May 18

Access to Bayley House residential services 

In light of recent slight easing of restrictions announced by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last week, we have received a few enquiries from families wishing to have additional access to our residential services and/or to take residents out for social activities.

I understand that these restrictions are challenging for families but reiterate that they are in place for the protection and well being of Bayley House clients, who are in fact doing remarkably well despite the extended ‘lockdown’!  Whilst some minor easing of restrictions was announced by the Victorian Premier none of these are applicable to residential services and our arrangements, as put in place back in March remain the same –

Entry to our Homes effective today Friday 20 March 2020 

  • For the safety of residents and employees and on the advice of the health authorities access is now available for essential visitors only
  • Visits will be limited to each resident’s authorised representative or their nominee (two people maximum at any given time)
  • Visits to houses will be restricted to specified times which will be advised separately
  • Travel outside of the house for residents will be restricted to essential appointments only and preferably accompanied only by staff
  • If this is not possible, residents need to be returned directly to the house without attending any other location
  • Families may, of course, choose to have their loved one return to live with the family.  If this is their choice returning to the house will not be possible until the situation clarifies and will be at Bayley House’ discretion
  • We ask you to stay away if you have come in contact with someone who has contracted the Coronavirus, traveled overseas or have felt unwell during the past 14 days

Visitors will be required to 

  • Visit only with prior arrangement with staff
  • Follow the designated sign-in procedure and check in with reception staff prior to entry
  • Adhere to our infection prevention and control procedures and practice social distancing (1.5m apart)
  • Only visit your loved one in whatever is the identified physical space within (or outside) the house
  • Enter and leave directly without spending time in the communal areas or interacting with other residents or staff

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

May 15

Welcome to the start of a return to life as we (used to) know it!

Yes, governments at both national and state levels agree that Australia can safely start, ever so slowly, to put our heads above the metaphorical parapet.  It has been a challenging journey so far and indeed it is anything but over, but no doubt like me, you are keen for any sign that the light at the end of that tunnel is sunlight

The Bayley House team is strong and strategic as I know you would expect of us and our attention in the last week has been to shift our focus from just dealing with the present to considering how a return to face to face activities might look and how it can be managed whilst providing a safe space for our clients and our staff.

Request to Return

Last Friday we asked you to complete a survey to assist us in better understanding your own preferences about that return and the response has been very strong.  If you have not had a chance to complete the survey you can still do so until Sunday at 8 pm, please click here. Interestingly the feedback we received (a summary is provided below) has very much reflected our own preliminary plans for bringing clients back in stages according to a range of factors.

125 people responded to the question asking, “At which stage would like to come back?” and these are the results so far;

In the earliest Stage A when Bayley House reintroduces individuals living independently or with families at home who are not managing to participate in online activities – 33%

In Stage B when Bayley House reintroduces the remaining individuals living with families at home – 36%

In Stage C when Bayley House reintroduces individuals living in external residences – 15%

In the final Stage D when Bayley House reintroduces individuals living in Bayley House residences – 16%.

Return to Bayley House

Following the Victorian Premier’s announcements Monday, 11 May we have now moved to the detailed level of planning and logistics which is required in order that we can deliver group activities on site whilst complying with social distancing requirements.  This is no easy task but we hope that we will be able to return clients as part of Phase 1 during the first week of June. We thank you for your input, support, and patience whilst we put these vital measures into place.

Coronavirus Testing

The State Government has been actively encouraging Victorians to access COVID-19 testing now that it is available to people who are not symptomatic.  I am encouraging every member of our Bayley House staff to be tested and in fact to do so on a regular basis.  As we move from a state of high-level lock down the best defense we have as a community is a high level of preventative testing as a means of keeping the rate of infection low and enabling swift and accurate contact tracing.  Everyone who works in the human services sector can play their part by proactively being part of the testing regime.

Coronavirus App

I would like to remind you that the Federal Government released the COVIDSAFE app a few weeks back for smartphones as a preliminary to easing restrictions. Bayley House does not have a view on whether you should or should not download the app, the decision is entirely yours however I do urge you to ensure that you are at least well informed.

Flu Vaccinations

Finally, please understand that flu vaccinations, because of Health and Safety issues will not be available at Bayley House this year.  Whilst this change from our standard practice was communicated some weeks ago it is possible that it got lost amongst the many changes which were suddenly upon us in March.  Health authorities continue to emphasise the importance of flu vaccinations and I urge you to arrange this directly through medical clinics or many pharmacies.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

May 8

As Victoria prepares to ease restrictions, Bayley House is developing our plan for a return to Day Programs. We will send a fixed return date when the new government decisions are announced however, in the meantime, we are making plans for a 4-part staged return (see below for details).

It is important that you complete the online Request to Return form for us to plan these stages appropriately. We expect that we will have capped numbers for each stage and not everyone will be able to return at once.

These are the proposed Stages of return

  • Stage A Clients living independently or with families at home, focussing on those not engaging with online activities.
  • Stage B The remainder of clients living with families at home.
  • Stage C Clients living in external residences.
  • Stage D Clients living in Bayley House residences.
  • Please note we will be taking the following precautions to ensure everyone’s safety:
  • Temperature checking prior to boarding transport and entering Bayley House, anyone with a temperature will not be able to attend.
  • Implementing the 1 person per 4 square meter rule per room.
  • Reducing the capacity on all Bayley House transport to allow for social distancing.
  • Individuals will follow an altered timetable and remain in the same area with the same staff each day – this will be reviewed as the state government restrictions are eased.
  • Ceasing all community-based activities – this will be reviewed as the state government restrictions are eased.
  • Restricting non-essential visitors. Parents/carers will need to drop off and pick up at reception.
  • Increasing the cleaning of all sites.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

April 30

NDIS funding is providing opportunities for clients and Bayley House to re-enter the not-for-profit housing sector. Short Term Accommodation (STA), respite, was identified as the most urgent need.

Bayley House is pleased to announce another STA will be opening in Brighton during May. Future housing plans for Bayley House include:

  • The expansion of our housing options
  • Houses for 3-5 clients
  • Units  for 1-2 clients
  • Staffing, including overnight
  • Client compatibility is a high priority
  • Bayley House to facilitate staff and house/unit

Families, if you are interested in Bayley House assisting  your person to find
Accommodation in our future houses; there are a number of important steps you need to take:

  • At your NDIS plan meeting, the main goal needs to identify your person, wishes to explore housing options to live with friends/alone
  • Support Coordination to be included in the plan. One of the roles of a Support Coordinator is  to develop a housing plan to apply for  Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), this is to cover maintenance and building costs
  • Supported Independent Living (SIL), this is to fund staff support in the house, to be included in the plan

Please contact us if you would like more information

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

May 6

Welcome Fiona

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce Fiona Atkinson who joined the executive leadership team last week in her capacity as Director of Philanthropy.  Fiona’s appointment follows an exhaustive recruitment process and I could not be more delighted with her experience in the philanthropic and fundraising sectors as well as her value ‘fit’ for Bayley House. Fiona thrives on a challenge, and well she might be given the extraordinary times in which she joins us.  I know you will enjoy the opportunity to catch up with Fiona once restrictions are eased; meanwhile she is doing everything she can to touch base with many stakeholders over the coming weeks.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

May 1

Another week of service delivery amidst social distancing and another week of innovation and learning.  All our residential services remain safe and vibrant with many activities being delivered by regular residential support staff, by teams of day service staff and of course remotely through Bayley House Online.  By all accounts most residents are having a great time; the standing joke internally being that we may struggle to get them back to Middle Crescent! 

Bayley House Online 

As you may know, roughly 20 group activities  are being delivered through Bayley House online across the week. I do want to emphasise that we appreciate this medium does not work for all clients nor for all families, that abilities and technology sometimes mean this is just not a feasible option and we continue to try to find other ways to support those clients and families.  Thank you for your patience. 

Technical Support

A team of staff have been dedicated over the past two weeks to supporting families with their IT setups and to access Bayley House online through the website and zoom app. We are confident that all, bar a few, are now connected and able to log in each week.  

 Should anyone still have technical issues we will still have someone available to support you between 10-11 each morning. Please call Jack – 0402 528 229, Jason 9982 1530 (Tues-Fri) or Stanley – 9982 1506. If they are helping someone else, please leave a message with your issue and we’ll call you back as soon as someone is available. 

Technology Equipment 

To assist participants to continue to receive supports during the COVID period, the NDIA has temporarily broadened the flexible approach to the purchase of low-cost Assistive Technology (AT) items. 

Participants may be able to claim items such as smart devices and fitness equipment  If certain conditions are met, any participant can spend up to $1500 on low cost AT items from their existing budget but should not spend more than $750 on electronic devices if required. A systems update will occur on 9 May to ensure this new flexibility is available to all participants (even when they currently do not have funding in their core budget for consumables). 

This increased flexibility will be in place until September 2020. Participants and providers are urged to read the NDIA’s advice carefully to understand the parameters of this new, temporary, flexibility. 

The Future 

Whilst we would certainly never have chosen to experience a pandemic, it is undoubtedly true that we have learned new ways of doing things and we have gained insights into our clients’ needs and capabilities, which we otherwise may not have experienced.  We want to ensure that these gains are not lost and in fact that they inform the way we work in the future in some instances at least.  Already we are beginning to plan for what a return to ‘normal’ may look like.  We anticipate that restrictions will be eased slowly, and we want to be ready for that as soon as the Government announces those changes. 

As a preliminary to easing restrictions the Federal  Government last week released the COVIDSAFE app for smartphones.  There are differing views as to whether this app will make a practical difference, as well as any real or perceived potential breaches of privacy and security.  It is not my place to suggest whether you should or should not download the app but I do urge you to ensure that you are at least well informed about the app and give the matter serious consideration.  We are all acutely aware of the impact of social isolation on individuals as well as our society’s economy and we are keen to be able to return to direct support as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so. 

Accommodation Funding Update 

Another key part of our forward planning is accommodation options for many of our clients.  SDA and SIL funding through NDIS packages can bring a whole range of options into play, but it is a complex area with risk as well as opportunity.  Bayley House has a wealth of experience in supported accommodation and we are keen to assist clients and families make the most of their options.  Janet Batey, GM Accommodation Options has recently communicated with families and I encourage you to familiarise yourself with her message and to make contact with Janet if you want more information or to be involved. 

NDIS Price Guide Updates 

As you may be aware, indexed prices due to Covid-19 have changed recently. Bayley House will commence claiming the new rate as per the Price Guide issued on 25/03/2020. For more information about NDIS price changes, short notice cancellations, and core funding for Support Coordination, please click here  

Please also be aware that the NDIS are triggering plan reviews when packages reach 90% capacity. Please work with the NDIS to ensure you have enough money in your package to cover your supports and remember to contact Bayley House as soon as the NDIA contacts you to review your package of supports. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House

April 24

Thank you for coming with us on this journey of discovery in recent weeks as we have worked hard to bring a range of supports and activities to clients and families in a ‘remote’ fashion.  We launched Bayley House Live immediately after we had to close Middle Crescent groups due to COVID-19 restrictions and our offerings have evolved in diversity and complexity since then.  This week we plunged full tilt into Bayley House Online with a timetable of activities across the whole week and many clients logging in to their chosen group or 1:1 support. 

Bayley House Online

As we anticipated there have been many challenges throughout the week but feedback from clients, families and indeed staff has been consistently positive and constructive.  It has been a steep learning curve for everyone and, taking into account all your feedback we will improve the online service to suit the needs of our clients. 

Reduced online hours from next week

One important change will be that sessions will reduce in length from three hours to two hours.   

This change was a result of feedback from clients, families, and staff that the current sessions were too long and it was difficult to maintain client focus.  It is interesting that across our whole nation people are coming to terms with working remotely/working from home and that to our surprise this work seems remarkably tiring.  No doubt sociologists will study this phenomenon and in years to come there will be well-evidenced reports on it.

Thank you

I do want to take this opportunity to thank my staff team for the super-human effort they have made to get us to this point.  I know that Bayley House staff would move heaven and earth to support each and every one of our clients and the last few weeks have been a very clear example of that.  But good endeavours should not be taken for granted and I know you too will join me in acknowledging the incredible contribution made by the team to bring these new services to you.  My thanks to you also for your patience and your creativity.  Between us, we are achieving something great out of a very challenging circumstance. 

NDIS Plans coming up 

Finally, on a very different topic, several clients/families are having NDIS review meetings.  When this happens it is really important that Bayley House is advised so that we have the opportunity to liaise with you around what activities you seek to have funded, and so that we can prepare a quote for the meeting.  Without this, there is a very real risk that packages may be approved by the NDIA which do not meet the participant’s needs and/or do not have sufficient funds for Bayley House to deliver the service.  Please let us know as soon as you can that the NDIA has been in touch to review your package of support. 

April 19

Another busy but constructive week in what is now beginning to feel scarily like the new ‘business as usual’. Already it is hard to believe that only a month ago we had barely heard of social distancing yet now we subconsciously move to one side as we pass someone on the footpath and are somewhat surprised if those little 1.5m separated marks are NOT on the floor or footpath to show us where to queue!

As a community, we adapt quickly once we understand the need and perhaps therein lies the key to Australia’s relative success in managing this challenge; early action and consistent messaging (mostly). In our own Bayley House community though, we understand that many of our clients find adapting to change very challenging indeed. We understand that consistency and predictability are characteristics that are key to our clients’ quality of life and that is why we have worked so hard these last few weeks to bring Bayley House to you. Starting with Bayley House Live Facebook Group in week 1 of Stage 3 restrictions, followed by a range of zoom and Skype and Facetime sessions our staff have engaged with clients at home in activities as diverse as community singing and aerobics. And this week another step forward, clients completing their Certificate 1 course have now successfully participated in live online training through Bayley House Online!

Thank you for the positive feedback we have already received. This will encourage us next week as we roll out a full array of online and remotely delivered ‘group activities’ to almost 100 clients. Thanks also to our training partners AST who have been supportive and flexible in helping us get to this point.

On an entirely different note, we recently discovered that we had incorrectly paid overtime for a small number of our residential staff. True to Bayley House values and culture though, we have investigated the issue, advised our staff and the Fair Work Ombudsman, and have commenced works to remediate this for impacted staff.

As ever Bayley House is working to support our community, seeking to find new and innovative ways to ensure that the quality of life of all our clients remains high and that families have the resources they need to get through this challenge. We are conscious that, whilst restrictions will be eased in time, COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on our society. Bayley House is planning for the future. We are working to support you next week, next month, and indeed next year.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

April 12

Thanks for your patience these last two weeks as we have focused on how we can best manage to continue supporting our clients and families whilst Stage 3 restrictions remain in place. It will come as no surprise to you that we are unable to reopen Day Service activities at Middle Crescent next week. Indeed we anticipate that situation will remain unchanged for at least Term 2.

I am, however, delighted and relieved to be able to confirm that Bayley House is eligible for the Commonwealth Government JobKeeper subsidy which was announced last week and that the Bayley House Board approved a package of support which will enable our staff to remain employed and hard at work developing and delivering a range of online support services and activities for clients at home as well as in our residential support settings.

Bayley House Chair of the Board, John Ashby commented, “It is a great relief that our staff can continue to support Bayley House clients whilst they remain at home due to Stage 3 restrictions. We are investing in a range of online technology and staff training to make this happen in the shortest possible timeframe. The Board appreciates the hard work of staff to continue supporting clients and families throughout this challenging time”.

Natarsha and her team will be in regular contact with families next week as we progressively roll out our online options and activities.  Feedback to Bayley House Live has been very positive and we are learning each day as we develop our ability to offer more activities through an online platform. Please understand that we are learning as we go; there may be some challenges but there will also be exciting achievements.

Thank you once again for your support of Bayley House. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you once more that, to date, no Bayley House clients or staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

We wish you all a happy and healthy Easter and Passover.


April 7

Video Transcript

Thanks everyone for your response to our survey of families which is helping us to plan alternative activities and supports for the coming weeks and months as we try to find ways to support you whilst we comply with stage three coronavirus restrictions.

We’ve received a few questions from families as to where the Bailey House Day Services will be open for Easter for term two. I’d like to take this opportunity to clear this up by confirming that the government restrictions in place mean that we are unable to provide Day Service activities for clients at any of the bailey house premises until further notice Middle Crescent will not be open for business next week or indeed for some considerable time given the projected time span of the response, however, we will be delivering an increasing range of day support services online as mentioned in my recent CEO update sent yesterday.

We do understand that remote and virtual services would only be of benefit to some of our clients and we’re trying to find ways other ways to support clients and families for whom this is not an option. We are diligently checking in with all families regularly and working on way to support you wherever we can we appreciate that this is not always possible given the government restrictions to enforce social distancing.

We will continue to support you all in whatever ways we can so everyone please take care and stay safe.

April 6

Your ongoing support for Bayley House is appreciated as we endeavour to navigate these uniquely challenging times.  As ever, we have our clients’ interests and needs at the forefront of all our thinking and planning. We will continue to provide information and support as the weeks and months of this crisis unfold.

SURVEY

Firstly, thank you to those of you who responded to our recent survey regarding the delivery of day service programs while you remain in isolation. For those who have not completed the survey, you will need to do so before 5pm Wednesday 8 April so that we are able to provide those services to you after Easter. SURVEY: Click here to tell us what you want next semester

FACEBOOK LIVE

We have had an overwhelming response to our Bayley House Facebook Group which launched 24 March to keep you all entertained during the holidays. We will continue to keep this channel open for our community to share isolation ideas and pictures.

DAY SERVICES ONLINE – Semester Two

From your survey responses, it is clear that many families are excited about Bayley House Online starting up soon. This is where we will continue to deliver many of the group activities you would normally enjoy at Bayley House but online through our website (using Zoom). We are still in the process of setting this up and testing it before we launch it after Easter. If you have not done so already through the survey, please notify us if you want to modify your Day Support services in Semester Two otherwise we will assume you are keen to keep the same activities (where possible).

Here’s how it will work:

Those of you who agreed in the survey to maintain your day service program for semester two will continue to be billed for the service but at reduced hours
You will be booked into the same activity days that you had in Semester One unless we hear from you
Reduced contact hours – instead of 6 hours a day we will be offering reduced hours to suit the delivery of online activities. For example, activities may run one hour on and one hour off throughout the day to help maintain interest and engagement, totalling 3 to 4 contact hours
We will assist you to log in at the appropriate time to join the small group online and encourage you to interact with the Bayley House Support Worker and other clients as you did previously
We will continue to adopt the Person-Centered Active Support principals that drive everything we do and ensure the focus remains on the potential that every support moment presents.

FEES

We have had a few queries about out-of-pocket expenses and transport fees. Please note that these are calculated on an annual basis and distributed across 26 fortnightly payments. This means that the fees are calculated only for the weeks for which day service operate but are spread across the entire year to make payments easier for families. You are not billed for services you are not receiving.

As I am sure you are aware from previous updates, we have brought the July term break forward to March/April to help manage our response to the coronavirus crisis and enable us to plan for service delivery during Semester Two. The service is not closed, simply on term break and staff are on leave. However, once the break concludes after Easter and center-based group activities do not return, transport fees and out-of-pocket expenses will not be invoiced.  I appreciate this is a complex issue and I hope this clarifies it satisfactorily. If you have any further questions please email us here and we will respond to you directly.

ACCOMMODATION

If your loved one is living in an external residence their day program funding may already be utilised in providing in-home support and they may not have any left for the online activities mentioned above. Please contact us to find out if this applies to you.

ACCESS TO ACCOMMODATION RESIDENCES

All our residential support services are now ‘locked down’ and have been for some weeks.  We took this action, consistent with Government direction, to limit the risk to residents.  Logistically this is also a means by which we hope to limit the demand on our resources in the event that a resident or staff member does test positive for Coronavirus.  Almost all families, despite the challenge of these necessary restrictions, have responded positively and supportively for which we are grateful.  Regrettably, a small number continue to put residents and staff at risk by repeated demands for access to properties. I have asked Janet Batey, General Manager Accommodation Options, to take this issue up with those involved and I know you will understand that if a change in approach is not forthcoming we will have no option but to restrict access entirely.

I thank you for your support and confirm that Bayley House remains absolutely committed to continuing to provide a wide range of activities and support options for clients and families over the coming weeks. These are challenging times, to say the least, and our primary responsibility, of course, is to the health and wellbeing of clients, families, and staff.


MARCH 22

Following the announcement today by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to implement a ‘shutdown of all non-essential services’ (including schools) our leadership team has met and, following consultation with Board Chair, has decided that –

  • Group activities will cease effective at the close of business Monday, 23 March 2020
  • We are actively exploring creative means to continue providing support and activities to clients and families in other ways; remote engagement, online activities, 1:1 in some cases and we will be in touch with families to advise of these opportunities as they become available
  • We are awaiting further confirmation from official sources as to whether or not our residential services are formally constituted as essential services but are acting on the assumption that they are. On that basis, our residential services will continue with restrictions in place as outlined in my update of 20/3/20
  • Bayley House counseling service will remain operating over Skype and families should make contact if they wish to utilise this service while day programs are closed
  • The status of our Short Stay service is unclear at this time and we will communicate directly with users of this service as soon as we are able.

I thank you for your support and confirm that Bayley House remains absolutely committed to continuing to provide a wide range of activities and support options for clients and families over the coming weeks. These are challenging times, to say the least, and our primary responsibility, of course, is to the health and wellbeing of clients, families, and staff. Rest assured that we will be back with you with a full range of services as soon as we are able to do so.


MARCH 20

The advice from the Health Department has remained largely unchanged. On 18 March 2020, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, announced new measures to protect Australians from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
These include:

At this time, may I remind you that we have no notification of any clients, staff or families who have tested positive for COVID-19. In the event we receive a concerning notification, we will be in contact with DHHS as advised and communicate accordingly with families.

Although the current advice indicates we will remain open, we have been working on arrangements for providing support remotely in the event of a closure. In the meantime, we respect families’ decisions regarding self-isolation, and again I would like to thank everyone for the positive communication with Bayley House. When recording an absence please provide some indication for the reason for the absence. We need to ensure that all absences are accounted for and will be recording them as COVID-19 if appropriate (even if the absence is for precautionary measures).

With consideration of the latest advice to disability services, we have been reviewing all activities for which the organisation has financial commitments. We are not paying further deposits or instalments and we are not making bookings for activities that may result in a financial loss for the organisation.  I have been actively working with our local MP Tim Wilson as well as the Minister for the NDIS’ office regarding the need for the Commonwealth and the NDIA to support disability service providers through this challenging issue as we try to support clients and families.  I am encouraged by the announcement following yesterday’s COAG meeting which promised additional support for the sector and looks forward to seeing the detail.

Our Board, in coordination with our leadership team, has been working daily on a fluid response plan to the virus and the proposed actions will be shared with you in regular CEO updates such as this, currently distributed on a weekly basis.
Day Services

Please remember for the safety of our clients, some of whom are extremely vulnerable, that the following measures are in place

  • All visits to Bayley House facilities have been restricted to essential only. This includes deliveries from suppliers, staff, friends, and families
  • We have adopted a zero-tolerance to any visitors who present with cold or flu-like symptoms. We simply cannot risk the health and safety of our community

Residential Facilities

  • We are working to roster individual staff to each house to prevent staff from working across multiple houses, effective immediately
  • We have worked with clients and staff in education regarding the Coronavirus and hygiene prevention strategies
  • We have upgraded restrictions to visitors as follows:

Entry to our Homes effective today Friday 20 March 2020

  • For the safety of residents and employees and on the advice of the health authorities access is now available for essential visitors only
  • Visits will be limited to each resident’s authorised representative or their nominee (two people maximum at any given time)
  • Visits to houses will be restricted to specified times which will be advised separately
  • Travel outside of the house for residents will be restricted to essential appointments only and preferably accompanied only by staff
  • If this is not possible, residents need to be returned directly to the house without attending any other location
  • Families may, of course, choose to have their loved one return to live with the family.  If this is their choice returning to the house will not be possible until the situation clarifies and will be at Bayley House’ discretion
  • We ask you to stay away if you have come in contact with someone who has contracted the Coronavirus, traveled overseas or have felt unwell during the past 14 days

Visitors will be required to

  • Visit only with prior arrangement with staff
  • Follow the designated sign-in procedure and check in with reception staff prior to entry
  • Adhere to our infection prevention and control procedures and practice social distancing (1.5m apart)
  • Only visit your loved one in whatever is the identified physical space within (or outside) the house
  • Enter and leave directly without spending time in the communal areas or interacting with other residents or staff

We absolutely understand that these procedures are confronting and challenging. We thank you for your support and understanding in helping us keep all our residents safe and calm during these difficult times.  Equally please understand that these actions are entirely consistent with Commonwealth guidelines and health authority recommendations and they will be enforced.  Any family members who breach these procedures will be unable to visit for the foreseeable future.


MARCH 16

There are now over 70 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria and growing. Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has declared a state of emergency in Victoria, effective from today for four weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. At the present time, there remains only one confirmed case in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.

Please let me reassure you that there is still no evidence of a known threat to Bayley House clients, staff or activities.

We continue to monitor the information and advice provided by the World Health Organisation, Commonwealth Department of Health, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Disability Services (NDS), the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NIDS), various Melbourne Disability Service providers and other sources.

Our dedicated crisis committee has been working closely with me to develop the next stage of our prevention action plan with the following updates to services:

  • All community-based activities will be put on hold until further notice. Those who can, will be redirected to center-based activities to join appropriate groups
  • Some select groups will be given the opportunity to utilise our new Hampton facility to further develop skills in existing programs
  • We are limiting visits to day service and residentials to essential only
  • We will do our best to maintain continuity of service where we can but with the potential of schools closing and staff self-quarantining, we may be required to re-deploy community-based staff to the center and to any residence in need of support
  • As a result of food shortages and issues with hygiene controls, we will be canceling all cooking activities and replacing them with other center-based activities of interest
  • We are compiling a registry of people with compromised immune systems and will continue to monitor their health, activities and social contacts on an individual basis.

Closure

  • We have no plan to close at this stage. However, we are monitoring three key indicators closely; 1. the advice of the expert bodies, 2. the potential shutdown of schools surrounding Bayley House and 3. the unfortunate event that a staff member or client of Bayley House is diagnosed with the Coronavirus
  • We also are working on a plan to use remote IT services to enable all corporate services staff to work from home if required.
    Other measures already implemented
  • Bayley House Staff have been asked to monitor their health and hygiene closely and self-quarantine if necessary, we ask that families do the same and minimise visits to the center where possible
  • We have a register of all clients and staff in regards to overseas travel and, where required, will monitor each individual’s health status while in quarantine
  • We have been running workshops with the clients around hygiene and handwashing utilising available easy-read resources and signage
  • The facilities have a good supply of antibacterial gel and wipes for regular use
  • We have contracted our cleaning company to provide an extra shift each day cleaning the bathrooms and common area surfaces.
    Further information will be provided soon. Thank you for your understanding and support in the matter.


MARCH 11

There are now over 109,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, with at least 112 in Australia including 15 in Victoria. However, I do want to reiterate once more that there is no evidence of a known threat to Bayley House clients, staff or activities and we continue to monitor major sources to ensure Bayley House follows best practices in prevention and preparation.

According to the Department of Health, the Australian Government considers the following countries to be at higher risk for COVID-19:

  • Mainland China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Republic of Korea

The Australian Government considers the following countries to be at moderate risk for COVID-19:

  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

Bayley House is maintaining a registry of staff and clients who have informed us of their recent or pending travels and we will continue to monitor and support people through their safe return to our facilities.

If you have recently traveled to any of the above countries or are in contact with people who have recently returned, we ask that you notify us immediately and if required, isolate yourself for 14 days and seek medical advice prior to returning to Bayley House. We also ask that if you or your loved ones are feeling unwell and suffering flu-like symptoms to please follow the Australian Government’s advice and seek medical advice immediately.
Please help minimise the level of client anxiety by discussing the risks calmly and openly with your loved ones.

For more information about the virus, please visit what you need to know at the Department of Health website. Australians traveling overseas are encouraged to regularly review the Smartraveller website

Thank you for your understanding and support in the matter.


MARCH 06

We are aware that many of you are concerned about Bayley Houses’ preparations for a possible outbreak of the Coronavirus in Australia.

I want to reassure you again with this update that whilst there is no evidence of a known threat to Bayley House clients, staff or activities, we are following best practices to plan for the future and to prepare for all possible eventualities.

For your information, the following outlines specifics in stage one of our prevention action plan.

For Clients

  • We are engaging a professional to run a workshop with the clients around hygiene and hand washing
  • All bathrooms have signage to prompt clients to wash and dry their hands and staff are prompting everyone to wash hands prior to eating
  • All rooms have a supply of antibacterial gel for all to use
  • All computer devices will be supplied with anti-bacterial wipes to clean prior to use
  • We have contracted our cleaning company to provide an extra shift each day in the Day Program area to assist with cleaning the bathrooms and common area surfaces.
  • We will support to communicate clearly and early should they feel unwell.
  • We will closely monitor any clients who may be traveling overseas.

For staff

  • We will issue all staff with access to complete the Disability Services Consulting training module to ‘Supporting People to Stay Infection Free’ more information here.
  • We will work with house and transport staff to identify symptoms of any illness early and avoid accepting individuals into the Day Program area who are unwell
  • We will closely monitor any staff who may be traveling overseas.

For Families

  • We ask that you support us in keeping clients healthy and safe by informing us of any current signs of illness and any future travel plans
  • We ask that you support us in maintaining the level of client anxiety by discussing the risks calmly and openly with your loved ones.

Thank you for your understanding and support in the matter, we are implementing all of the above and currently working on stage 2 action plan, should the virus present in Melbourne and will keep you informed.

Coronavirus (COVID19) Information

About the Coronavius

How to self isolate 

The importance of soicial distancing and isolation

Helping someone with intellectual disability during COVID-19

How to cope with the stress related to Coronavirus

Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

How to protect yourself and others

Practical strategies and ideas for Participants and Families

Disability Support workers and the Coronavirus
Coronavirus explained in easy english