest news and public health orders. Please observe all the rules and notifications shared by the Australian Government and your local Health Department.
If you are feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms – please stay home and go to get tested. Let us know if you are unwell and we will reschedule your services.
All Customers should complete our screening requirements prior to a Home Care Worker entering your home. This involves answering a series of questions over the phone or prior to our worker arriving at your home. This is to ensure the health and safety of both the customer and our staff members.
Whilst we will be making every possible attempt to minimise disruption to your services, we are mindful that staff availability may change because of the pandemic. We ask for your understanding if this occurs.