CEO Update 11 January

CEO updates

Return to services – COVID plan

Happy New Year and welcome to 2022!  It is not quite as we anticipated but it is a new year nevertheless and we have high hopes that it will be a significant improvement on the one just left behind.

COVID of course, the gift that keeps giving, is literally all around us.  Two years ago COVID was some vague problem in China (not something for us to be concerned about).  One year ago COVID was a beast which we thought we had finally, if not tamed then at the very least contained.  And of course here we are with more COVID than we would ever have imagined possible.  And yet the Omicron variant is so different from the Delta strain and from the original virus that in many respects we may as well be talking about entirely distinct infections and threats.  ‘Living with COVID’ is the new reality and whilst we feel uncomfortable and unsettled by the skyrocketing case numbers we cannot help but be somewhat comforted by the reduced proportion of people becoming seriously ill.

Bayley House services have continued throughout the holiday period and we anticipate with excitement the return of our clients to Day Service next week.  Government regulations and directions are changing on almost a daily basis and I appreciate that for you, as for us, it is a challenge to keep up to date with what our responsibilities are.  Details follow which I hope will assist you to do exactly that and also to understand the implications for each of our services.  Please appreciate that whilst Bayley House must comply with all formal Government directives there are times when we may need to enforce further restrictions and in those circumstances we will endeavour to inform you promptly.  In particular, I know that you appreciate that consistent and familiar staff are the very foundation of supporting our clients and ensuring they are happy and feel safe.  Workforce challenges are acute at the moment across the community as many people are required to isolate either because they have tested positive for COVID or are regarded as a close contact.  At times when workforce restrictions challenge us severely we may need to tighten some of our conditions in order to avoid an escalating drama.  I thank you in advance for your understanding and support if and when this is necessary.

General Info

Temporary Price Increase

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is changing the way they support providers with the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE).  As of 1 January 2022, they are introducing a temporary increase in some National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) prices to factor in support worker PPE. Increased price limits are as follows:

  • Community participation supports and supports with activities of daily living, will increase by 0.25%
  • Group core supports and Supported Independent Living (SIL) will increase by 0.4%

The new NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2021-22 can be found here.

The NDIA is implementing this price increase in recognition that providers across Australia continue to supply support workers with PPE, with recognition that there is a higher usage of PPE within group core supports and SIL supports.  Bayley House will be adopting the price limit increase in line with the new NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2021-22 catalogue, effective 1 January 2022.

If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact Client Services on 03 9982 1515 or via clientservicesteam@bayleyhouse.org.au

Accommodation 

Our residential services remain open for family visitors and usual activities are occurring subject to community restrictions.  As with most members of the community we are exercising caution around what activities we engage in and use of PPE by staff and masks by all who can is required.  Please note that all visitors are required to be fully vaccinated and to wear masks at all times.  Houses will need to restrict access at times in response to COVID infections/contacts 

Day Service 

Middle Crescent and Nepean will commence in full Wednesday 19 January.  Zones will remain in place.  These are our best means of minimising the impact of either staff or clients testing positive to COVID.  Please note that no visitors are permitted at any day service sites.  Transport will continue to operate with restrictions to reflect zones 

Short Stay 

Short Stay is fully operational and taking bookings.  Lonsdale St has had a major physical upgrade over the Christmas/New Year break.  As you know, all clients and staff are double vaccinated (many now with boosters).  Additionally, we are introducing Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for all staff prior to every shift. 

Community, Leisure and Recreation (CLR) 

We have been able to offer a fantastic range of activities throughout the holiday period with wonderful feedback from clients and families.  I know that CLR have many exciting activities planned for future weeks.  As with Short Stay we are introducing RATs for all staff prior to each CLR activity. 

COVID boosters 

As advised before Christmas we are in contact with Aspen Health and will advise you as soon as we know the date for onsite booster vaccinations at Middle Crescent.  We expect this will be early in February.  Boosters have already been made available through onsite services at some residential sites and this will continue over coming weeks 

Please note that only yesterday the State Government announced a requirement that all our staff will be required to have a booster vaccination to ensure they can keep working in the disability sector.  We will liaise with all our staff in coming weeks to ensure compliance. 

My apologies for a lot of information.  I do hope that you are well and that you managed some level of relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period.  We have many exciting opportunities in 2022 and I look forward to sharing them with you soon. 

Take care and stay safe…. 

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House