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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The purpose of the New Zealand Aotearoa Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care is to provide nationally consistent guidance for aged residential care (ARC) stakeholders to prepare for, prevent and respond to an epidemic or pandemic.

The policy is principle-based and designed to be tailored to local environments. All local plans and protocols should be developed in line with the principles of this policy. The policy is intended to be read in conjunction with other operational guidance or workbook documents.

The policy has two main sections. The first section outlines the six guiding principles that must inform and underpin all decision-making during a pandemic response in ARC. Where possible, the Ministry expects stakeholders to supply evidence of their application, regardless of differences in operational processes and protocols across regions.

The second section provides the framework that should be followed. This framework draws on the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS), which is Aotearoa New Zealand’s official framework to achieve effective coordinated incident management involving multiple responding agencies.  It is a generic framework, to be adapted for each situation by those involved in the response.