by Rob Harris, national politics reporter, Herald Sun
NINETEEN Victorian nursing homes failed to meet some of the most basic standards of care in the past year — including one eastern suburbs facility which was forced to close.
A damning report has revealed an emerging crisis in the aged care sector, showing almost 600 facilities across the country did not meet industry regulations in the past five years.
An audit summary, seen by the Herald Sun, has named and shamed the homes for the first time — detailing breaches across the board including even problems with the provision of services “as free as possible from pain”.
It comes after a flu outbreak in Victoria killed seven people aged between 70 to 94 in Wangaratta last month, forcing federal government intervention to make flu shots compulsory for all staff.
Among its many failures, the hostel operated by Noble Care Pty Ltd failed to have an effective infection control program and had not minimised fire or security risks.
The audit found there was insufficient staff at the 35-bed home to meet all of the needs of care recipients.
Alarmingly, it found the home’s medication system did not consistently ensure residents’ treatment were managed safely and that staff did not always follow prescribed orders.
“Care recipients are not always receiving medication based on instructions by a medical officer. Medication was not always packed or dispensed according to relevant legislation,” the report found.
The agency said its decision to revoke Marlborough Gardens Hostel’s aged care accreditation “reflects the seriousness of recent failures to meet the Accreditation Standards”.
Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt will this month be handed an urgent report into fixing the system which was commissioned after frightening details of the treatment of residents at the Oakden nursing home in Adelaide came to light.
“While we have a strong aged care regulatory framework, it is vital to ensure this continues to respond to growth and change in the sector,” Mr Wyatt said.
Allanvale Private Nursing Home, in Altona Meadows, failed to meet four outcomes relating to two industry standards including clinical care.
A separate AACQA report into the home noted “staff cannot demonstrate care recipients’ skin integrity is managed to ensure it is consistent with their general health.”
Boort District Health Low Care, a 30-bed facility in northwest Victoria, failed standards demanding residents receive “adequate nourishment and hydration”.
Both homes were given months to fix their breaches.