Setting an example

By Benalla Ensign

The Estia Health board members rolled up their sleeves this week for an influenza vaccination in a show of support for the Federal Government’s decision to mandate aged-care providers offer the vaccine to all workers.

Estia employs more than 7000 staff across the country, including those working at their Benalla site, and now they are due to follow.

Estia chief nursing officer Maryann Curry said vaccinating staff was vitally important to protect aged-care workers as well as those in their care who were a high-risk group for contracting the virus.

‘‘Estia has an existing influenza vaccination program for staff, as well as residents,’’ Ms Curry said.

‘‘The government’s decision to mandate aged-care providers to offer vaccinations for all staff will help us send the message that everyone has a responsibility to... protect the elderly from this virus that can have devastating consequences.

‘‘Members of the Estia Board, executive, and leadership team have been vaccinated this week, setting an example for all staff.

‘‘This program is important for everyone at Estia involved in the provision of care to our residents.

‘‘We are taking a number of steps to try and maximise participation — offering free in-house vaccinations or vouchers staff can take to a local chemist for their vaccination, as well as promoting the program and ensuring staff have the facts to support the take-up.’’

Ms Curry said the staff and resident vaccination program had already started across Estia’s 68 homes and would continue during the coming months.

She said vaccination programs needed to be supported by evidence-based clinical protocols, which meant having a robust influenza control plan, with clear management practices and procedures, in place.