Mar 26, 2018

Transparency In Aged Care: Blue Care Letter Apologises for “Quality Failures” to Local GPs

Blue Care has apologised for issues in their quality of care after their failure to meet standards was discovered in a spot check earlier this year.  

In late February, Pioneer Lodge in Bundaberg had officially failed its audit as published in a report by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

Of the 44 quality standards that must be met, the aged care facility failed 13 of them, including clinical care, medication, pain management and nutrition.

According to NewsMail, a letter was delivered to the GPs and doctors in the area. In the letter, Blue Care explained that their failings in the audit “highly abnormal for Blue Care”.

“The AACQA has granted Blue Care a three-month timetable for improvement to rectify the issues at our Pioneer facility,” it supposedly read.

The letter also acknowledged that issues with staff were being dealt with –  “it is clear that several staff members were not fulfilling their duties in accordance with our standards and expectations”.

One of the key messages of the letter was to reassure local doctors that their patients were safe at the facility – bringing transparency and honesty to the industry to keep people posted about the vulnerable residents.

Blue Care also explained that the facility would not be closing as a result of the audit.

A spokesperson for Blue Care has made it clear that the providers have learnt from their mistakes and were attempting to make amends and improvements.  

The provider has introduced a team of engaging senior independent nursing experts and a senior industry nurse adviser to help with the changes. A nurse practitioner has also been employed to assist in the diagnosis, treatment and management of acute and chronic conditions.

The Bundaberg facility had  “very well progressed, with recent feedback from residents, their families and the AACQA continuing to be positive”.

“Blue Care senior management and staff have been working closely with external advisers to implement numerous improvements to systems, processes and practices at Pioneer, including the engagement of a senior industry nurse adviser to be based at the facility who has been supporting the delivery of enhanced training to staff”.

“While staffing levels at Pioneer have always been in line with Australian aged care sector averages, we have also increased clinical nursing coverage at the site.”

While failing to meet the standards set by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is never a good thing, when a facility is open about their indiscretions and show an open and ongoing attempt to make improvements, it should be given a rightful chance.

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.

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