Nov 23, 2017

Bupa Requests Amnesty for Aged Care Homes When Reporting Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a critical issue in aged care homes, with thousands of cases reported to the Health Department every year.

More recently there have been a number cases reported in the media of elder abuse from aged care staff, as well as other residents.

In 2016-2017, there were 2853 reports of “reportable assaults’’ and 2463 allegations of “unreasonable use of force”.

Reports of elder abuse typically come from the families or loved ones of the residents, who fear that something has occurred.

Aged care organisations, it has been suggested, are less likely to come forward, or even report, such incidents that occur in their facilities.

Now, Bupa has requested that aged care homes receive a “new amnesty arrangement­’ from the federal government.

Bupa, who have more than 70 centres around Australia, suggests that the fear of being fined or shut down prevents aged care facilities from contacting the Aged Care Quality Agency with incident reports.

And by having amnesty, organisations can “work collaboratively on rectifying issues” without the fear of retribution.

Bupa believes that the existing sanctions-based system might tempt some other aged care providers to cover up problems – which enables more elder abuse.

“The current punitive approach isn’t in the best interests of residents and, while largely not affecting Bupa, may lead some providers to avoid full disclosure,’’ a Bupa spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph.

“A shift to a collaborative but structured approach, which may include an amnesty-type arrangement where providers could come forward and ask for assistance from the quality agency when they are experiencing issues, could improve overall care across all providers.’’

There is a rule that aged care providers need to report all suspected or alleged assaults to police within 24 hours, as well as the federal health department – and in the past Bupa has been critical of this as there are challenges in investigating such cases.

Bupa told a parliamentary inquiry into aged care abuse that “in our experience, police are often unable to action this information in any meaningful way due to there being no evidence, and the challenges associated with following up on allegations involving people with cognitive impairment,’’

“Bupa believes it should be a requirement for all providers to thoroughly investigate serious incidents when they occur.’’

However,  yesterday Bupa supported the police reporting rule: “We believe that in addition to reporting to police, all providers should be required to have processes in place to thoroughly investigate all allegations of serious incidents, to ensure they are doing everything they possibly can to make sure residents are safe.’’

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  1. Bupa is one of the most corrupt provider facility known through the industry for theft bullying poor care poor wound management poor diagnosing of geriatric diseases and treatment high client carer ratio 2 carers to 45 clients some poorly trained staff mean staff not all and it is all comming from management no one wants to work for bupa only 457 and 400 visa holders or new immigrants awful awful facilities tried to whistleblow to federal and state govt not interested

    1. Completely agree. My mother would be literally starving if I did not provide the bulk of her food. Today’s lunch was about 100 calories. This is common. Staff swung my mother on a sit to stand from her bed to bathroom while she was hanging with her entire weight on her arms. She was screaming in agony, her arms where above her head and it looked like her arms were going to be pulled out of their sockets. She is 95 years old. Yes, I saw this, this was done in front of me. The staff ignored her. I reported it of course, I have no idea how seriously or not this incident was taken. There are other incidents of staff yelling at my mother to “behave” because she isn’t sitting upright, putting her to bed at 4pm, because they “couldn’t be bothered to get her up again” and leaving her in bed regularly from 4pm to 10am or 11am the following day. Needless to say she is developing bedsores where her skin had been good before.

  2. I would like to know how much Bupa makes each year and why aren`t there more staff. My mum is in a Bupa home and the staff are as good as one could expect but often run off their feet. We feel that they do their best but they are stretched to their limits. The home is at Pottsville beach. Bupa at Ballina has a bad reputation and this comes from ex staff and some family members.
    I would like to believe anyone who hurt an elderly person would be reported at once and sacked.

  3. Those nursing home making an awful lot of money every year. Goverment should stop ACFI, when the nursing home claim the highest level of ACFI for each high care resident, that extra money does not result in extra staff and extra resource, the staff ratio remain the same, that money would go straight into the CEO or management pocket.

  4. There is no possible way that the Federal Government should agree to a lower standard of rights for people living in residential aged care. Yes the issues may sometimes be a little more complex and no the police may not be much help but covering up such incidents cannot be acceptable.

  5. absolutely no amnesty There is no reason on Gods earth why we should accept abuse of our elders, there is so much of it happening, staff need to understand what abuse is, even down to “oh Mrs so and so is agitated tonight get sr to give her a drug, unbelievable. each and every residential facility needs to be secretly audited. one day these people will be old then they will think differently. discussing suggestion..

  6. I’ve seen a few aged care facilities but Bupa is the worst to date, I removed my loved one from their facility after 3 weeks. So disgusting

  7. I am Eileen Chubb one of the UK BUPA 7 whistle-blowers, see my book beyond the facade on how BUPA deny and cover up abuse. Also see the web-site and the special report breaking the silence Part 3, all BUPA homes in the UK involved in abuse. If anyone wants to contact us please get touch

  8. A toxic legacy was left by the “BUPA 7” whistleblowing case in the UK. This company has been shown to have had many incidents of abuse and neglect in the UK over many years – and we believe that a major contributory factor in this appalling record is that they “got away with it” in the BUPA 7 case 20 years ago.
    For more information please see, particularly note how many times BUPA appears in Tales of the Uninspected and Breaking the Silence. Also see the book by Eileen Chubb called “Beyond The Facade”.
    Compassion In Care will send evidence to any official inquiry about abuse in care homes in Australia.
    We now campaign for Edna’s Law in memory of Edna, who could have been saved if the BUPA 7 whistleblowers had been listened to. Please see also There Is No Me In Whistleblower on our website, which outlines how the public will be protected by protecting whistleblowers in all sectors under Edna’s Law. Everyone is Edna, whether they know it or not.


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