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DETECT success: new program proves positive in aged care

A new hub of resources produced by district staff for aged care facilities is empowering staff to help residents to avoid unnecessary hospital stays.

DETECT for residential and aged care facilities (RACFs) is a suite of tools and training developed by the Aged Care Rapid Response Team (ARRT), the Geriatric Rapid Acute Care Evaluation (GRACE) and the Beaches Rapid Access Care of the Elderly (BRACE) teams with support from the Sydney North Primary Health Network.

ARRT Clinical Nurse Consultant Therese Jepson said DETECT has been warmly welcomed by the facilities, with the website and face-to-face training particularly well-received.

DETECT has proven to really help frontline residential aged care facility staff identify and manage residents at risk of deterioration and hospitalisation.
ARRT Clinical Nurse Consultant Therese Jepson


“The website includes point of care symptom checkers, clinical decision flowcharts, educational videos, as well as additional resources and contact links.”

In response to the pandemic, the ARRT workforce has been supplemented with additional nursing, medical and allied health staff, which allowed the face-to-face training.

“A particular focus of the rollout for ARRT was face-to-face training in each of the 39 residential aged care facilities in the catchment area,” Therese said.

“This allowed interactive participation and discussion of typical case scenarios and also built on the foundations of training provided by ARRT throughout 2020, including COVID-19 specific education regarding PPE use and outbreak management.”

One of those facilities to benefit from DETECT is Willowood in Chatswood.

Facility Manager Stacey Hall said the training had a direct impact on staff and their confidence.

“Willowood found the education and the new resources provided by ARRT improved our handover process and identification of deteriorating residents at our facility,” she said.

“The management team have noticed an increase in staff confidence in assessing and managing deteriorating residents.”

You can view the website for DETECT by visiting

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