Jul 16, 2021

Care at mental health facility “inadequate” after maggots found in resident’s wound

Hospital bed and wheelchair

The Tasmanian government commissioned a report on Roy Fagan Centre after maggots were discovered in a resident’s wound during a family visit on Christmas Day 2020.

The family of a former resident of the facility is furious the facility is still experiencing problems, years after they experienced their own issues at the home.

Richard Weily first moved into the Roy Fagan Centre in 2013, but died only three weeks later.

When he first moved into the home, Richard was placed on medication that was known to increase the risk of falls. However, a coronial inquiry into his death found staff at the home did not take steps to manage that risk.

“There were no hip supports, there [were] no lowered beds, there was no alarm system on his bed,” the man’s daughter, Cheryl Weily, told the ABC.

Richard fractured his hip at the Roy Fagan Centre in July 2013 after falling from his bed and he died six days later.

Standard of care “well below acceptable”

The report on Roy Fagan Centre made 13 findings, including that the standard of care provided to the resident in the 24 hours before Christmas Day 2020 was “well below an acceptable level”.

It also found there is no “contemporary model of care” and “insufficient numbers and type of nursing staff for the variety and complexity of patient need”.

However, the report finds the standard of care provided during the remainder of the man’s stay, and in general at the Roy Fagan Centre, was “satisfactory”.

They said clinical leadership at the home acted immediately to make changes to processes and procedures, and the workforce is “well placed to embrace change and improvement”.

Details about the incident where maggots were discovered on the resident were redacted from the report, at the family’s request.

Recommendations accepted in full

The report also makes six recommendations, which have been accepted by the Tasmanian government in their totality.

The recommendations include that Older Persons Mental Health Services (OPMHS) in Tasmania should develop a comprehensive system of clinical governance, with the necessary resources to support this function.

OPMHS should be funded to deliver a full range of services, and in the next 12 months, the Roy Fagan Centre should develop a model of care based on increased funding.

Staffing problems well known

According to the ABC, Health and Community Services Union secretary Tim Jacobson said most of the issues in the report were well-known, including staff shortages and the lack of a model of care.

“The Roy Fagan Centre, unfortunately, has featured on our radar on more than one occasion over the last 20 odd years,” he said.

The inquiry into the Roy Fagan Centre is reminiscent of the Oakden scandal in South Australia, where appalling conditions in a state-run mental health facility eventually triggered the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Yet, despite the royal commission, here we are, still hearing about scandalously inadequate care of unwell older Australians.

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  1. This is a state run facility…just like Oakden. Totally operated by government, absolutely zero spending restrictions and virtually endless funding so there is no excuse for this neglect. Imagine if private facilities were able to receive matching funding how excellent services would be!
    Some of the very worst neglect has occurred in government facilities, explain that please.

    I wouldn’t be hanging my hat on any real assistance from Elder Persons Mental Health, they refuse to even visit someone diagnosed with dementia,just like public hospitals refuse to admit covid residents because they are federally funded while they say that the hospital is state funded. Madness!

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