Review of Aged Residential Care facilities under way

News article

30 April 2020

An urgent independent review into COVID-19 clusters at Aged Residential Care (ARC) facilities is under way, and findings will be reported back to the Ministry of Health by the end of May.

After the emergence of five significant COVID-19 clusters in ARC facilities – two in Christchurch, two in Auckland and one in Waikato – the Ministry commissioned a short review of NZ’s experience of preventing and managing COVID-19 in ARC facilities.

The Independent Review of COVID-19 Clusters in Aged Residential Care will look at ARC facilities with cases of COVID-19 to examine the measures and processes which worked well and identify opportunities for improvements. It will compare these facilities with similar ones where there have been no cases.

ARC facilities are susceptible to rapid transmission of viruses, and the residents are more vulnerable to illnesses due to their age and being more likely to have underlying health conditions.

The review will look at information relating to possible transmission to and within ARC facilities, interviews with relevant people involved in outbreaks, findings from a stocktake of ARC providers carried out by DHBs, and study of activities aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

All interviews will be done by phone, teleconference or suitable virtual techniques.

The terms of reference (PDF, 263 KB) are endorsed by the Aged Care Association, which will also have input to the review.

The following representatives have been appointed to the independent panel:

  • Dr Phil Wood, Ministry of Health & clinical geriatrician Waitemata DHB       
  • Dr Peter Moodie, Primary Care / GP                       
  • Tanya Jackways, Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) Practitioner        
  • Dr John Holmes, Public Health Physician                    
  • Dr Frances Hughes, Chair NLG NZACA and GM Oceania Health Care             
  • Riana Manuel, Maori representative from Te Apārangi   

The final report will be presented to the Director-General of Health by 29 May 2020, and the final report with recommendations will be published in mid-June.

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