Hospital in hindsight, says Newmarch boss

Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Anglicare Sydney CEO Grant Millard says “in hindsight”, all COVID-19 positive residents at Newmarch House nursing home in Caddens should have been sent to hospital immediately.

But he says management was following a directive from NSW Health, which was focused on a ‘containment’ strategy.

“Look, if I had the time again I would be insisting people who are COVID positive go to hospital,” Mr Millard told the ABC.

“In hindsight that would have been my preference.”

However, Mr Millard denied that the Coronavirus-related death toll, which currently stands at 18, would have been less had a different approach been taken.

He said hospitalisation of positive patients was not “clear cut”, but should have been more seriously considered.

“I think given the scale of the outbreak here, given the challenges with staffing, and at the same time we heard that they were no elective surgeries and lots of hospital staff around, it does beg the question about whether they should have just gone to hospital,” he said.

On Monday, NSW Health defended its strategy in dealing with the crisis.

“For many of the residents, that was their actual place of residence … when you move people from their environment they’re exposed to other risks such as falls risk, disorientation and then as a consequence get other health issues,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters.

The total number of cases to come out of the Coronavirus cluster at Newmarch House stands at 71.

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