Bupa backing research 'superbugs' in aged care

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Bupa Aged Care and the Bupa Health Foundation are backing an Australian first trial into superbugs in nursing homes.

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

Researchers from Mon­ash University and Alfred Health will use ­cutting-edge genomic technology as part of the $2.3 million program.

Bupa's Dr Tim Ross said the aged care environment is an ideal location for this research.

“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," he said.

“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."

Dr Ross continued, ”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."

Bupa said once the initial program is reviewed and refined it will be rolled out across its 72 aged care homes in Australia.