Jun 17, 2024

Aged Care Workers Banned For 2 Years Following Neglect of Dementia Patient

Aged Care Workers Banned For 2 Years Following Neglect of Dementia Patient
The two aged care workers were found allegedly engaged in the unauthorised use of restraints and failed to report and appropriately respond to the resident’s falls. [CoPilot}.

Two young aged care workers on working visas have been prohibited from providing any health services following a horrific incident involving an 85-year-old dementia patient left in urine-soaked clothing.

A report by news.com.au revealed that The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) issued separate prohibition orders against Megana Pandey, 21, and Supryinka Poudel, 24, after investigating their actions during a night shift at a New South Wales aged care facility.

Ms Pandey, a student from Nepal, arrived in Australia on a student visa in 2022. Ms Poudel, also from Nepal, came on a postgraduate bridging visa that same year.

On the night of June 25, 2023, Ms Pandey and Ms Poudel were responsible for a male resident with dementia in the Memory Support Unit. CCTV footage allegedly captured the pair repeatedly restraining and neglecting him, resulting in several falls without immediate assistance.

The footage shows the resident struggling to free himself and falling multiple times without prompt intervention. The HCCC described the incident as a severe lapse in duty of care, highlighting the distress caused by leaving the resident in urine-soaked clothing.

The allegations detail various instances of neglect and abuse, including the unauthorised use of restraints and failure to report and appropriately respond to the resident’s falls.

Handling Alleged Aggression:

The investigation found that both workers were unsure how to handle the “very aggressive” resident and did not seek adequate help. During her interview on June 30, 2023, Ms Pandey admitted to several violations but deferred responsibility to Ms Poudel.

“I am sorry but I followed my partner who is perm staff (sic) as I assumed she knows more than me,” she explained when questioned about her failure to use protective equipment for the high-risk resident. She acknowledged that moving equipment with her leg was disrespectful and that the resident deserved better care.

Ms Poudel also cited the resident’s alleged aggression for their actions. She claimed that using a lifter was deemed inappropriate due to the resident’s behaviour, and they opted to leave him on the floor as advised by a registered nurse.

Based on the investigation’s findings, the HCCC issued two-year prohibition orders against both workers, effectively barring them from working in any health services. The Commission stressed the importance of maintaining dignity and respect in aged care settings and highlighted the severe breach of care and the distress inflicted on the resident.

The incidents were reported to the NSW Police, but no criminal charges were brought against Ms Pandey or Ms Poudel.

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  1. Has anything changed since the Royal Commission? All the compliance checklists and minutes of care appear to do absolutely nothing to change staff practices that the offenders in their statements claim to be adopted under the direction of senior staff. How many other incidents go unreported across this home and many others across the industry. Ignorance is not a justifiable reason to commit such offences. A 2 year ban of 2 people is unlikely to change much at all when a culture of fear exists in speaking up at all. Nobody wants to bite the hand that barely feeds them. “Nothing to see here” prevents a world of pain of going through an investigation. Its hardly surprising that nothing changes.

  2. I have personally witnessed disrespect
    impatience and even cruelty to aged care residents at least 6 times when visiting or working in Aged care homes. Unfortunately these were all Nepalese workers.
    I believe Residential homes should be aware that employing too foreign workers if one culture is highly detrimental to the welfare of the residents as well as other support workers. The reason I say this I worked as in the administration team in N aged care facility for 6 weeks. 98% of the support workers and staff were Nepalese. None of them had been in Australia for more than 4 years and they interacted solely with their own community. There was no effort to learn and repect the culture of the senior citizens.
    In fact there was a dual culture in this particular home and the one non Nepal worker who was ethnically an African had been working in this facility for over 7years felt isolated and excluded.
    She did not leave as did most of the other white support workers.
    I think it is the responsibility of Aged care providers to carefully consider the impact their recruitment policies have on the lives of our Senior citizens. I could be wrong but I believe that the government contributes to the wages of a worker on student visas.
    And this could be behind the motivation of these Aged care operators to employ workers on student visas.

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