Action plan to improve care for kuia, kaumātua in aged residential care

By Jessica Tyson

The Ministry of Health has released an action plan to address concerns and improve care for people living in aged residential care facilities.

It says that given both the New Zealand and international experience, the consequences can be deadly if Covid-19 gains a foothold in aged residential care facilities.

Some 16 of New Zealand's 22 Covid-19-related deaths occurred in aged residential care facilities.

It says there is a need for continued vigilance as Covid-19 continues to spread in other parts of the world.

Specific actions in the plan include the development of a National Outbreak Management Policy as well as a Pandemic Management Workbook.

The actions were made following recommendations made in the Independent Review of Covid-19 Clusters in Aged Residential Care (ARC) Facilities report.

In April, health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield commissioned the independent review into New Zealand’s ARC facilities to understand what was going well and what could be improved.

Action plan progress will be published on the ministry’s website.