// Social Icons // SCC Icons
Important information on COVID-19 Read more

COVID-19 Updates and Latest News

20 May 2020

Update to volunteer and pastoral care services at residential aged care facilities

22 May, 2020

In light of the Queensland Premier’s announcement to ease restrictions from 16 May, we have taken the decision to implement the following protocols in regards volunteers and pastoral care within our facilities. These protocols will be in effect until 12 June 2020 and are subject to change with any ongoing amendments to Queensland Health guidelines.

Pastoral care and other sacramental services will continue but with current precautions observed. We are required to continue to comply with the rules of one person per 4 square metres, 1.5 metres between people, and proper hygiene protocols. From a sacramental perspective the following protocols apply:

  • The celebration of church services and Mass continues to be suspended at this time. Residents can still access online services as required.
  • At sites with a Chapel, it is important that any container for Holy Water remains empty and all infection control measures are maintained.
  • Pastoral Carers have been provided with a Prayer of Spiritual Communion which they can share with their Catholic patients who are accustomed to receiving communion. Residents can check with their Pastoral Carer regarding any other prayer or reflection requirements they might have.
  • In regards the Sacrament of Anointing, priests must safeguard themselves and follow all safety protocols. Priests have been given permission to lay on hands by holding them above, rather than upon the head, so as to avoid physical contact.
  • Pastoral Carers have been provided, from Meaningful Ageing Australia, with a list of pastoral and spiritual care ideas for use during the pandemic to ensure that our residents continue to have their pastoral and spiritual needs met.

During this stage our current Volunteers can begin to transition back into visiting facilities providing they observe the protocols that have been outlined. Volunteers should contact their facility to discuss what the current arrangements are. Volunteers are subject to the Government’s visit exclusion requirements which state that a person is:

  • Unable to visit if no proof of vaccination for 2020 influenza – except if the person has evidence of medical exemption.
  • Unable to visit if recent exposure to a positive Covid-19 case.
  • Unable to visit if self-isolating due to travel overseas or interstate in last 14 days.
  • Unable to visit if current respiratory virus or flu like symptoms (including temperature of greater than 37.5 degrees).
  • Unable to visit if under 16 years age.

At this stage we will not be processing applications for new volunteers but will recommence this as soon as is practicable

Update to hairdressing services in residential aged care facilities

22 May, 2020

Hairdressing services will be resuming at each of the homes, where the hairdresser is able to meet all the requirements under COVID-19 restrictions and expected hygiene measures.

The managers at each of the homes are working to re-establish the hairdressing services, and where  this is possible, hairdressing services will commence from 1 June 2020.

A communication will be sent next week from each home to confirm their specific arrangements for hairdressing services at the home.

Clarification of current visitation guidelines at our residential aged care facilities

20 May, 2020

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) continues to follow the directions issued by the federal and state governments and the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for residential aged care facilities in order to minimize the risk of a covid-19 infection. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our absolute priority and the following update is based on this latest advice and direction.

Restrictions on entry into an aged care home remain in place.
The following visitors and staff (including visiting workers) are not permitted to enter the home:
• Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
• Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days; defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic.
• Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).
• Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1st May 2020).

Please plan visits to the home with your manager.

Everyone seeking entry to the home will be required to complete a health screening check prior to entry. We continue to ask for your understanding that visits should be planned in advance with the staff at your home, particularly in relation to the location and duration of visits. This is important as we take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of infection because:
• Every home needs to support reasonable access for all our residents and their families;
• We have a requirement to complete regular cleaning of visiting areas;
• Minimising movement through the home reduces the risk of transmission of any flu like illness such as COVID-19.

In relation to visiting your loved one the measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 include:
• Planning your visit in advance: please contact the home during business hours and make a time to visit;
• Visits need to be of a short duration of no more than two hours;
• Limiting visitors to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day, from immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy;
• Visits need to be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the home;
• Visitors are asked to practise social distancing where possible, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres;
• Children aged 16 years or less are only allowed to visit by exception, assessed on a case-by-case basis; for example, where the resident is in palliative care.

SCCQ encourage family members and friends to maintain contact with your loved ones, and staff at each of our homes will continue to provide a range of ways to support regular contact through personal visits, phone calls or virtual visitation. The situation for each resident and their family members is different, so we ask that you speak with the manager of your home to make the most suitable arrangements for you and your loved one.

Update as governments begin staged relaxation of some community restrictions

11 May 2020

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff during this challenging time of COVID-19.

Recently, the Federal and State/Territory governments have established staged plans for relaxing some community restrictions across the next three months. In light of this, we are also considering our plans to enable wider interaction with your loved ones in a safe manner at each of our homes.

Last week, the aged care peak industry bodies Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) undertook a broad-based consultation to create a single, agreed-upon framework of how visitation to aged care homes might work. The goal of this consultation is to address the confusion experienced by many families and loved ones as to what the guidelines ought to be to maximise safety for residents, families and staff. This will also enable a consistent approach across all aged care homes in balancing health protection with the importance of visiting with families and loved ones.

We will be sending further a communication to you once this information has been made available to us this week, to clarify with you what this means for you in visiting the SCCQ home in which your loved one lives.

Please note that in particular the issues around volunteers attending the homes and hairdressing services resuming are under development and we hope to release further information regarding these services shortly.  Whilst we note that the hairdresser’s access is of particular concern, the process around reintroduction of services is being undertaken carefully to continue to protect our residents from the accidental and devastating impacts of a COVID-19  transmission.

Thank you again for everything you’re doing to help us protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Update to visitation over the May long weekend

1 May, 2020

In light of the upcoming long weekend and relaxation of travel restrictions on families from the State Government, Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) would like to reinforce our position on visitation of loved ones in our residential aged care homes as follows:

  • We acknowledge the revised restrictions of the Queensland Governments for non-essential travel within a 50 km radius from people’s homes.
  • We support a range of visitation methods to SCCQ homes based on exceptional or compassionate grounds through planned appointments – please contact your facility manager to discuss/arrange.
  • We support visits to your loved ones to be undertaken in the designated areas of the home, in line with government guidelines, that maintain 1.5m social distancing requirements and post visit cleaning requirements – please discuss with your facility manager what those options are in the home.
  • We continue to support the Government’s visit exclusion requirements which state that a person is:
    • Unable to visit if no proof of vaccination for 2020 influenza – except if the person has evidence of medical exemption.
    • Unable to visit if recent exposure to a positive Covid-19 case.
    • Unable to visit if self-isolating due to travel overseas or interstate in last 14 days.
    • Unable to visit if current respiratory virus or flu like symptoms (including temperature of greater than 37.5 degrees).
    • Unable to visit if under 16 years age.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family.

Flu vaccination requirements in 2020

29 April, 2020

On 18th March 2020, the Commonwealth Department of Health advised that due to Covid-19, there would be some additional requirements for visitors seeking to enter residential aged care facilities. One of these requirements is to obtain the 2020 flu vaccination.

From 1 May 2020, anyone who would like to enter or visit a residential aged care facility must have received a current flu vaccination. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others including external contractors and suppliers.

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) has provided free flu vaccination clinics to all staff and therefore please be reassured that we have taken this preventative step.

When you visit from 1 May, please bring with you proof that you’ve had your flu vaccination. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app. Alternatively, if you have a flu vaccination medical exemption, please bring this with you instead.

Once we’ve seen evidence for the flu vaccination, we’ll give you a card that will replace the need to bring your evidence with you each time you’re visiting your loved one – just bring your card with you.

Please also be aware that our current exclusion criteria remain in place in relation to planned visitations of your loved ones.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family.

Update to general visitation at Southern Cross Care Qld residential aged care facilities

23 April 2020

Recently, we took the step of ceasing general visitation to our residential aged care facilities to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  This week the Prime Minister made comments regarding concerns that residential aged care facilities were exceeding the government recommendations about resident isolation and wellbeing.

We’d like to reassure all our residents and families that we are following the Commonwealth’s recommendations in relation to restricting visitation.

  • We are continuing to facilitate planned visitation for the purpose of care and support in accordance with government guidelines. Visits may be undertaken in designated visiting areas or via virtual means which have proven to be very popular.
  • Residents spend time as they choose in their rooms, access common areas of facility or have time in the outdoor areas. We continue to provide a varied activities program having adjusted our group social and recreational activities to ensure we are observing social distancing guidelines.

We are trying to balance protecting residents while allowing reasonable visitation and general freedom and the health, safety and wellbeing off residents remains our absolute priority.

We are continuing to focus on the comfort and enjoyment of our residents by implementing a number of steps to ensure that our residents are able to remain socially connected with their loved ones. Some of the measures we’ve introduced include:

  • Virtual visitation using video-conferencing technology – please talk to staff at your home to book in a time;
  • Waving windows – a clear barrier that protects both the resident and visitor but allows face-to-face contact and conversation (pictured);
  • Additional Lifestyle and Leisure activities and programs;
  • Supportive pastoral care;
  • Access to communal areas for social interaction, albeit while observing social distancing requirements; and
  • We are continuing to facilitate planned visitation for the purpose of care and support in accordance with government guidelines.

Isolation is only necessary if a resident has symptoms of respiratory illness or is confirmed to have Covid-19, or has recently returned from hospital.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please make sure you contact your Residential Manager if you have any questions or concerns.

We’ve also attached some Queensland Government fact sheets which will help to clarify any questions that you might have and to ensure consistency of information.

Some of the points the attached fact sheet cover includes:

  • Who can visit a residential aged care facility?
  • Do you need to have the flu vaccination in order to enter a residential aged care facility?
  • Why can’t children enter a residential aged care facility?
  • How can we support our loved ones while protecting them from the risk of COVID-19?

Fact sheet: understanding the aged care direction

Fact sheet: frequently asked questions

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us

All Southern Cross Care Qld residential aged care facilities are ceasing all general visitation until further notice

16 April 2020

Recently, we took the step of ceasing visitation to our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  We have now made the decision that it is time to cease all general visitation to all our residential aged care facilities to maximise ongoing safety for residents and staff.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, because we know that it is important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. In making this decision, we have carefully considered:

  • Government guidelines and requirements on restricted visitation to residential aged care facilities;
  • The ongoing risk to resident’s health and safety from the threat of COVID-19;
  • The ongoing requirement for social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel as per the government guidelines; and
  • Feedback from residents, staff and representatives, the majority of whom have requested that we cease all general visitation.

All of our residential aged care facilities will cease all general visitation beginning at midnight, Friday 17th April and will not reopen to general visitation until further notice except for those families who will be able to continue undertaking some visits in compassionate circumstances.

Virtual visitation

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having technology available so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing. Staff will assist residents with the use of the technology to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience as they take up new ways to maintain their connectedness with you.

 Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us.

Please note that in compassionate circumstances, we will endeavour to provide visitation on a case by case basis.  For those seeking exceptional access, please contact the Residential Manager at your site.

Our residential aged care facilities at Duhig Village, Holland Park, and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care are ceasing general visitation until further notice

9 April, 2020

Recently, we took the step of closing our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  We have now made the decision that it is time to cease all general visitation to Duhig Village, Holland Park and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care to maximise ongoing safety for the residents in their home. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, because we know that it is important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. In making this decision, we have carefully considered:

  • Government guidelines and requirements on restricted visitation to residential aged care facilities;
  • The ongoing risk to resident’s health and safety from the threat of COVID-19;
  • The ongoing requirement for social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel as per the government guidelines; and
  • Feedback from residents, staff and representatives, the majority of whom have requested full closure.

Duhig Village and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care will close to all visitation beginning Good Friday 10th April and will not reopen to general visitation until further notice except for those families who will be able to continue to undertake some visits in compassionate circumstances.  We know that this will be difficult for families as it will mean you won’t be able to connect with loved ones and spend time together as you normally would. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions.

Virtual visitation

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having new iPads delivered to Duhig Village and Stretton Gardens, so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing technology. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience as they take up new ways to maintain their connectedness with you.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us.

Please note that in compassionate circumstances, we will endeavour to provide visitation on a case by case basis.  For those seeking compassionate access, please contact the Residential Manager at your respective site to discuss.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed over the Easter long weekend

3 April, 2020

The health and well-being of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

Recently, we took the step of closing our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff.  This will also be the case over the upcoming Easter long weekend.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed on the Easter long weekend from Friday 10 April – Monday 13 April to all visitation.

We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we have faced significant issues on weekends with supporting safe visiting to residents at the home in line with Department of Health guidelines.

We know that this will be difficult for families as the Easter long weekend is often a chance to connect with loved ones and spend time together. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that our residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions and we’re taking steps to make sure our residents are staying busy and having fun with a smile on their faces.

Virtual visitation over Easter

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having new iPads delivered to all our aged care facilities, so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing technology. We will keep you updated on this.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and well-being of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to discuss them with your manager.

Southern Cross Care donates to Coronavirus clinical trials

31 March, 2020

The Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ), Jason Eldering, is pleased to announce that SCCQ will donate $10,000 to the Coronavirus Action Fund.

The Coronavirus Action Fund was established by the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Foundation to raise funds for vital medical research and clinical trials, hospital trials and hospital staff support.

University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research Director and Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at the RBWH Professor David Paterson said Queensland researchers are set to begin clinical trials of a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Professor Paterson has praised the RBWH Foundation and the launch of its Coronavirus Action Fund for its efforts in helping to raise funds to begin the clinical trials.

CEO Jason Eldering said that the donation demonstrates the commitment of SCCQ to working in partnership with the community, particularly when facing challenging circumstances.

“When we unite to achieve a common goal, we can achieve the extraordinary, particularly when we need to find ways to protect our community,” said Jason. “Supporting researchers to find a treatment is just one way we can demonstrate that the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority.”

SCCQ would also like to thank the residents, staff, families and the public for their support as restrictive measures have been rolled out across our communities. “To our wonderful families who have been very supportive and understanding, I’d like to say thank you,” said Jason. “To our amazing staff, who do such a great job looking after our residents every day, I’d like the say thank you. To the broader community who have been so encouraging and generous toward us, I’d like to say thank you. I understand that this is a challenging and worrying time for residents and their families, and I’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to protect, love and care for our residents.”

If you’d like to donate to the Coronavirus Action Fund, you can do so here: https://www.rbwhfoundation.com.au/coronavirus-action-fund/ and Jason is encouraging anyone who is able to donate now.

Advice regarding leaving residential aged care facilities from the Queensland government

27 March, 2020

We are continuing to monitor the changing situation with relation to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and need to advise on recent changes to Queensland Government directions controlling access and entry to aged care facilities.

Residents leaving our facilities

  • the advice from the Commonwealth is that all Australians should only leave their homes for brief trips to either seek medical attention or get essential groceries, and that is what we’re asking of our residents and families;
  • residents entering the community for any period of time puts other residents at risk. For this reason the Queensland Government has issued a Direction under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) that aged care residents are not to leave the facility other than to receive or access health care or in the case of an emergency;
  • SCCQ has closed weekend visitation and restricted visiting hours to by appointment only; and
  • if a resident leaves one of our facilities for any reason, when they return, the resident will be isolated for a period of 14 days.

What happens if a resident is placed in isolation?

Making a decision to isolate a resident often needs to be made quickly and may mean that a resident is moved temporarily.

We will consult with affected residents and where appropriate, nominated representatives in the event that isolation in a different room is considered necessary.  We are mindful of our responsibilities at law and under the Services Agreement that we have with residents, and changes to agreements will need to be discussed with you and documented.  Following any period of isolation away from a resident’s room, we’ll make sure the resident is returned to their normal surroundings as soon as it is safe to do so.

We love, care for and support all of our residents, and will continue to do so to the very best of our ability in these uncertain times. The health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff remains our utmost priority.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us protect everyone in the SCCQ family. We really appreciate that these are challenging and worrying times and are committed to doing everything we can to love and care for our residents and their families.

Visitation controls and restrictions for our Retirement Villages

26 March, 2020

As you will no doubt be aware, the Australian Government has put restrictions in place to protect elderly residents and workers in residential aged care facilities.

As an organisation Southern Cross Care Queensland has several villages which are directly co-located with residential aged care facilities. Within our retirement village portfolio, we also have a median resident age of 80 years which is the segment of the population that the government deems to be at high risk.

In view of the restrictions and protocols implemented within our aged care facilities, and the announcement by the Queensland Government that students should not attend school from 30th March 2020, we have taken the tough yet necessary decision to restrict visitation across all of our retirement villages accordingly.

Effective 5pm Friday 27th March 2020, the following people will be restricted from entry to our retirement villages:

  • People who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • People who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • People with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).
  • Children aged 16 years and under (exemptions can be assessed on a case-by-case basis, for example, where the resident is in palliative care).

How will visitation be different?

The new restrictions are being put into place to protect you, and to provide reassurance to your loved ones and family members about how these changes will protect our residents, the village and the broader SCCQ community from transmission of disease.

These include:

  • Compulsory attendance by visitor/s to the management office / reception to complete the Visitation Checklist, before attending your unit.
  • Requesting your visitors limit their visit to a short duration.
  • Limiting your visits to a maximum of two immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy at one time.
  • Conducting visits within your village unit rather than in communal areas.
  • Requesting your visitors that if they are unwell in any way postpone their visit.
  • Requesting that children under the age of 16 years do not attend the village.

In addition to this, we would recommend that you and your visitors actively practise social distancing, including maintaining a distance of four-square meters at all times.

Ongoing Support

We understand the significant impact this difficult decision may place upon you, the village community and your families. This decision was taken to protect the health and wellbeing of all individuals within our communities.

Your Village Manager remains available to guide and support you where you have any need for assistance. The organisation fully supports your village staff, to love, guide and support you through these unprecedented times. If you need assistance while in self-isolation or social distancing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Manager.

Thank you

Lastly, I wish to thank each and every resident and staff member within our Retirement Living villages. Your patience and understanding in the face of change is to be admired. Your acceptance of the responsibilities COVID-19 has placed upon each of us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family has no doubt been challenging for us all. However, what has shone through has been remarkable: Our Community Resilience.

“Resilience – is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstance.” (Zolli)

With the love and respect that you have for each other, for your village and staff and the wider community in which you are connected I know that we will come through these challenging circumstances stronger together.

Our residential aged care facilities are closed to visitors on weekends

25 March, 2020

The health and wellbeing of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au

Following feedback we’ve received from our residential aged care facilities, staff and families, SCCQ will be implementing further measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at our residential aged care facilities on weekends effective from 28 March 2020.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed on weekends to all visitation from 28 March 2020.
We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we have faced significant issues on weekends with supporting safe visiting to residents at the home in line with Department of Health guidelines. As a result, we will be closing residential aged care facilities on weekends to all visitation commencing 28 March 2020.

We have increased our Lifestyle and Leisure activities program with additional funding to ensure that our residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions. We understand that social and emotional well-being is just as important as physical health and we’re taking steps to make sure our residents are staying busy and having fun with a smile on their faces!

Please note that visits on weekdays during prescribed visiting hours will be by appointment only. To manage the needs of all residents, families are asked to pre-arrange your visits. Please continue to call our reception staff to arrange your visit. As an ongoing measure to maintain a safe environment for our residents and staff, we ask that if you are unwell or have flu-like or respiratory symptom, please postpone your visit until you are well.

Updated protective measures for residential aged care will be issued soon.
The Federal government have increased restrictive measures for visiting residential aged care facilities in the past twenty-four hours, and we will issue these new measures as a separate document very shortly and we ask that you please familiarise yourself with these measures.

Virtual visitation on weekends
Although you will not be able to physically visit with your loved ones on weekends, we encourage our families and residents to make use of virtual visitation. If you have an Internet-connected mobile device or tablet, you can use video-conferencing technology such as FaceTime and Zoom to connect with your loved ones. We have ordered a number of iPads for our facilities for the use of residents in this way and we will let you know when these arrive.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can.

Woolworths launches Priority Assistance for vulnerable customers

20 March, 2020

Woolworths have launched a Priority Assistance home delivery option for senior Australians and other vulnerable members of our community. This will enable groceries, fresh food and household items to be delivered to you. If you would like to be part of this, you will need to login at the link below and complete a form. SCCQ is already assisting many of our Community Care clients to access this service. If you’re an SCCQ resident and would like assistance with this service, please talk to your management team.

Woolworths Priority Assistance

Updated advice from the Commonwealth government – restrictions on visitation to residential aged care

18 March 2020

The health and wellbeing of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

Following recent updates from the Federal government and feedback from families, SCCQ will be implementing further measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at our residential aged care facilities effective from 19 March 2020.

Visiting our residential aged care facilities

We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we are taking measures to restrict access so that we can prevent the transmission of disease. We are also communicating these measures with contractors, residents, families and other regular visitors to our sites to share the same expectations. These measures include:

  • We have identified a single point of entry and exit, and all visitors will need to check-in and check-out at this point.
  • All visitors will be screened upon entry with questions about recent travel, contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any current symptoms of illness.
  • We will soon be asking for details of flu vaccination as after 1 May 2020, this will be a condition of entry to the facility.
  • We’ll help all visitors with correct hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette when they check-in and when they leave the facility.
  • Visits to our residential aged care facilities will be restricted to identified time periods.
  • Visits are limited to two visitors per day during the visiting hours. This is designed to minimise the number of potential exposures.
  • A schedule of our visiting hours will be available on our website sccqld.com.au. This may change from time to time and we encourage you to check before visiting.
  • Visitors may include family members, close friends and any social support the resident currently enjoys. Consistent with advice from the Government, we discourage visits by children under 16 years of age.
  • Visitors will be invited to spend time with the resident in their room or in identified outdoor spaces away from communal areas.

As an ongoing measure to maintain a safe environment for our resident and staff, we ask that if you are unwell or have flu-like or respiratory symptom, please postpone your visit until you are well.

Activities and outings

Our leadership team, Lifestyle and Leisure staff and pastoral carers are working hard to ensure that our residents continue to enjoy great care, social interaction and fun activities. Unfortunately, we will have to restrict some activities in accordance with the advice from the Government:

  • All large group activities, outings and entertainment is currently cancelled except in special circumstances.
  • Any school group visits have been cancelled.

We would like to assure our residents and family members that we will continue to provide high quality, compassionate care to our residents. We understand that this is a challenging and worrying time for residents and their families, and we’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to protect, love and care for our residents.

Thank you for working with us to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers which is, after all, our absolute priority. We will continue to provide updated information as it comes to hand. We encourage you to check our website for updates at www.sccqld.com.au.

Advice on the developing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak

13 March, 2020

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) would like to update our residents, families, staff and stakeholders about the current situation regarding COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) and other stringent infection control measures as we head into the flu season. We also want to let you know what we’re doing to help protect the health of our residents, families and staff.

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

You may see signs across our site regarding visiting any of our sites if you are unwell. This reflects the current advice from the Australian Government which recommends:
• Anyone who has returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for coronavirus should immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
• Anyone who comes into contact with a person with suspected or confirmed coronavirus should immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
• Anyone who is unwell or showing symptoms of illness should seek medical advice.

This advice from the Australian Government applies to all persons including anyone living in, working in or visiting our residential aged care facilities, retirement villages and community care network. We are also communicating with contractors and other regular visitors to our facilities to share the same expectations.

COVID-19 is of course not the only infection risk for our residents as we head into flu season. As the health authorities advise, the best way to protect against transmission of infections including rotavirus, influenza or COVID-19 is good hand and respiratory hygiene practices:

• Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser. We have these available extensively across our services to supplement your personal hygiene practices when you are visiting;
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing and dispose of tissues in a bin immediately after use, followed by handwashing and/or sanitisation;
• Avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath; and
• Consider getting the flu vaccination.

For the sake of the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, we would kindly ask you to avoid attending our service if you are feeling unwell. Even a quick 5 minute visit from an unwell visitor can have a significant effect in spreading infection across our community.

If you are visiting, please be prepared to answer questions relating to the risks identified above, and be assured that we are doing this to look after our residents, staff, volunteers and other visitors.
These measures are in place to ensure that we are doing, and you feel that we are doing all that we can to reduce the likelihood of respiratory or other illnesses affecting our facility.

Globally the COVID-19 situation and the advice from the Australian and Queensland Governments is changing rapidly. We want to reassure you that we are closely following all published advice and ensuring it is implemented across all our services. We would encourage you to do the same, with all updates available at www.health.gov.au

Thank you for assisting us to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers which is, after all, our absolute priority. We will continue to provide updated communication regarding all respiratory illnesses that may affect our facility and we encourage you to continue to check back at this page for more updates.

Resources and Links

Department of Health Updates
Fact sheets