Sep 02, 2019

Bupa Seaforth has sanctions extended

Bupa Seaforth has had its sanctions extended and will have its accreditation revoked if it can not demonstrate to the Quality Commission it is at least on the path to full compliance.

“Ongoing concerns”

In an audit on 2 May 2019, Bupa Seaforth failed to meet 18 of the expected quality outcomes.

On 10 June 2019, the Quality Commission made the decision to revoke accreditation of Bupa Seaforth from 17 October 2019.

On 18 June 2019, a decision was made that the facility’s failure to meet six quality outcomes placed the “safety, health and wellbeing” of residents at “serious risk”. The Quality Commission said it will continue to monitor the facility through unannounced audits.

Bupa failed to comply with quality standards for human resources management, clinical care, medication management, pain management, skin care, behavioural management and regulatory compliance.

Most recently, on 9 August 2019, the Department of Health made the decision to extend sanctions on Bupa Seaforth “due to ongoing concerns identified at the service by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission” in a review conducted between 29 April and 2 Mary 2019. The sanctions will now expire on 19 January 2020.

“Simply unacceptable”: Minister

The Minister for Aged Care, Richard Colbeck, told HelloCare, “Persistent failure to meet aged care quality and safety standards is simply unacceptable.

“Approved providers must either return to compliance or risk having their status revoked, which brings significant financial consequences,” he said.

“Challenging” time for staff, residents and families

A Bupa spokesperson told HelloCare it has been a “challenging” time for Bupa Seaforth.

“Having sanctions at the home during this time is challenging for our residents, their families and the team at the home,” the spokesperson said.

The organization has appointed new staff to help address the problems in the facility.

“We are working hard to make the necessary changes at our Seaforth home. It is taking time to fix some of these issues, but we’re committed to making the necessary improvements to put things right.

“We have a new leadership team in place, including an experienced General Manager, and our dedicated staff are focused on delivering quality care to all of our residents.”

Bupa said it hopes to be reaccredited before the revocation occurs. 

“We are continuing to work closely with the Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to return the home to full compliance and provide the care that our residents deserve,” the spokesperson said. 

“Accreditation is scheduled to be revoked at Bupa Seaforth on 17 October 2019. We’re hopeful that with continued improvements made we may be able to be reaccredited before this time.”

Errors, problems ignored, lack of qualified staff

Sanctions were first imposed on Bupa Seaforth on 18 September 2018. This is the second time sanctions have been extended. 

In the audit report from between 29 April and 2 May 2019, the Quality Commission stated, “Clinical indicator data is being collected, collated, analysed, reported on and discussed at relevant meetings, however some of the data is inaccurate. 

“Feedback is being given by key stakeholders, however some representatives interviewed told us this does not lead to improvement or that improvements are only made ‘around the edges’ and the core problems are not addressed.” 

The report also notes there aren’t appropriately skilled and qualified staff to ensure services are adequately delivered, and there are “excessive” response times when residents call for assistance.

Secret camera captured abuse

In an audit on 19 July 2017, Bupa Seaforth was found to have passed all 44 quality standards.

In 2018, a care worker from Bupa Seaforth was charged with assault after a resident’s family secretly installed a camera in their loved one’s room, and recorded the carer beating the frail and elderly man with a shoe and pulling the man from his bed. 

The carer was sentenced to an intensive correction order, to be served in the community, after appealing a jail sentence.

Bupa Seaforth opened doors in 2016

Under the sanctions, the freeze on government funding for new residents with remain.

Under the sanctions, Bupa also had to appoint an advisor, administrator and conducted additional training at its own cost.

Bupa, which is owned by a UK-based multinational giant, currently has nine nursing homes under sanction in Australia.

Bupa Seaforth, which is located in a waterfront suburb on Sydney’s leafy north shore, first opened its doors to residents in 2016.

This article was edited on 3 September 2019 to include a comment from the Minister.

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