Jan 29, 2021

Regulatory action taken against Japara following alleged deadly attack

The aged care watchdog has taken regulatory action against Japara Noosa following an alleged assault after which a resident died.

On 20 October 2020, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission learned that a resident of Japara Noosa had been transferred to hospital after an alleged assault and had subsequently passed away.

The regulator was also provided with “additional intelligence” that sparked concerns.

A week later, the Quality Commission conducted an unannounced visit to the home, with the subsequent audit spanning five days.

During the audit, the Quality Commission determined there was an “immediate and severe risk to the health, safety, and well-being of care recipients” at Japara Noosa.

According to the report on the audit:

  • Staff did not treat consumers with dignity, respect and privacy. The assessment team observed a resident receiving hygiene care with their bedroom and bathroom doors open. Staff were also overheard speaking inappropriately about consumer care in a communal area.
  • Assessments of risks such as pain, skin, malnutrition and falls were not individualised to each consumer, accurate or completed when required.
  • Wound management, pain management, and psychotropic medication use were not offered in a safe way.
  • Weight loss and nutritional intake were not monitored.

On 13 November 2020, the Quality Commission issued a Notice of Requirement to Agree to Certain Matters (NTA) to the provider. The NTA contained all the provisions of sanctions.  

As a condition of the NTA, the provider appointed an independent adviser on 19 November 2020 to help the home to comply with its legal responsibilities.  

Residents and relatives were advised of the NTA the same month. 

50 homes potentially affected  

If the provider had failed to agree to the conditions of the NTA, The Quality Commission could have revoked approval for Japara Aged Care Services Pty Ltd to receive government funding for the provision of aged care services, affecting all 50 aged care homes operated by Japara in Australia.

Japara’s accreditation period has been brought forward to 14 September 2021.  

“A shorter accreditation period means the Commission will return to the service sooner to conduct a comprehensive site audit against the 42 requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards,” according to a statement from Janet Anderson PSM.

Japara Noosa is also being closely monitored under the NTA as the home works to rectify the problems identified during the audit.  

The Queensland Coroner is investigating the alleged assault.

Japara is one of Australia’s largest aged care providers and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Image: grandriver, iStock.

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