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COVID-19

COVID-19 Updates

The following updates have been sent to all Onemda families and carers regarding our services and safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

12/11/2020

 

Dear Families & Carers,

 

Keeping our community safe

As Victoria experiences the easing of restrictions, I want to acknowledge each and every one of our valued participants and their families and carers for your commitment to ensuring we have been able to keep Onemda safe throughout the year. This has been a herculean effort by all involved, and through a joint approach, we have been able to maintain essential services during 2020. I know this has been so important for many of you. Although all Victorians are feeling a sense of relief and are looking forward to getting back to some resemblance of normal life, I do urge you all to remain vigilant in your safe hygiene and social distancing practices, to ensure we continue to keep all Onemda environments as safe as possible. 

 

As demand for services slowly increases, the team are working hard to step up our education and awareness for returning participants, families and carers to ensure they are all familiar and abiding by our stringent hygiene and social distancing practices. Please refer to our ‘Staying Safe During COVID 19’ information and info-graphic poster for further information here

 

Onemda’s COVID Contingency Committee who meet weekly has been responsible for safely guiding Onemda services throughout this pandemic, along with ensuring compliance with directives from the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee continues to closely monitor and respond to, if deemed safe, any changes to our current operating practices as restrictions begin to ease.     

 

In relation to this and in line with recent updates to pool access and carer support guidelines released by DHHS, we are pleased to announce that the hydrotherapy pool at our Doncaster East campus will be resuming operations in the coming weeks. We understand that this is an important service for many participants, and the therapy team are now scheduling hydrotherapy sessions for participants. Anyone who is interested in resuming or trialling hydrotherapy is encouraged to contact our therapy team on 9842 1955, if you have not already been contacted.   

 

2021 Intake

Planning is well underway for our intake for 2021 with a higher than usual demand for Onemda services from school leavers due to our ability to continue services throughout the year when most other providers have not. The services team are ensuring that our Group Learning & Support pods continue to maintain a high vigilance on safe hygiene and social distancing to meet this increased demand. 

 

In September, Knoxbrooke Disability Services, which operates in the outer eastern suburbs, announced the imminent closure of their group day programs. Since then, Onemda has received a number of enquiries from ex-Knoxbrooke families and carers urgently seeking services. Fortunately, a number of ex-staff have also expressed an interest in joining the Onemda team, which has been invaluable in assisting us in providing a smooth transition for these participants. 

 

Farewell Ken Wallis 

After serving out two stints of 20 years+ of service to Onemda, we finally farewell Ken Wallis for the last time. Ken commenced working at Onemda in 1979 in our maintenance area and retired from his main duties in the late 1990’s. He then returned in a part-time capacity supporting his son Dennis in maintaining our beautiful grounds and facilities until this day. During his time at Onemda, Ken has forged many amazing relationships with our participants and staff. Ken is the epitome of Onemda’s unique and highly envied culture, and on behalf of the entire Onemda community, we wish Ken every success with his ‘final’ retirement. 

End of year celebrations

We are anticipating that restrictions of some nature will be in place as we near the end of the year, which may disrupt our usual end of year celebrations. We will monitor these developments closely and notify all families and carers of any changes in the coming weeks.

 

In the meantime, keep yourselves connected and safe.

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

02/09/2020

 

Dear Families & Carers,

 

Keeping our community safe

The collective effort to date in keeping the Onemda community safe has been enormous and we thank each and every individual for their ongoing support. Although this has not been easy, in particular with the introduction of face masks, we greatly appreciate all the effort everyone has made during the year. Whilst we look forward to the possibility of Stage 4 Restrictions being relaxed, it is important that we maintain our vigilance and continue to do our part.

 

In an effort to help keep this focus, we have released a ‘Staying Safe During COVID’ infographic poster. This is an easy-read reminder to all participants, staff, families and carers of simple daily hygiene practices that ensure we all continue to keep the Onemda community safe. The posters also make an excellent training tool to support the education of our participants about safe hygiene practices. 

Please find a copy for you to display at home as a reminder here.

 

Centre Closure Dates

AFL Grand Final Eve Public Holiday – date to be confirmed

As indicated by the State government, the AFL Grand Final Eve public holiday, which was planned for Friday the 25th of September, will now be rescheduled to October. This means Onemda will remain open on this day with all modified services operating as usual. As soon as the alternative date is announced, we will notify all families and carers of the new closure day. 

 

Melbourne Cup Eve – Monday 2nd November 2020 – open for services

It is important now more than ever to ensure families and carers have access to the essential service options they need. As such, we would like to remind you that this year our services will be open on Melbourne Cup Eve. 

In the coming weeks we will also circulate our service closure dates for 2021.

 

Annual General Meeting

Due to the uncertainty on gathering numbers and in the best interest of the safety of the Onemda community, this year’s AGM is scheduled for Wednesday the 14th of October 2020 and will be held remotely via virtual technology. All guests will still have the opportunity to attend and participate in the meeting, however we will all need to do this from the safety of our computers.  

Invitations and details on how to access the AGM will be sent out shortly.

 

In the meantime, keep yourselves active, connected and safe.

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

04/08/20

 

Dear Families & Carers,

 

Further to yesterday’s communication, the Victorian Government has released more information regarding eligible industries who can provide on-site activities during Stage 4 Restrictions.  It is our understanding that Onemda is eligible to continue to deliver our on-site services.

 

We understand that as an essential community-based disability service, we fall under the industry category Health Care and Social Assistance (to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people) and are therefore eligible to maintain essential on-site services.  This means that you will be eligible to travel outside your 5km radius to access an essential care service.

 

We will continue to monitor advice channels for any changes to our ability to continue to deliver on-site activities and or any updates to the Department of Health and Human Services, COVID-19 Disability Services Sector Plan. 

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at onemda@onemda.com.au 

 

Warm Regards, 

Simon Lewis 

CEO

 

 

03/08/2020

 

Dear Families and Carers,

 

As per yesterday’s government announcement, Melbourne will move into Stage 4 Restrictions from 11:59pm Wednesday 5th August 2020 for 6 weeks.

 

We wish to reassure you that as an essential service, Onemda will continue to operate and service our participants in a modified format, unless other advised by DHHS.  In order to access our services, it is important to note that you can travel outside of your 5km radius to attend an essential care service.

 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have worked rigorously to implement strict operating procedures and hygiene practices to deliver services safely. This includes:

  • Wearing of face masks for staff and encouraging participants to do so
  • Strict hygiene practices
  • Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces
  • Access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Ongoing hygiene and social distancing education for participants
  • Mandatory temperature checks on arrival for all participants and staff
  • Daily health screening
  • The development of ‘pods’ for service delivery, which remain completely separate from each other
  • Adhering to social distancing requirements
  • Continuing to explore additional operating spaces to allow us to accommodate any DHHS imposed changes to maximum group numbers

We will continue to monitor the advice channels regarding our operations and will keep you up to date with any changes.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please email us at onemda@onemda.com.au

Warm Regards,

Simon Lewis

CEO

 

 

20/07/2020

 

Dear Families and Carers,

 

As of 11:59pm Wednesday the 22nd of July, the wearing of face masks are mandatory for residents living in the Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire regions when leaving your homes.

 

Onemda would like to re-assure that our staff are already in the practice of wearing face masks and PPE, and continue to diligently maintain high standards of hygiene control and social distancing for our participants.

 

In regards to participants wearing face masks, Onemda recommends that if any participant is able to wear a mask when attending any of our services, they should do so. This can be either be a disposable surgical grade or cloth mask (recommended).  If this is not practical, then some form of a scarf or bandana can also be worn.

 

We understand that in many cases this may not be practical and may cause distress or even place the person at risk. For this reason we will not be enforcing that participants must wear a mask. This is further supported by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, where he outlined that there are exemptions to the mandatory wearing of masks which includes persons with breathing difficulties, medical or physical limitations.

 

For health and safety reasons along with compromised supplies, we request participants who are able to wear a mask to supply their own.   

 

In the meantime, staff have been encouraged to continue to maintain education programs around safe hygiene practices and social distancing, and from this week, they will introduce the wearing of masks to this program. The program focuses on taking a non-threatening, interactive and fun approach to maximise understanding and impact for participants.

 

Finally, to assist with the safe and orderly arrival to Onemda campuses, we emphasise that all parents and carers are to keep participants in their vehicles until a staff member has conducted a temperature check. Your patience and cooperation with this is vitally important to ensuring social distancing is maintained at campus entrances.  

 

For further information on face masks and other useful tips, please go to;

 

  • DHHS – What are the different types of face masks and which one should I use
  • DHHS – How to make a cloth face mask
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Looking after yourself if you are a person with a disability – Easy English

 

Please keep safe and connected.

 

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis 

Chief Executive Officer

 

07/07/2020

 

Dear Families & Carers

 

As highlighted in today’s Victorian Government announcement, the Melbourne Metropolitan area will return to Stage 3 restrictions, commencing from 11:59PM Wednesday 8th July. While we understand this may increase concerns for our families and participants, we would like to reassure you that as an essential service, and much like the provisions made for Special Schools, Onemda will continue to operate. At this point in time we have no reservations in remaining open and operational under modified conditions and in line with the DHHS COVID-19 guidelines.

 

Strict Operating Procedures

Onemda has worked rigorously since the COVID-19 outbreak to implement all necessary operating practices to safely deliver services. This includes:

  • Strict hygiene practices
  • Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces (3x daily)
  • Access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Hand sanitising stations across all campus sites
  • Ongoing hygiene and social distancing education for participants
  • Mandatory temperature checks on arrival for all participants, staff, contractors and ALL visitors
  • Daily health screening
  • Operating in designated ‘pods’ for service delivery, which remain completely separate from each other
  • Adhering to social distancing requirements
  • Continuing to explore additional operating spaces to allow us to accommodate any DHHS imposed changes to maximum group numbers

 

Supporting the safety of our participants

As always, the safety and wellbeing of our participants must be our first priority. Onemda has conducted a Risk Assessment for each individual who attends Onemda to ensure that we can deliver services safely and effectively.

 

If you are receiving services via telehealth or digital technology, we will continue to provide this support as per your current arrangement.

 

Onemda continues to thank you all for your patience and understanding during these unusual and challenging times and remains committed to supporting you and your family as best we can throughout this crisis. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your stream coordinator or email services@onemda.com.au

 

Warm Regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

25/06/2020

 

Dear Families & Carers

 

RE: Glenroy & Brunswick Campus update

 

As highlighted in recent government updates, the Moreland area has been identified as one of Melbourne’s hot spots for a Covid-19 outbreak. While we understand this may increase some anxieties for our families and participants, we would like to assure you that Onemda is continuing to operate under very strict hygiene practices and at this point has no reservations around remaining open and operational under modified conditions at this stage.

 

However, we do understand that you may prefer to limit any community-based interactions and therefore would like to remind you that our flexible service offerings are still available. Please contact your stream coordinator if you are interested in 1:1 In-Home supports or Online programs.

 

Supporting our High Care participants

As always, the safety and wellbeing of our participants must be our first priority. Onemda has conducted a Risk Assessment for each individual who attends Onemda to ensure that we can deliver services safely and effectively. Our Participant Outcome & Review Committee is currently reviewing all risk assessments and aims to be able to support more of you in the coming weeks.

 

Construction Works

The construction team have advised that there is a small delay in completion of the lift works. This has caused frustrations for Onemda, as I am sure it will to the families and participants who are currently unable to access services at Glenroy due to constructions works limiting access to the lower floor. At this stage, we have been advised that lift works will be completed by early August. That said, we will continue to assess the site while construction is in progress and if we can operate programs safely, we will explore the option of opening this space up to some participants prior to August.

 

Community Access

Like many members of the Onemda family, our participants are missing their community-based activities. With the Moreland area being identified as a hot spot area, we will need to delay any plans for re-entering the community at this stage. This will mean that all programs will need to continue to be run onsite where we can ensure appropriate social distancing & control measures are in place, as well as good hygiene practices.

 

Onemda continues to thank you all for your patience and understanding during these unusual and challenging times and remain committed to supporting you and your family as best we can throughout this crisis. If you have any questions about our flexible services or returning to our modified group activities, please direct them to your stream coordinator.

 

Warm Regards,

 

Amy Hogan

Service Operations Manager

 

25/06/2020

 

Dear Families and Carers,

 

Latest Victorian restriction measures

As announced over the weekend by Premier Andrews, government health authorities have identified a number of ‘hot spots’ which are contributing to a spike in COVID 19 cases. One of the local government areas includes Moreland where we have our Glenroy and Brunswick campuses.

 

The program staff are working with families in these areas to ensure our service supports can remain adaptable to the changing environment. This includes maintaining access to on-line and in home support options.

 

Onemda will monitor any developments closely and will respond accordingly as directed by the authorities. In the meantime, we do remind all of our community, that being participants, families, carers and staff to remain vigilant and maintain strict social distancing and hygiene practices at all times. 

 

Community program space

Over the past 3 months, Manningham Council has been extremely accommodating and allowing us to operate from additional program spaces at Ted Ajani Community Centre and MC2. This has been vital to ensure we can provide safe operating spaces for our participants.

 

Unfortunately, as restrictions begin to ease, Council are requiring these spaces to be made available to other community groups. This has meant we have been required to explore alternative operating locations to house some of our Leap and Pathways participants, to help us maintain social distancing in our group pods across our various campuses.

 

The Services team are progressing well in sourcing alternative community locations and will be in contact with affected families once the details have been finalised. 

 

Re-settling of Glenroy participants

As the most disruptive works of the lift installation at our Glenroy campus are now complete, we are now migrating a number of participants back to this campus. Although there will be some disruption for a few more weeks, we envisage this will only be minor.

 

To maintain our group pod isolation, we do require a small number of Glenroy participants to remain at the St Ambrose community centre in Brunswick.

 

Program pods

The Services team have managed to establish over 20 program pods, all operating in isolation from one another, aimed at providing as safest environment as possible. This has enabled us to open up group services to most of our participant cohorts who are seeking this option.

 

Onemda thanks the patience and goodwill of all our families and carers, in particular the ones who have felt this disruption the most.

 

Safe entering and exiting of Onemda campuses

As daily numbers continue to increase, we would like to ensure that all participants who arrive and leave our campuses each day do so in an orderly and safe fashion. This includes;

Not arriving before 9am (unless otherwise organised with the Services team).

If you are going to be late, please phone ahead or upon your arrival and a staff member will come and assist you. 

For attendees at our Doncaster East campus - upon arrival, please wait in your car until a staff member comes to you for temperature checking and screening assessment. Please wait for a parking bay to become available. Temperature checks will only be conducted if cars are parked safely in a parking bay. This is to ensure the safety of both staff and participants.

If families wish to discuss participant issues or pass on information, please do this through the use of communication diaries, phone or email to avoid any unnecessary congestion at campus entries.

As per Onemda’s COVID safe operating procedures, if participants are unwell in any way, then they must stay home.

 

Onemda appreciates your cooperation and patience with this matter.

 

Changes to NDIS Price Guide

The NDIS has released substantial changes to the 2020/21 Price Guide effective from the 1st of July. Disappointingly, the timing of these changes (which requires significant service operating and system reform) is not ideal, given the end of the month is upon us.

 

Furthermore, the Minister for NDIS Stuart Robert, recently announced that the relief measures he put in place (initially to September) to assist the sector to maintain continuity of supports throughout the COVID 19 crisis, will now be wound back to the 1st of July.

 

The disability sector’s peak body, National Disability Services Australia are actively lobbying the Agency on a range of pricing and over-complicated operating rules, to ensure the sector can maintain effective viability and to meet growing demand.  

 

Onemda’s Service Design team are working through these changes and will be in a position to outline how these may affect our participants in the coming weeks.

 

In the meantime, keep well and connected.

 

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis 

Chief Executive Officer

 

12/06/2020

Door-to-Door Services Update

 

Dear Families and Carers,

 

As highlighted in recent communications, Onemda has begun to reintroduce modified group services across our various campuses.  Naturally, we have seen a growing demand from our participants seeking to be reintegrated into groups with their peers. 

 

As a result of this increased demand on group services and staff resources, we have had to reassess our ability to deliver our D2D services safely and effectively.  Unfortunately, due to social distancing restrictions and the associated complexities in delivering the service, Onemda will be unable to deliver its group-based and 1:1 D2D supports as of 22nd June 2020 until further notice.

 

Onemda understands the impact this may have on our participants and families and that this may cause some disruption to your lives.  For this reason, Onemda will be extending its opening hours from 8am-4pm as an interim plan. 

 

Those who are currently receiving D2D services will be contacted directly by one of our Stream Coordinators to discuss your individual support needs and provide any assistance you may need.

 

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but equally thank you for your understanding with this matter and appreciate your patience while we try to manage these challenging circumstances. 

 

Warm Regards,

 

Amy Hogan

Services Operations Manager

 

21/05/2020

Families & Carers Services Update

 

Group Respite Services

Over the past fortnight we have successfully trialled a small number of group services at our main campus sites. These are operated in small group ‘pods’ which are completely separate from one another. This includes a routine team of staff, participants, environments and amenities all operating under strict hygiene protocols.

Over the coming weeks, Onemda will increase group pods to enable us to meet the growing demand for our services. 

High Care and vulnerable cohort

Onemda will maintain a hybrid approach to supporting our high care and vulnerable cohort for the time being, which will include a mix of 1:1 outreach and 1:1 on-campus supports, and where practical, online supports.  

We have established a designated outreach team and plan to expand this team over the coming months to ensure our high care participants are receiving the necessary care and support they need. To be able to support this demand, we will need to re-deploy a portion of our staff. This will see us extending our small group trials across all campuses and as such, we will prioritising our 1:1 supports to our high care and vulnerable cohort moving forward.

Therapy Services

This team has been extremely busy re-modifying the way they offer interventions during the COVID 19 restrictions. The team are now delivering close to 100 hours of allied health interventions each week via a variety of approaches, including telehealth, online, in-home and on campus.

Building works at our Glenroy Campus

The construction works for the installation of the lift at our Glenroy campus is expected to continue for a number of weeks. However, the major disruption of the demolishing stage is due to be completed in a week or two. 

In the meantime, while demolition works are underway, we have re-located the participants to the St Ambrose Community Centre in Brunswick. This is a wonderful site providing us with ample space to continue safely operating our mix of group pods and on-campus 1:1 supports. 

The staff have done an incredible job in setting up the facility in such a short period of time and in making it look and feel homely.

Health and wellbeing obligations

Finally, we would like to remind you of the range of protocols which are in place to protect our participants and staff during the COVID 19 pandemic. The following link outlines our commitment in applying these measures and also calls on all of our families, carers and participants to play their role in ensuring our campuses, participants and staff are kept as safe as possible. You can view Onemda’s Service Obligations During COVID-19 here.

In the meantime, keep safe and healthy.

 

Warm regards,

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

01/05/2020

 

Families & Carers Information Webinar Series

Onemda has just completed our first families and carers information webinar and will be releasing the videos in a forthcoming email.  I do encourage you to find a quiet moment (which is not necessarily easy in peoples crowed homes these days) to take the time and watch it. There is plenty of useful information, tips and ideas with supporting one another throughout these crazy times!

Group Respite Services

Prior to Easter, Onemda temporarily ceased group based activities in response to a recently released COVID-19 Plan for Disability Service from DHHS. The plan was rather ambiguous in its recommendations, however Onemda took the precautionary approach by temporarily closing on-site group activities until further advice was sought.

This closure was a difficult decision and has potentially disrupted a number of families and carers who require placed based supports.  Given the large staff resourcing requirements to deliver our modified 1:1 programs, we now need to prioritise access to these options. 

Upon further legal and government advice, along with an extensive risk review, the Onemda Board has made the decision to introduce an on-site group activity trial. This will commence next week in a small and strictly controlled manner across our campus sites. By providing this service, it enables Onemda to broaden our service offerings and maximises access for our participants.  It must be noted that this will be offered as a Group Respite Service (charged at our normal rates) to enable the activity to remain flexible and responsive to changing consumer demands.   

Online supports

The team have now trialled a range of online sessions with many of our participants. Although there are still some minor teething issues to be ironed out, this is a new and exciting opportunity for Onemda staff to re-engage with our participants. Importantly, it is also an opportunity for many of our participants to start to interact with one another for the first time in a number of weeks.

Improved access for Glenroy

Pleasingly, Onemda has now been provided with a commencement date for the installation of the lift at our Glenroy campus.  Installation works will commence on the 11th of May and should take two weeks to complete. The team are working with the contractors to ensure the work is carried out in the safest and least disruptive manner.

Further to this, we have utilised the opportunity during this quieter period to install a new kitchen to the upstairs area. This will greatly enhance our ability to broaden the learning experience for our participants through a more accessible and user friendly space.

Health and wellbeing obligations

Finally, we would like to remind you all of the range of protocols which are in place to protect our participants and staff during the COVID 19 pandemic. Although we cannot make any guarantees, I would like to assure you all that the team are working incredibly hard in strictly carrying out these measures throughout each and every day to keep everyone as safe as practicably possible.

The following link outlines our commitment in applying these measures and also calls on all of our families, carers and participants to play their role in ensuring our campuses, participants and staff are kept as safe as we can.  You can view Onemda’s Service Obligations During COVID-19 here.

In the meantime, keep connected and take care.

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

23/04/2020

 

Dear Families and Carers,

As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we would like to provide you with an update on some of the key developments at Onemda:

FLEXIBLE SERVICE OPTIONS

Thank you to all who completed the Flexible Service Options Survey or have engaged with our staff about these options. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to our survey and we now have activated our in-home and 1:1 services. In addition, the team have conducted testing of our on-line services and will commence the roll out next week.

The new flexible service options which have been developed include;

1:1 in home support

1:1 online support

Group online support

Therapy via tele-health or online

Therapy in person

Support Coordination (via teleconference)

I am personally impressed with the efficiency and speed with which our Service Reorientation Team has developed a new service model to enable the continuity of care to our much valued participants, families and carers.

If you wish to enquire further about these services please contact our Service Design team at services@onemda.com.au or call 03 9842 1955.

GROUP SERVICES

The Onemda Board are scheduled to meet next week to review our position regarding on campus group-based services. We will provide you with an update shortly.  

INCREASED HEALTH AND WELLBEING PROCEDURES

In order to help ensure we keep our participants and staff safe, Onemda has introduced mandatory temperature testing across all of our campuses. All visitors and staff must either have their temperature checked at the gate, or report directly to reception to have their temperature checked. This is another important measure to help detect and prevent the spread of any infection.

HELPING WITH ADDITIONAL PLANNING SUPPORT DURING COVID-19

In order to help participants, families and carers navigate services during the significant disruption caused by COVID-19, the NDIS has updated their policies regarding participant funding. In particular, participants are now able to use their Core and/or Capacity Building NDIS plan funds to purchase Support Coordination. This allows both participants without Support Coordination funding in their NDIS plan and those who have exhausted their funded allocation to now access this service and reprioritise their funds to where it is needed.

A Support Coordinator can work with participants and their support network to help ensure they have access to the available supports and, where services are no longer available, the Support Coordinator can help to identify alternative options for regular respite, social services and recreational services. Onemda’s team of Support Coordinators have been examining these changes from the NDIS and are available and ready to support families through this difficult period. If you would like to discuss how Support Coordination might be able to assist during this time please contact a member of our Service Design team at services@onemda.com.au or call 03 9842 1955.  

FAMILY AND CARER SUPPORT

As we all adjust to the disruptions of COVID-19, we would like to lend our support to the families and carers of our participants. In response to the queries and conversations many of our staff have had with you all, we will be delivering a pre-recorded online information session covering the topics of:

How COVID-19 affects NDIS plans

Reallocation of funding

How to retain NDIS supports for the future

Tips on health and wellbeing during this time

If you would like us to address any particular questions, please email them through to onemda@onemda.com.au by Tuesday 28th April.  The information session will be recorded and the link will be sent out shortly thereafter.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, understanding and cooperation during these challenging times.

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

09/04/2020

Dear Families and Carers,

Further to our update last week regarding the temporary closure of our campus-based programs, we wish to advise that after the Easter break all campuses will remain temporarily closed. The Onemda Board continues to consult with the appropriate authorities to review this matter and will advise of any changes to this decision.  

We know that the day activities Onemda provides are a important support service for participants and their families and apologise for the inconvenience that you may be experiencing. In the meantime, a range of flexible service options have been developed by our Services Reorientation Team in order to provide modified ongoing support to participants and their families and carers. For more information please see our survey here.

On behalf of the Onemda team we wish you all a safe and happy Easter in quite unique times, and look forward to providing you with a range of modified services after the holiday period.

Kind regards,

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer 

 

03/04/2020

Dear Families and carers,

The Department of Health and Human Services has just released the ‘COVID 19 Plan for the Disability Service Sector’ which outlines a range of recommendations. Although there is some ambiguous advice within this plan, it does urge people to remain home.

Onemda is seeking the appropriate authority’s advice on these recommendations and to clarify if day programs are required to cease operating. Until this advice is formally obtained, the Onemda Management Team have made the decision to temporarily close day program activities.

Therefore, as of this evening the 3rd of April 2020, ALL day placement activities will be closed until Easter unless otherwise advised. Onemda understands that this decision may cause disruption for some of our families and carers, and we are working closely with those who are directly affected by today’s decision to minimise this impact. Please find attached an updated copy of our Onemda 2020 closure dates.

In the meantime, The Services Reorientation Team will be releasing extensive information around a range of exciting alternatives to how Onemda is planning to support with the continuity of care for all of our participants. 

Kind regards,

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

31/03/2020

The Disability Royal Commission has issued a statement of concern, calling on all Australian governments to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of people with disability.

In the statement, the Commission calls on governments to develop a strategy to ensure people with disability have access to essential services – including assistance with toileting, showering, sleeping and getting dressed. It also highlights the particular risk of infection in congregate settings, and the need for workers to have appropriate training in infection control.

The statement notes the potential for lockdown measures in residential settings to reduce oversight, and increase the risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Other areas of concern outlined include: healthcare access, information accessibility, access to food and employment.

The Commission acknowledges efforts made by all governments regarding supports for NDIS participants, but notes the many people with disability who do not use NDIS supports.

Members are reminded that the Royal Commission took the decision to suspend all events, including public and private hearings, information sessions and community forums, due to COVID-19.

 

30/03/2020

Services Update

Dear Families and carers,

I would like to advise that Onemda continues to deliver essential services, albeit in a strictly modified manner according to the latest government guidelines. As prescribed by the NDIS and Department of Health and Human Services, disability services play an essential role in ensuring the continuity of supports for vulnerable Australians.

To enable Onemda to be responsive to changing needs, we have established a Services Reorientation Team.  The key focus of this team is to explore a range of avenues to reorientate our services to best adapt to the impacts COVID 19 is having on our ability to best support our participants. Through re-designing a range of flexible, nimble and responsive service options, we plan to be able to maximize the way we can support changing participant support needs. This includes;

Exploring flexible, outreach service options within people’s homes

Establishing a range of technology support platforms such telehealth, online class rooms and virtual engagement initiatives

Building confidence with our families, carers and staff through a range of comprehensive safety and wellbeing practices and protocols

For those families and carers still requiring our day placement programs to enable them to keep working or attend to various personal priorities, small satellite programs are still in operation in isolation from one another.  All have adopted strict social distancing measures along with having their own designated team of staff assigned to them.   

We understand the recent decision to suspend group services to our high care stream participants, while in the best interests of their health and wellbeing, may have caused disruption to some of our families.  The team have and will continue to work closely with those affected to ensure continuity of services remain a priority for this cohort.

Also, given we need to focus our current priorities on essential services, we have temporarily suspended our Xtend programs, along with modifying our D2D services.  The Services Reorientation Team are working on alternative options to minimise the impact this may have for some of you.  

To enable Onemda to provide essential continuity of supports to our participants, their families and carer network, we believe it is sensible not to have any Centre closures for the remainder of the year.  Therefore, the planned Centre closure dates leading up to Easter, July and Melbourne Cup Monday will not be going ahead, and services will continue to operate except for public holidays.

In the coming days, you will receive detailed information regarding service modifications, including a survey to seek feedback on your particular needs.  I encourage you all to participate in the survey as this will provide valuable information to assist our planning and will help us to keep our workforce mobilised. 

We understand that with the current government social distancing measures, many of you will be impacted by the ability to utilize your usual planned service hours.  Furthermore, as time goes on and these unutilized hour’s build-up, you may not have the time or ability to access them at a later date.  Therefore, Onemda is putting in place a range of modified service options to maintain some form of continuity of supports which will minimize this impact.

In the meantime, we have commenced rotation rostering of staff across all areas of our business as we aim to reduce the impact this situation is having on our ability to fully administer services.  The team here are all working extremely hard to reduce the impact this pandemic is having on you and the person in your care and will keep exploring ways to maintain essential continuity of supports.

For further up-to-date information, please keep checking our designated website page.

On behalf of the Onemda team, stay safe, healthy, and connected.

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

24.03.20

Service update - High Care Stream

 

As Onemda continues to monitor the developments of the Corovavirus COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to close group-based services to participants in our high care stream.  The high care stream will close as of Wednesday 25th March 2020 and will affect a number of participants that access our Doncaster East and Glenroy Campuses.  

 

Onemda’s high care stream will remain closed until 14th April 2020, in line with the current end date of the Victorian State of Emergency. We will continue to review this decision.

 

Onemda understands that this decision may cause disruption for many of our families and carers, so we are working closely with those affected regarding continuity of supports.  

 

All participants’ families and carers affected by this decision will be individually notified by Onemda staff.

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

23.03.2020

Update on Onemda Services

Onemda would like to reaffirm our position to remain operating our key services. We note that many of you have elected to keep the person in your care home. However, we have also acknowledged that many of you have chosen to continue accessing our services.

 

As Onemda’s care services come under essential community health, we will continue operating from our various campuses, however under strict operational protocols in line with the latest government guidelines. This now includes cancelling all program travel. 

 

Onemda is continuing to operate Door 2 Door services as this is constituted as an essential service for many families. However, we have now activated stringent participant allocation measures and travel social distancing protocols.

 

We will continue to provide you with information regarding this developing situation, and any affects to our services.

 

Warm regards,

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

21.03.2020

Dear Families and Carers,  

 

As the global effects of the coronavirus situation continues to develop, I would like to take this opportunity to outline Onemda’s responsibility to ensure the continuation of our essential services. Our number one focus is on the health and wellbeing of our participants and implementing the necessary safety measures to ensure service continuity. 

 

As a consequence, Onemda would like to outline the following interim service changes to the way we administer essential services, including limiting group numbers to 10, creating strict isolation between various cohorts, arranging for some groups to be re-located to alternative locations and the adoption of various technologies to enable remote interventions, supports and education.

 

As you can appreciate, this is a huge logistical process and the team at Onemda are working around the clock to make these necessary changes.  Further to this, Onemda is also working collaboratively with the Manningham and Moreland City Councils to assist facilitate this transition.

 

We understand that this initial disruption will cause some challenges to our families and carers, however, we plan to be in a position of stability in the coming days and weeks.

 

Changes to family/ carer/ taxi personnel and visitors

No visitors are to enter any Onemda campuses without either presenting to reception or contacting reception on 9842 1955.  Onemda strongly urges all non-essential visitation and encourages telephone or email as preferred method of contact.

Increased hygiene control to include compulsory hand sanitization on arrival (additional pumps have been installed at gate entries) for both staff and participants.

Some participants will be required to arrive and leave from alternative locations. Participants who will be effected will be individually contacted by Onemda staff.

 

Changes to daily practice for Onemda staff and participants to ALL Onemda campuses

Increased social distancing protocols across all campuses and cohorts. 

All staff participated in safe hygiene training.

Exercising strict cohort isolation protocols to reduce cross-over of staff and participants

Cancellation of all high risk activities which includes large shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, swimming centres, libraries and public transport for example.

All modified programs and activities are still focused on key outcomes, albeit via different modes of delivery.  For example, use of sensible alternate environments to conduct activities such as music and arts, adoption of on-line learning mediums and creative ways to maintain participant’s physical activity.

Increased educational programs to teach participants about hand-washing and other hygiene practices.

Social distancing between participants in all indoor spaces according to the latest government advice.

Stepped up hygiene controls in all Onemda vehicles, programs spaces and equipment and administration spaces.

We are also attempting to purchase a number of non-contact thermometers to enable us to commence regular temperature checking of all participants and staff.

 

Actions as of Monday 23rd of March

ALL participants entering ALL Onemda campuses are to await at the front gates/ entrances to be escorted to their program rooms by Onemda staff.  If there are no staff present then you are to use the door-bell or contact reception (9842 1955) and wait for assistance.

 

Changes for Doncaster East Campus, Andersons Creek Rd 

Pathways

All pathway participants will be re-located to an alternative local campus once we have confirmation from Manningham Council.  An Onemda staff member will contact all families and carers individually to notify of these arrangements.

 

Enrichment

Onemda has created isolation measures for our Enrichment stream.  All participants are to wait at the entrance of Gate 2 (Soccer club end) to be able to access this stream.

 

Living & Learning (Room 4)

Onemda has created isolation measures for Living and Learning Room 4 participants.  Entry for participants is via Gate 2 (soccer club end) to access this room.

 

Living & Learning

Onemda will divide this cohort into 3 separate groups.  2 groups will remain at the Doncaster East campus in separate environments.  Group 3 will continue to operate from the Doncaster East campus until being re-located to a suitable local campus once we have confirmation from Manningham Council.

 

Xtend

This program will continue to operate, however in a modified format.  Further details on how and where these activities will be delivered will be circulated shortly.

 

Changes to Leap Templestowe Campus

Onemda is seeking to divide our Leap campus participants into two groups.  Group 1 will remain in the current campus.  Group 2 will be located in an alternate campus once we have confirmation from Manningham Council.

 

Changes to Glenroy Campus

Onemda is seeking to divide Glenroy campus participants into 3 groups.  Group 1 will remain at the current Glenroy campus.  Group 2 will be re-located to St Ambrose Parish Community Centre Brunswick East.  Group 3 will be delivered from an alternate campus once we have confirmation from Moreland Council. 

An Onemda staff member will be in contact with families and carers who may be affected by these interim changes.

 

D2D Services

All Door 2 Door services will be modified to ensure we enact cohort isolation measures.  This may cause some disruption to your pick up and drop off times.  Onemda is seeking your cooperation and flexibility with this to ensure we can maintain this important service.  Further details around these changes will be communicated directed with each family.

 

Therapy Services

The Onemda Therapy team are working through a plan which explores a range of alternative modes of intervention and activity.  This will include a more mobile service approach and the use of technology.  A member of the Therapy team will be making contact with all of our Therapy participants to discuss their individual circumstances.

 

Support Coordination

Our Support Coordination team are now working remotely and have a range of measures in place to ensure there is no disruption to your planning services.

 

Our collective responsibilities

Onemda encourages all participants, staff, families and carers to take a collective responsibility in ensuring we all stay safe.  We strongly encourage following all the government advice and to be extra vigilant in creating good hygiene controls and social distancing measures in your personal environments.

 

Further to this, we understand that many of you may access external in-home care supports from various agencies and staff.  We strongly suggest that you ask questions around their hygiene controls and that you are satisfied that they are practicing the appropriate social distancing measures as advised by government.

 

Onemda is teaching our participants safe hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing with soap and water, coughing and sneezing controls and social distancing measures.  To assist us to embed these learnings we request that of our families and carers to do the same which will provide a consistence approach between Onemda and home.

 

Keeping connected

During this unprecedented time, Onemda recognizes the importance of remaining connected as a community.  It is vitally important that during this period where we are distanced from one another that we pay extra attention to all of our health and wellbeing.

 

With this in-mind, Onemda has already or is in the process of implementing the following avenues to keep our community connected, informed and supported:

Established a designated advice and update page on our website.

Positing general Q&A’s.

As an alternative to delivering our family information forums face-to-face, we will be hosting on-line workshops.  Further details will be released shortly.

Regular updates via email communications.

On-line good health and wellbeing tips.

 

Event Cancellations

Family Information workshop on Tuesday 24th March - Glenroy campus

Family Information workshop on Thursday 26th March - Doncaster East campus

Autism Research Forum on Monday 30th March - Doncaster East campus

Manningham Asian Carers Group on Wednesday 8th April - Doncaster East campus

 

Note: Please stayed tuned for further information regarding on-line replacement workshops.

 

Finally, I understand these measures may at first be quite overwhelming for some families and carers to digest, however these changes have not been taken lightly nor without thorough assessment.  I would also like to acknowledge to you that we are making every effort, in many cases beyond government recommendations, to make our environment as safe as possible for staff, and most importantly our participants.

 

We know that it might be conceivable that our community may be directly impacted by this pandemic.  However, I draw comfort that we have strict measures in place to mitigate the impact this may have to services, and our plan to safely resume activities is comprehensive.

 

I thank you all for your ongoing cooperation and understanding.

 

Warm regards,

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

18/03/2020

Dear Families and Carers, 

 

As you can appreciate the situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is unprecedented and changing by the day. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to outline Onemda’s position regarding this morning’s announcement of a new Federal Government directive. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all non-essential gatherings of 100 people or more are now banned. However, essential services gatherings are exempt from this new rule, which includes aged care, disability and health.

 

Further to this, last night the Onemda Board held a special meeting and reiterated our stance that we are committed to remaining open until otherwise directed by the official authorities (albeit in a modified manner). Onemda falls under the Health, Aged, Disability & Community Sector and our services are regarded as vital ongoing supports for our participants, along with much needed respite for families and carers.

 

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have been meeting regularly and creating plans to mitigate the risks to our participants and staff, in order to enable modified and flexible service provision to continue. This includes creating strategies to address the way we manage traffic flow on our campuses, delivering services in smaller controlled group settings and a more flexible approach in how we provide advice and interventions with families and carers. Over the coming days, further details will be released regarding how these modifications are going to be administered.

 

At Onemda, we strongly believe in the need for our participants and staff to remain connected and to continue a sense of continuity and normality in our participants’ lives.  In the event that a program or service requires temporary closure, you will be notified by SMS alert and email, and further information will be available on our website. In order to provide you with up-to-date information, please ensure you keep you details up to date by emailing your full name, participant name, mobile number and email to onemda@onemda.com.au 

 

I would like to assure all of the Onemda community that although we cannot fully mitigate the risks of Coronavirus entering parts of our services, we have put strict measures in place to help protect our population. We have implemented an active, stringent hygiene program aimed at providing an environment that is as hygienic as practically possible and which exceeds Government recommendations.

 

Over the coming weeks we will step up our communications to ensure you remain up-to-date with the latest information. We have also established a designated space on our Onemda website containing the latest email updates (click here to access) and will be developing an advice channel to address relevant questions you may have.

 

Finally, I understand this is unchartered waters for us all and we all need to be doing our part to support the Australian Government in managing the COVID-19 pandemic as effectively as possible.  This may cause some disruption to the way we administer services, however we are committed to doing this in a safe, calm and measured manner aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community.

 

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer

 

For the latest updates, please refer to the following government information channels:

http://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398

16/03/2020

Dear Family and Carers, 

 

As government advice in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to change rapidly, Onemda continues to monitor our obligations closely and have stepped up measures to minimise the risk to the safety and wellbeing of our participants.

 

These include:

Trying to reduce visitor traffic flow onto our campuses. 

Any visitors needing to attend Onemda campuses must now present at Reception. 

At LEAP and Glenroy campuses, please press the doorbell outside the entry, and wait outside for staff to attend.

 

We also continue to reiterate our messages that if anyone has any reason to believe they have been exposed to a person who has recently returned from overseas, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, to not attend any Onemda campuses.

 

At this time, the information from authorities does not require service closure.  However, we continue to monitor developments closely and will communicate via SMS and email if there are any changes to this.

 

To assist us, please ensure we have your most up to date contact information on file, by emailing them through to onemda@onemda.com.au

 

For the latest updates, please refer to the following government information channels:

http://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398

 

We appreciate your continued support, collaboration and patience during this challenging time.

 

Warm regards,

 

Simon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer