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Risk In Context

Coronavirus Resources for the Care Industry

Posted by Lyle Steffensen 20 August 2020

A Case Study of risks from an outbreak of COVID-19 in a care facility

In May 2020, Lyle Steffensen, Practices Leader for Marsh Care Solutions, ran a Q&A series interviewing a range of risk specialists to unpack COVID-19 risk issues faced by care organisations. This forum particularly addressed risks outside of disease infection control, which has been the primary focus by the Federal Government Department of Health and a key focus area for each of the state governments.

In all of these interactive Q&A forums, Lyle asked experts questions in an interactive “face to face” discussion format to offer practical takeaways that care facilities could action immediately. Each of these sessions was ½ hour long, and was recorded along with a summary provided of the session via our Pandemic Risk Hub. Should you not have time to listen to each of the videos, please read the summaries. 

The Q&A series was focused within Marsh’s Navigating the Pandemic Response Lifecycle with the key phase addressed being “Exponential Pandemic Growth & Business Interruption” and “Pandemic Recovery”. 

The key risk areas addressed were:

1. Risk Management and Public Relations with Ruth Callaghan - Chief Innovation Officer and Karen Brown - National Director from corporate communications firm, Cannings Purple who addressed important questions around how facilities can respond to external entities such as the media, government and community stakeholders, as well as strategies for communicating internally within your organisation – residents, patients, families and carers, staff, and the Board. As we have experienced, effective communication is critical to successful navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a key factor of the ongoing viability of the organisation and its reputation. A video of the Q&A and the summary notes can be found here.

2. Governance and Risk Management with Anthony Black – Senior Risk Consultant from Ansvar Risk, who brought insight to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic from a governance and risk perspective. Anthony provided a very useful risk map which outlined the Sectors Under Pressure, Pandemic Risks & Issues, Key Actions and Risk Equilibrium. The key takeaway of this session was to ensure that organisations’ pandemic response plans are flexible, updated regularly and are broad enough to accommodate appropriate communication to the board, not to ignore governance risk, and to keep the focus on maintaining accreditation and compliance at an overall level rather than a singular focus on clinical risk management and disease prevention. A video of the Q&A and the summary notes can be found here.

3. Legal Liability Risk Issues for Aged Care Providers with Dr Melanie Tan and Anita Courtney from Russell Kennedy Lawyers who did not hesitate to delve into the difficulty of walking the line between the liability providers have to maintain the duty of dignity owed to residents and their family for their comfort, and mental wellbeing, and the liability to maintain health and safety of those residents by protecting them from the risk of infection. Dr Tan offered her comments on the flu vaccination requirements which was illuminating, as well as a synopsis of the new code of conduct and how it may work for providers. A video of the Q&A and the summary notes can be found here.

4. Workplace Risk Issues for Care Providers with Claire Chalmers, Senior Consultant and Katherine Lamont, Principal – from Marsh’s Workforce Strategies. Claire and Katherine addressed important questions surrounding replacing sick staff members, rostering and payroll issues. Claire and Katherine also discussed the complex and difficult area of the impact on Workers Compensation insurance of staff infected by COVID-19; is it covered, when is it a claim, can Jobkeeper still be claimed, and how would COVID-19 affect the Workers Compensation premium. A video of the Q&A and the summary notes can be found here.

And last but not least,

5. Cyber Risk for Care Providers with Marsh's Cyber Practice Leader, Kelly Butler, and Nicole Pallavicini, Principal of Marsh's Cyber Practice. Kelly and Nicole focused on why cyber risks has created an additional layer of complication to an already high-pressure situation, and discussed key cyber concerns including breach of privacy implications which continue to impact care facilities. The concepts of ransomware, and social engineering/phishing were explained and how threat actors have been increasing their attention to seek to infiltrate the systems of care providers who are focused on those in their care against COVID-19. A video of the Q&A and the summary notes can be found here

In the Pacific, we have a dedicated Aged, Disability & Health Care Practice that specialises in designing innovative programs, using our resources, strong market relationships and insurance market intelligence. Marsh Care Solutions provides risk and insurance services for a number of key care providers, and we are very familiar with the issues faced by your organisation. We hope that you find the above to be practical and useful. If you would like additional information or would like Marsh Care Solutions to run any additional sessions on a risk or insurance related matter, please contact Care Solutions Practices Leader, Lyle Steffensen 

LCPA: 20/460  


Lyle Steffensen

Marsh Pty Ltd (ABN 86 004 651 512, AFSL 238983) (“Marsh”) arrange this insurance and is not the insurer. The Discretionary Trust Arrangement is issued by the Trustee, JLT Group Services Pty Ltd (ABN 26 004 485 214, AFSL 417964) (“JGS”). JGS is part of the Marsh group of companies. Any advice in relation to the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is provided by JLT Risk Solutions Pty Ltd (ABN 69 009 098 864, AFSL 226827) which is a related entity of Marsh. The cover provided by the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is subject to the Trustee’s discretion and/or the relevant policy terms, conditions and exclusions. This website contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire a product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from JLT Risk Solutions on request. Full information can be found in the JLT Risk Solutions Financial Services Guide.