Brightwater Care Group has just completed 5-weeks of specialised training with over 65 staff, who form part of a new ‘surge team’ that can be deployed at any one of their 23 WA-sites in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Brightwater CEO, Jennifer Lawrence, said the Surge Team was the important next step in Brightwater’s pandemic response.
“For the last 8 months we have continued to refine our pandemic response and preparations. The Surge Team is an important next step in the plan.
“We know from watching outbreaks in other states that residential facilities could be sending whole teams of staff home in the event of an outbreak.
“Our employees are amazing and they know our systems and most importantly they know our clients, so for us it was essential we could send it our own staff to a site when needed.”
Ms Lawrence said the Surge Team has had training on above the training that all staff have been receiving over the last 8 months.
“As part of our pandemic response, we have had all of our staff training regularly in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donning and doffing, increased infection control and we have been running COVID-19 outbreak exercises at each of our residential sites,” she said.
“The Surge Team has received further specialised training, including crisis management and leadership training, extensive clinical training and also training in live outbreak exercises with actors to put their learnings into practice.”
“We have engaged five other organisations to help deliver the Surge Team training: Mettle, Global Crisis Leaders who have been working with the Brightwater Pandemic Response team since the beginning of the pandemic; Verasion, a Leadership Coaching organisation, providing invaluable leadership skills for use in a crisis; Amana Living, an Aged Care and Registered Training Organisation, delivering further clinical training; Bethanie, Aged Care providers who have created outbreak
exercise materials based on their training for their ‘Super Six”, who went to Melbourne to assist aged care facilities at the height of the outbreak in Victoria; and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts – who provided acting students to enact scenarios on the final day of training.”
Ms Lawrence added that she was exceptionally proud of the 65 staff who had volunteered to be part of the Surge Team and that there were plans to expand the team with more training in 2021.