Jul 03, 2018

Aged care watch dog clamping down, scores nursing home 1 out of 44

A nursing home in Sydney’s western suburbs has been dubbed ‘Australia’s worst nursing home’ after it passed only one of the government’s 44 expected outcomes.

In an audit by the Federal Government’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency in April this year, the nursing home passed one expected outcomes required by the government for aged care providers.

The nursing home’s accreditation will be revoked from 21 July unless it can turn its operations around and show it is meeting government standards.

Last month, the AACQA issued a ‘serious risk’ warning for the facility, and will monitor its performance with unannounced visits.

Areas in which the nursing home failed to meet standards include not referring residents to external health professionals when required, not managing medication safely, not assessing pain adequately, not providing easily accessed drinking water for residents, and not managing continence needs properly.

The audit report states, “Staff and care recipients said they have been fearful in the home” and “Staff do no demonstrate respect for the privacy and dignity of each care recipient.”

Industry under growing financial pressure

While there is no doubt that for a nursing home to fail 43 of the 44 expected outcomes is a poor state of affairs, in light of the recent StewartBrown report showing that nearly 50 per cent of aged care facilities are making a financial loss, it’s perhaps not surprising. The industry is under financial pressure, and that pressure is said to be increasing.

Checks and balances are working

The fact the unmet standards have been identified suggest the aged care industry’s clamp down on checks and balances in the wake of the Oakden scandal appears to be working.

Company expresses “disappointment”, commitment to quality care

The owner of the nursing home in question issued a statement on its website.

“While we were very disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, we have been and will continue to work closely with the Quality Agency and the Department of Health to ensure that the care of our Care Recipients is of the highest standard and the facility continues to provide a high quality service well into the future,” it said.

It pointed out its accreditation remains in place for now.

The company has appointed an independent nurse administrator and a nurse advisor, and implemented a full training program for the staff. The company said its entire team has been actively working to restore the facility to full compliance and is making “strong progress” in addressing all issues.

“We are confident in our ability to meet full compliance in the near term and have our accreditation continued,” it said.

“Our priority is ensuring the quality of care for our Care Recipients,” it said.

This of course is the top priority – to ensure the elderly residents are well cared for. Let’s hope they don’t have to face the uncertainty and disruption of having to move to a new facility should the nursing home’s accreditation be revoked later this month.

We sincerely hope for a positive outcome for all involved.

CarePage’s Responsible Care initiative seeks to promote dialogue and engagement between all stakeholders in the sector. The sector has faced a history of limited transparency and accountability due to structural challenges of the sector. These issues are often left unresolved and deferred through a sector wide systemic trend historically to openly engage and commit to improvements. We believe that the sector requires a concerted effort to look beyond negative events and individual stories of distress however important these are, and for real change, to ask questions and accept answers focusing on constructive intent, innovation, cultural change, accountability and leadership rather than blame and avoidance.

Sometimes we note that some stakeholders may be frustrated with what providers or government say. Likewise sometimes providers maybe nervous to engage with consumers for fear of reprisal but every stake holders opinion is valid and all stakeholders need to respect each other for a real chance of sustainable change. Through our often exclusive series of expert interviews, videos and articles we hope to encourage and support positive change and provide our audience insights and educational information to navigate this industry change. We encourage and invite comments from all our readers and other industry stakeholders but ask that comments are respectful and questions are asked with a commitment to listen to the respondents answer and allow debate to facilitate the healing the sector so desperately needs. Be a Responsible Care supporter.

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  1. To improve the care. in Aged Care Facilities we need to make a few small changes.
    i) all care staff must not go to morning and afternoon tea breaks and LUNCH breaks (I have worked in Heath Care for well over 50 years and I have never been in a position to go to lunch or tea breaks with my (mates) at work.

    ii)In regard to visits by people to do with the Commission into Aged Care to commence in 2019………ALL visits should be made on both days of the weekend and between 5 p.m. and midnight (or later) during the week and at these hours also on the weekend.

    iii) staff (nursing and carers) should not be permitted to bring personal computers onto the premises.
    There should be a central and open-plan office only available to staff i.e. nursing staff.

    Rectify these issues and you will be WELL on the way to improving the conditions in Aged Care Facilities very swiftly AND AT NO COST to the management. Would also go a very long way to reducing the work load for staff and therefore reducing the need to more staff.

    1. “i) all care staff must not go to morning and afternoon tea breaks and LUNCH breaks (I have worked in Heath Care for well over 50 years and I have never been in a position to go to lunch or tea breaks with my (mates) at work.” As a 20 year Aged Care RN I can tell you that This is akin to slavery. The working conditions are already so bad that people become suicidal.You have no idea how much we wear our hearts on our sleeve.

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