Gastro outbreak causes lockdown

A REPORTED "lockdown" of the Bupa Ballina nursing home for more than two weeks has been attributed to an outbreak of gastroenteritis.

A Bupa spokeswoman said a number of residents were being treated for the illness.

"To prevent its spread, we are asking the public to avoid visiting the home until further notice," the spokeswoman said.

"We are following the Public Health Unit's guidelines and recommendations to manage this issue.

"We are remaining in contact with our residents' families.

"The health and wellbeing of our residents is our priority, and our dedicated care team is ensuring all of our residents are receiving care that is tailored to their individual needs and preferences, including a range of activities and events at the care home."

The daughter of a woman who was scheduled to move into the nursing home before the outbreak said she was told by staff the situation had become particularly contagious.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said her mother had been forced to remain in St Vincent's Private Hospital in Lismore while the nursing home was in lockdown.

"I talked to one staff member and it was looking promising, and then someone else gets sick and it goes back to square one," she said.

Bupa will not reveal how many residents are ill, but the woman said she was told it only took two residents to become sick before the nursing home closed the doors to visitors.

Many other families have reported their anguish over not being able to visit their elderly relatives.

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