The nursing home at the centre of abuse allegations has been slapped with sanctions following allegations of “rough handling”, “poor care” and “inappropriate conduct” less than 18 months after the aged care regulator dismissed a finding that residents at the home were “at serious risk”.
The current allegations were raised by university students taking part in work experience between 11 and 14 January 2021. The university provided Regis with written accounts of the alleged incidents.
The students claimed they witnessed rough handling, poor care, a lack of respect for residents, that the residents’ dignity was not maintained, and other “inappropriate” conduct.
Regis had now lodged 17 “mandatory reports” with Western Australian Police and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, and inquiries are now underway by Regis, police, and the regulator.
Upon hearing of the allegations, the Quality Commission conducted a “surprise site visit” to Regis Nedlands, and found there was an “immediate and severe risk to the health, safety or well-being of care recipients”. The regulator subsequently imposed sanctions.
Francis Veltman's 89-year-old mum has dementia and can't tell her family what allegedly happened inside Regis Nedlands.
The home failed to meet eight compliance requirements, including the management of pain, wounds, falls and “challenging behaviours”.
The Quality Commission also flagged that concerns about allegations of sexual assault and rough handling at the home were part of the decision.
The sanctions mean Regis Nedlands will not be able to access government funding for new residents for six months, must appoint an independent advisor, and must conduct staff training targeted at the areas where failing were found.
Regis Nedlands staff will have to meet weekly with the Quality Commission and provide detailed accounts of the measures they are taking to address the failings identified.
Regis Nedlands will have its accreditation revoked if it can not prove to the Quality Commission that it has improved its performance.
A search of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website reveals Regis Nedlands also failed a quality inspection in October 2019, and subsequent enquiries by the regulator resulted in a “serious risk decision” being made against the home.
'Immediate and severe' risk to residents at Perth aged care home, national regulator says https://t.co/yd57upKc4C
— ABC News (@abcnews) January 25, 2021
However, a further inspection in February 2020 found “improvements have been made”, and the adverse finding was lifted.
That decision now seems questionable, in light of these recent allegations.
Despite the sanctions, the government’s My Aged Care website is still showing Regis Nedlands as “meets requirements”, meaning its services comply with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Standards.
As soon as they were made aware of the allegations, Regis called the affected residents’ families, and had all Regis Nedlands residents assessed. The provider also appointed a clinical advisor to the home.
Regis has written to and met with residents and families and has released statements on its website, in line with its ‘open disclosure’ policies, a requirement under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Standards.
In the statement, Regis said its early inquiries have found “some poor and outdated practices” at Regis Nedlands, particularly related to manual handling and staff not recognising and reporting incidents as they occur.
Staff have been deeply affected, the statement said.
“While it was only a small number of staff named in the allegations, the impact has been felt by the whole team and we have arranged additional support for team members.”
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will hand down its findings and recommendations next month.
Image: karayuschij, iStock.