The aged residential care programme is profiling some of the great work done in the sector. Here we look at how Bupa NZ is supporting their team by providing face masks for personal use.

Bupa New Zealand has backed a local business by buying more than 4,000 fabric masks for all their staff across the country for their personal use outside of work time.

Three care givers stand in a foyer, wearing and holding a box of face masks.

Left to right: Caregiver Krishna Patel, Clinical Manager Angela Ortinero, Registered Nurse Maria Visitacion.

The individually sealed MEO Lite masks come complete with filters and are made by Healthy Breath Limited located in Mount Wellington, Auckland. Bupa Remuera Care Home Clinical Manager, Angela Ortinero says that while they have a stockpile of clinical masks for the team to wear inside their care home while working, the fabric masks enhance personal safety outside of work time.

“These masks will help to relieve any anxiety the team might have when they are moving around the community outside of their work hours. It’s really thoughtful to give these to us for use in our personal lives.”

The masks have been distributed to each of the 48 care homes, 34 retirement villages and 7 rehabilitation sites across New Zealand, with enough for every staff member. All Bupa care homes are currently closed to visitors and infection, prevention and control measures have been in place since Alert Levels began again last week.

Healthy Breath Ltd General Manager, Cherie Chen says masks help to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

"We're pleased to be able to work with Bupa New Zealand and wish to thank them for their support of New Zealand business, New Zealand made products, and Kiwi creatives. "

The reusable masks are easily washable and include an outer fabric to repel droplets, a filter cover, and an inner fabric to absorb droplets. Based on emerging evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidance to recommend people who are well should wear masks in situations where they aren’t able to stay physically distant.

The Ministry of Health in New Zealand is now also recommending we wear face coverings in public places where physical distancing cannot be observed.

As one of the largest aged care providers in New Zealand, Bupa is also offering other additional support initiatives to all team members such as a special COVID-19 leave, if needed.

Last updated 28/08/2020