Request form: Rapid antigen testing in aged care

Closes 30 Jun 2022

Opened 22 Nov 2021

Overview

Introduction and Eligibility Requirements

Please refer to the Department of Health website for current details (including eligibility criteria) on the  Rapid antigen testing for aged care program.

Please note: You will be asked for the Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) where the facility is located. For those sites not in an outbreak, please chack that the facility is located in one of the eligible SA3 areas before submitting.

Frequently asked questions

What is the estimated delivery timeframe to receive RAT kits in metro, regional and rural areas?

Please note that there are a number of factors that determine how long orders will take to arrive, once we receive a request:

  • Accuracy of the information in the order form. As the team needs to validate the request, where there is information that is inconsistent, or unusual, the team needs to investigate, which may delay the request. Some examples include very high or low staff and visitor numbers (relative to the size of the facility), inconsistent facility names, typing errors, duplicate requests, requests only a few days apart, and requests missing critical information.
  • The urgency of the request. Where there is an outbreak and a facility has low RAT stock volume or has not used RAT before, the team will prioritise the request and attempt same day or next day delivery. Where a facility has ample supply, the request may be delayed to prioritise more urgent requests.
  • Where stock is located. The National Medical Stockpile has warehouses across the country. As stock has to be physically moved from one of these facilities, the distance and road types between the facility and a warehouse impact delivery times.
  • Weekends and public holidays. Department and logistics staff are reduced over weekends and public holidays, so deliveries over these days generally do not occur.
  • Volume of requests. The Department and logistics staff are currently supporting hundreds of residential aged care facilities around the country. On days where large volumes of requests arrive, the time to process the request will be longer.

Overall, requests are normally processed and RAT kits are delivered 1 to 6 days from the day the request is placed.

Is there a contact point where services can contact to monitor their update for their request?

The Department will provide an email update to the request when it is processed. If an update has not been provided by 5 days from sending the request, the facility can email RAT.Operations@health.gov.au for an update.

Please note: The Department has had several instances where aged care facility staff have emailed stating orders were never delivered. In most instances, after much time spent investigating and requesting proof of delivery, it is found that the kits have been misplaced at the facility. We ask that a thorough search be performed before requesting for us to investigate such matters.

When and how is training provided? How will training be initiated?

Facilities that have not used RAT or have changed brands of RAT will be contacted by the RAT training provider before, or shortly after, the RAT kits arrive. If there has been no contact one day after the kits arrive, please email RAT.Operations@health.gov.au and provide the details including date of the request, and confirm the facility contact person and contact details.

Is government funding available to allow a nurse to administer RAT onsite?

The Department is currently providing free RAT kits, training, and implementation to support eligible RACFs.  Further work is being undertaken to consider the use of RAT in the Australian context, and how this might fit into the public health and social measures framework and the National Plan to transition Australia's National COVID-19 Response. These RAT kits and support services enable facilities to implement screening at their facility to reduce outbreaks, or contain outbreaks, which impact staff and residents, and can be costly for the facility, not to mention can unfortunately lead to severe COVID for those infected. As part of this arrangement, RACFs are expected to implement their own screening, by providing the trained staff and resources (such as PPE and cleaning) for this to occur. The training provided will outline what staffing requirements are needed for RAT screening, noting certain registered healthcare practitioners may only be required to support trained staff remotely.

Audiences

  • Aged care service providers

Interests

  • Residential Aged Care