Bupa takes the lead in fighting superbugs in aged care

Bupa Aged Care and the Bupa Health Foundation are supporting an Australian first trial into deadly superbugs in nursing homes that will see a team of researchers monitor the use of antibiotics.

The program will be piloted in two of Bupa’s care homes to help identify proper treatment of infections and the overprescribing of antibiotics.

There are growing fears globally about strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs. Due to the nature of illness and vulnerability of elderly residents, it is of particular concern in aged care homes.

To help identify the source and spread of the superbug bacteria, researchers from Mon­ash University and Alfred Health will use ­cutting-edge genomic technology as part of the $2.3m program.

Dr Tim Ross, Director of Medical Services, Bupa Villages and Aged Care said the aged care environment is a great place to do this sort of research and show support.

“Research in aged care has generally been light on. This is a good example of industry and researchers working together to solve problems, translate findings and improve resident outcomes more rapidly.

“The use of antibiotics is an issue throughout all of the Australian population. Having an opportunity to co-create programs that lead to a better use of antibiotics is something that Bupa is proud to be a part of.

Our residents often have multiple medical problems and can be on many medications. Rationalising the use of these medications is one of the key aims when a resident enters one of our homes to reduce the chance of antibiotic resistant bugs developing.

Anything that’s going to improve the quality of life for our 7,000 residents in our homes is important. Especially when it comes to superbugs, that can really impact the quality of life.
Dr Tim Ross, Director of Medical Services, Bupa Villages and Aged Care

” Whenever superbugs are mentioned, people get nervous, so refering to superbugs in good context and actively doing something to help prevent them from occurring in our homes, or minimizing them from coming into our homes, is a good outcome for the residents and their families.

“Our residents take a lot of interest in what we do in the homes and research is an important part of that,” said Dr Ross.

Once the initial program is reviewed and refined it will be rolled out across the 72 Bupa aged care homes in Australia, with the potential to roll it out in Bupa New Zealand aged care homes too.


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