10 aged care staff suspended from South Australian home after refusing to vaccinate

Resident in wheelchair looking out window

Friday, September 17, marked the deadline for aged care workers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination, with the first dose mandatory from the 17th onwards.

The South Australian home is now facing “perilously” low staff numbers, The Advertiser has reported.As of Friday’s deadline, The Advertiser is reporting that more than 95% of South Australia’s aged care workforce had received the first jab.

The home in question said of the 10 staff who had been suspended that four are booked in to receive the jab and two have medical exemptions.

“Additionally, we have had a small number of staff who have decided not to be vaccinated and therefore will no longer be able to work at the site,” a spokesperson for the home told The Advertiser.

Support for staff has been brought in from other aged care homes in the area.

Members of the aged care home’s local community are concerned the quality of the services offered will suffer if staff are forced to leave due to not being vaccinated.

One Nation SA leader, Jennifer Game, told The Advertiser, “I’ve had a number of people contact me to express their concern for residents’ safety and their outrage at the treatment of South Australian aged care workers.”

A former member of staff from the home who resigned before the Friday deadline, told The Advertiser conditions at the home were already “poor” and many employees preferred to leave than be vaccinated.

In the last six months, dozens of staff had been suspended from the home or taken leave due to stress, workplace bullying, harassment and “dangerously” low resident-to-carer ratios, according to the former employee.

The daughter of a resident told The Advertiser she was “scared” they would not receive good quality care because the home was already struggling to fill shifts.

On July 29, the home received a notice of noncompliance for failing to meet several aged care quality standards, including failings in personal care, clinical care and organisational governance.

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