47,000 rapid antigen tests delivered to 300 disability group homes in western Sydney

Westmead Hospital PPE central stores manager Praneel Chand with some of the rapid antigen tests ready for delivery.

Those more at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 have received an extra layer of protection with the delivery of more than 47,000 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

A combination of teams including the District Disability Portfolio, Central Procurement Unit and Fleet (transport) have distributed the kits to more than 300 disability group homes across western Sydney.

WSLHD Allied Health director Jacqueline Dominish said the providers were grateful for the assistance to prevent and manage outbreaks in disability group home settings.

“People with a disability are more at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, which is why it was important for us to assist in any way possible,” Jacquie said.

“This is just one of the many ways our District has assisted with preventing and managing outbreaks throughout the pandemic.”

Distribution of the RAT kits was a coordinated effort involving several teams across the District.

WSLHD has provided ongoing assistance to disability group homes dealing with COVID-19, including on-site vaccination.

More than 10 homes experiencing outbreaks have also received expert infection prevention and control assessment and advice, rapid delivery of personal protective equipment, on-site COVID testing for residents and staff, deployment of allied health and nursing staff to fill roster vacancies, and support from medical specialists.

More than 53,000 kits were provided to WSLHD by the NSW Government to supplement the rollout of rapid antigen tests to NDIS participants announced on 4 February 2022 by the Commonwealth Government, which holds the primary responsibility for supporting the disability sector.

The remaining kits in stock at WSLHD will be used for outbreaks or for other disability care providers yet to request support.

People with disability can also purchase testing kits using their NDIS plan funding or access their free allocation from community pharmacies available for those who hold Commonwealth Health Care or Concession Cards.