Providing support to those who need it most

Providing support to those who need it most

24 February, 2022

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network has been assisting its 160 Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) with their COVID-19 response over the course of the last two years. During this time, we have been able to provide reassurance, support, guidance and local solutions to queries and concerns through direct outreach and our communications channels.

One of those channels is the RACF email support inbox which has been insightful in understanding what the RACFs are experiencing during the COVID pandemic. By listening and talking through the issues at hand, we’ve been engaged with the daily challenges that aged care facilities face, including providing support and assistance with outbreak management as well as connecting them with them with the appropriate channels for guidance on the public health steps to take. An important result of this engagement has been to inform our advocacy to the Department about ongoing needs for aged care facilities

EMPHN has built strong relationships with RACF Managers, Lead Nurses and Clinical Workers to ensure they are familiar with the role of the PHN and feel supported. “The RACF Support Team at EMPHN provide very helpful information and supportive. Thank you!” said one Centre Manager.

While communicating with facilities, EMPHN confirmed the numbers of staff and residents who required follow up vaccinations. As a result, tailored solutions were developed to facilitate countless local booster clinics, including in-reach, local initiatives and opportunities to connect with primary care. Twenty per cent of our facilities utilised our Vulnerable Communities Vaccination Program where a clinician directly attends the centre to administer booster shots. To date, at least 10,478 RACF residents out of the 12,533 residents in our catchment have received a booster vaccination. We continue to follow up with the RACFs where there are 2,055 residents yet to receive a booster.

“The facilitation and support from EMPHN was fantastic. We are so appreciative to be connected to a vaccination provider and that our residents were to receive their booster on time,” said a RACF facility manager.

EMPHN is focused on providing support and advocating for older people's health and wellbeing as we work to improve access to high quality primary healthcare for both residents of residential aged care facilities and those living in the community.

If your RACF facility is wanting to connect with our RACF team, they can be reached at