Feb 10, 2022

Jeta Gardens accused of “neglect” after resident falls from second-floor balcony

Resident falls from balcony

The incident occurred on 2 February at the Logan aged care home, the same day the home was sanctioned. 

The woman, who was in her 70s and had a history of anxiety and depression, was taken to hospital after the alleged fall with a suspected dislocated or fractured leg and other injuries.

A screenshot of an incident report obtained by the ABC notes “neglect” was a contributing factor to the incident.

The fall occurred after the resident did not receive her regular pain medication on time, according to the ABC report.

Registered nurses are the only staff permitted to administer pain medication and on the day in question only one RN was on duty to care for more than 160 residents.

The incident occurred the same day the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) deemed residents at the home were at “immediate and severe risk”.

An assessment in October found the home failed to meet personal and clinical care, human resources and governance standards.

In an assessment in August last year, Jeta Gardens noted “a number” of concerns were raised about short staffing, resulting in long call bell response times, and sometimes resulting in “distressed consumers waiting for assistance”.

Some staff told them “they have insufficient time to complete their duties”.

Beth Mohle from the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union told the ABC her organisation had been informed of a “disturbing incident” at the home which had been reported to the regulator.

“Tragically, this is not an isolated situation. Elderly residents in private aged care facilities throughout Queensland and Australia have been experiencing unnecessary pain, suffering and premature death as a result of chronic understaffing for years.”

Ms Mohle said the union had raised issues regarding staffing levels and dangerous workloads at Jeta Gardens with both ACQSC and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland last year.

She said union members working at the facility had also filed workload grievance forms with both Jeta Gardens and ACQSC.

Jeta Gardens chief executive, Wesley Carter, told the ABC that on behalf of all staff and residents, “We are deeply sorry and concerned for the welfare of one of our residents under our care.”

He added, “The resident is currently being treated at a Brisbane hospital with multiple injuries and is settled as a ward patient.”

Jeta Gardens has been at the centre of Queensland’s largest and deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in aged care, with 100 residents and 82 staff contracting the illness. 

Since the home declared the outbreak on Christmas Eve, 15 residents have died from COVID-19.

The aged care home has appointed a team of specialist clinical advisors to help with clinical governance, best practice infection prevention and control and staff training.

In a media statement, Jeta Gardens denied media reports the home is closing.

“This has never been raised in any meeting or discussion we have held with Aged Care, ACQSC, QLD Health, or the Public Health Unit.

“Media reports to the contrary are without base,” the statement said.

Jeta Gardens is 57% owned by KPJ Healthcare Malaysia. 

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