Rapid response team of nurses and midwives to tackle COVID-19 outbreaks in South Australia

Up to 150 nurses and midwives will be recruited to lead a new dedicated rapid frontline response team to deal with potential COVID-19 outbreaks in South Australia.

The Rapid Response Nursing & Midwifery Service will include a Director of Nursing to oversee the strategy of the team’s response to COVID-19 Medihotel quarantine and any outbreaks, and a new Nursing/Midwifery Director to manage Medihotel and infection control nursing teams across SA Health’s hotel quarantine program.

South Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Associate Professor Jenny Hurley, said the new central nursing and midwifery COVID-19 response team would ensure the state is better placed to respond to outbreaks.

“As part of these nursing/midwifery teams, we are recruiting for additional infection control nurses who will ensure our strong infection control protocols and practices relating to PPE, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, linen and waste management are being implemented,” she said.

“South Australian nurses and midwives demonstrate leadership, innovation and outstanding care, making a difference to the lives of South Australians every single day, and particularly as we continue to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.”

South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade said the Rapid Response Nursing & Midwifery Service would enable South Australians to continue to receive high-quality healthcare.

“We are building the capacity of our teams to respond to our future health needs in a global pandemic,” Mr Wade said.

“We deeply value each of our nurses. We’ve had 34 nurses provide their compassion and skills to support the COVID-19 response in Victoria, which made a huge impact to their health services at such a crucial time.”

Mr Wade said the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife had showcased the value and skills of South Australia’s nurses and midwives.
Since March, more than 100 nurses and midwives have been recruited to take on roles outside the mainstream hospital system, he said.

“This includes undertaking airport and cross-border COVID-19 screening, contact tracing, Medihotel quarantine program for international and cross-border travellers, managing the safe distribution of PPE, and working at our dedicated drive-through and walk-in testing clinics.”

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