FOLLOWING the recent coronarivus outbreak at Kirrak House, which was successfully contained by the team, and heeding advice from state and federal health departments, Bass Coast Health (BCH) continues preparations to protect staff, patients and the wider community.

This planning includes maintaining additional services to provide COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care spaces, and requires a specific focus on strengthening resourcing, should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur locally.

A recruitment campaign has been launched to strengthen the local nursing workforce, with a focus on increasing nursing availability across the hospital and community teams.

“The recruitment drive in March/April was very successful and since then we have expanded our testing clinics, opened another ward and increased our community nursing services,” Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said.

“We have also expanded our residential in reach team to provide extra support to local aged care facilities across Bass Coast and at Koo Wee Rup.”

Experiences at other health services have demonstrated it only requires a very small number of staff to acquire the COVID-19 virus to have a major impact on rostering and service provision. This is due to all close contacts needing to quarantine for 14 days.

“We absolutely want to avoid a situation of closing wards or reducing services, as has had to occur in other health services, hence another reason to focus on growing our workforce,” Ms Child said.

Bass Coast Health offers excellent training and orientation opportunities that ensure people stay safe, along with longer term educational opportunities.

“We have a great team that ensures any new staff join a friendly, welcoming and supportive environment and we are keen to welcome people with new skills and experience,” the health service said.