Feb 01, 2023

Estia Health apologises to families of residents for abusive staff member

01_02_23 abusive ac worker

Aged care provider, Estia Health, has issued an apology to its residents and their families who were abused by an abusive nursing assistant at their Epping facility in New South Wales.

On Monday, 26-year-old Asmita Pandey pleaded guilty to slapping four elderly residents with dementia between December 2021 and March 2022.

Following the guilty plea, Estia Health has apologised to residents and their families for the assaults and said the organisation acted swiftly to resolve the situation.

“We sincerely apologise that this has occurred at the home,” Estia Health’s Chief Executive, Sean Bilton, said.

“The safety and well-being of our residents is our foremost priority… We do not tolerate any form of abuse or mistreatment of our residents. 

“As soon as we became aware of the allegations, we informed the police, and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, and met with the families of those residents involved.

“We also spoke with the families of all our residents in the home.’’

The court heard from Estia employees who witnessed the assaults how Ms Pandey, who is on a working visa from Nepal, would slap the women when they were getting ready for bed or being showered because they were being “loud” and “uncooperative”.

They also allege they saw Ms Pandey hitting an elderly resident with a shower head and boasted in the tea room to colleagues about punching another resident in the face.

The family of the assaulted residents also attended court and voiced their concerns to Nine News

“It’s quite confronting to get a phone call that’s telling you that someone that you’ve placed into a care situation has been mistreated in such a way,” said the daughter of one of the victims.

“If it hadn’t been for the witnesses coming forward she’d probably still be perpetrating it and carrying out these assaults on the older residents,” another victim’s family member said.

To help prevent these assaults from happening in the future, Mr Bilton wants to see the implementation of a register to keep track of aged care workers and any incidents that may occur. 

“Estia Health continues to strongly encourage the Government, as part of the wider sector reforms recommended by the Royal Commission in Aged care Quality and Safety, to introduce a national register of workers to help ensure that those who behave inappropriately, or who have a history of doing so, are prevented from working in the sector,’’ he explained.

“Any form of abuse or mistreatment of aged care residents in Australia should not be tolerated.”

Ms Pandey’s employment was terminated and she is now banned from working in the healthcare industry. She will return to court to be sentenced at Parramatta Local Court on March 17.

This incident follows the death of 70-year-old WA Baptistcare resident, Monica Mary Stockdale, earlier this month .

Her son, Matt Stockdale,  called for the register to be fast-tracked to prevent abuse happening in aged care. 

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