‘Immediate and severe risk’: Qld’s horror nursing homes

 

Exclusive: A Queensland nursing home has been declared an "immediate and severe risk'' to residents after a surprise swoop by government inspectors.

An investigation by News Corp Australia can reveal that 26 Australian aged care homes have current sanctions or compliance orders imposed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC), after unannounced audits.

In Queensland, the ACQSC found an "immediate and severe risk'' to residents at the Southport Lodge nursing home on the Gold Coast.

A new audit report, released only this week, reveals ACQSC slapped a sanction on the home last month, banning it from receiving taxpayer subsidies for any new residents for six months.

Southport Lodge, owned by Planlow Pty Ltd, flunked all eight quality standards - including care and staffing.

The audit criticised short-staffing, and found the home "does not have a workforce that is sufficient, skilled and qualified to provide safe and timely quality care and services''.

"There are no registered staff available overnight to assess consumers who may experience a deterioration during this time,'' the report says.

Visitors are seen leaving Southport Lodge nursing home after it was assessed as one of the 27 worst in the country. Picture: Scott Powick NEWSCORP
Visitors are seen leaving Southport Lodge nursing home after it was assessed as one of the 27 worst in the country. Picture: Scott Powick NEWSCORP

"Insufficient staff are being rostered onto shifts to meet the care needs of consumers.''

Police and an ambulance arrived at Southport Lodge just after 11am yesterday.

Three paramedics entered the nursing home, and police arrived for a short period before leaving.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said officers were called to handle what seemed to be a minor episode from a resident related to a medical condition.

A Southport Lodge spokeswoman would not say why police and ambulance officers had been called.

She said the home was "working hard to resolve all concerns raised by the Commission and has appointed an experienced nurse adviser to assist us with training and guidance over the next six months''.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union secretary Beth Mohle said it was a "national disgrace'' that nursing homes are not required by law to hire nurses around the clock.

"Unlike childcare or hospitals, there are no laws that state how private aged care facilities should safely be staffed,'' she said.

"As a result, private aged care providers can choose to run skeleton staff in order to boost profits.''

From the outside, Japara looks like an upscale resort. Picture: supplied
From the outside, Japara looks like an upscale resort. Picture: supplied

Aged care homes have also been busted breaking COVID-19 rules months after the pandemic killed hundreds of elderly residents.

The Southport Lodge audit found the home "does not demonstrate an understanding of strategies required to minimise a potential COVID-19 outbreak''.

"The service does not have sufficient handwashing facilities and does not demonstrate that infection control is practised in line with Communicable Diseases Network Australia guidelines,'' the report reveals.

"The service does not have a current Outbreak Management Plan that provides guidance in relation to a potential outbreak of COVID-19.''

The fresh audit failure comes after authorities uncovered shocking abuse and neglect at the Japara Noosa nursing home.

Government inspectors have uncovered ongoing COVID-19 breaches in 15 nursing homes - two in Queensland, nine in NSW and four in Victoria - despite the deaths of 685 Australians in aged care last year.

Japara Noosa - which says it has "apologised for the shortcomings'' - was also slammed by ACQSC for breaching pandemic directives by Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

Queensland Police attend Southport Lodge nursing home which has been assessed as one of the worst in the country. Pictrue: Scott Powick.
Queensland Police attend Southport Lodge nursing home which has been assessed as one of the worst in the country. Pictrue: Scott Powick.

"Processes to manage and prevent a potential COVID-19 outbreak were not effective,'' the auditors reported after an unannounced inspection in November.

"Visitors were observed to enter the service without screening.

"The service did not meet the directive of the Chief Health Officer that all persons entering or remaining in a residential aged care facility were to have an up to date vaccination against influenza.''

Queensland Health yesterday said that aged care homes are "high risk environments'' for COVID-19 outbreaks but would not reveal if Dr Young would take action.

"Failing to comply with even the most basic measure can have tragic consequences,'' a spokesperson said.

"We have seen the devastation caused by outbreaks in nursing homes in other states and countries.''

A federal Health Department spokesman said that aged care providers are responsible for training staff in infection prevention and control, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

"Providers are aware that should they require access to PPE, due to difficulty sourcing privately, the Australian Government's national medical stockpile can rapidly arrange for distribution,'' he said.

 

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AGED CARE SHAME FILE: 26 HOMES NAMED ACROSS AUSTRALIA

 

 

QUEENSLAND

Southport Lodge - "immediate and severe risk"

Owned by Planlow Pty Ltd

Sanction imposed 23 December 2020 - banned from Commonwealth subsidies for any new residents for six months. External adviser appointed on 31 December 2020.

Failed all eight quality standards - for personal and clinical care, services and supports for daily living, consumer dignity and choice, service environment, staffing, feedback and complaints, governance, ongoing assessment and planning with consumers.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) identified an "immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of care recipients''.

The audit team found the home "does not demonstrate an understanding of strategies required to minimise a potential COVID-19 outbreak … (and) does not have sufficient handwashing facilities.''

"The service does not have a workforce that is sufficient, skilled and qualified to provide safe and timely quality care and services … there are no registered staff available overnight.''

Response: "The service is working hard to resolve all concerns raised by the Commission and has appointed an experienced Nurse Adviser to assist us with training and guidance over the next six months. We are committed to continuous quality improvement and strive to provide the best quality care to all of our residents."

Queensland Ambulance Officers attended Southport Lodge nursing home, which has been assessed as one of the 26 worst in the country. Photo: Scott Powick
Queensland Ambulance Officers attended Southport Lodge nursing home, which has been assessed as one of the 26 worst in the country. Photo: Scott Powick

Japara Noosa - "multiple assaults causing injury and death''

The home's accreditation was cut short to September 2021 and Japara was told to appoint an adviser for six months and to train staff in "safe and effective clinical care and personal care including incident reporting, completion of monitoring charts, wound management, behaviour management, escalation/reporting of deteriorating consumers, palliative care, falls management, medication management, skin care/pressure area care.'' The home in Tewantin failed all eight quality standards, including personal and clinical care.

" … there have been multiple assaults between consumers causing injury and death.''

Response from a Japara Aged Care Services spokeswoman: "We have been fulsome with information and apologised to residents and their families for the shortcomings and we have an open and ongoing dialogue with them."

Japara aged care in Noosa. Picture: supplied
Japara aged care in Noosa. Picture: supplied

VICTORIA

Epping Gardens - "serious risk''

Epping

Owned by Heritage Care Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions in July 2020 and banned from admitting new residents after a COVID-19 outbreak infected 103 residents and 86 staff, killing 38 elderly residents. An audit in October 2020 detected deficiencies in personal and clinical care, complaints and governance standards. It found that failures evident at the time of the outbreak had been "mitigated''. The audit found 25 complaints have been made to the ACQSC since August 2019.

Response sought January 21, 2021

 

Several residents died of COVID-19 at Epping Gardens Aged Care facility. Picture: Paul Jeffers
Several residents died of COVID-19 at Epping Gardens Aged Care facility. Picture: Paul Jeffers

St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Victoria - "inappropriate chemical restraint''

Fawkner

Threatened with sanctions in July 2020 after 45 residents died of COVID-19 and an audit flagged failures in personal and clinical care, planning with consumers, feedback and complaints and organisational governance. Banned from admitting new residents until risks addressed.

An audit revealed "inappropriate use of chemical restraint'' as residents were doped with sedatives, sometimes without consent.

Response sought January 21, 2021

 

St Basil’s was linked toCOVID-19 outbreaks and deaths at the height of Melbourne’s lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray
St Basil’s was linked toCOVID-19 outbreaks and deaths at the height of Melbourne’s lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray

Kalyna Care - "serious risk''

Delahey

Owned by Ukrainian Elderly People's Homes

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 after a COVID-19 outbreak and banned from admitting new residents until it rectifies "serious risks'' and breaches of care, planning, staffing and governance guidelines.

Inspectors found "numerous instances of wound review and treatment not complying with … procedures and best practice principles''.

Response sought January 21, 2021

Kalyna Care in Delahey. Picture: Supplied
Kalyna Care in Delahey. Picture: Supplied

Kirkbrae Kilsyth Hostel - "serious risk''

Kilsyth

Owned by Presbyterian Church of Victoria Trusts Corporation

Threatened with sanctions in July 2020 and banned from admitting new residents until fixing "serious risks'' after a COVID-19 outbreak. Inspectors found breaches of clinical care and organisational governance in October 2020.

The ASQSC report states the church "acknowledges that at times there may be shortfalls in individual staff practices''.

Response sought January 27, 2021

 

Kirkbrae Aged Care in Kilsyth. Picture: Supplied
Kirkbrae Aged Care in Kilsyth. Picture: Supplied

Japara Goonawarra - "serious risk"

Sunbury

Owned by Japara Aged Care Services Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions and banned from admitting new residents in August 2020, until proving it is COVID-19 free and has addressed "serious risks'' including problems with clinical care.

An ACQSC inspection in October found residents were not assessed for pain after a fracture or pressure injury.

Response from a Japara spokeswoman: "We have been working closely with the ACQSCA and are focused on ensuring we deliver the very best care for residents.''

Japara Goonawarra Aged Care Home in Sunbury. Picture: David Geraghty
Japara Goonawarra Aged Care Home in Sunbury. Picture: David Geraghty

Grace of Mary Greek Cypriot Elderly Hostel - "pain is not effectively monitored and managed"

Epping

Owned by The Community of Cypriots of the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 and banned from accepting new residents until proving it is COVID-19 free and has rectified "serious risks'' to residents.

An ACQSC audit in October 2020 found breaches of clinical care, staffing, consumer planning and governance standards.

Response sought January 26 2021

 

Grace of Mary, Greek Cypriot Hostel, Epping. Picture: Google Maps
Grace of Mary, Greek Cypriot Hostel, Epping. Picture: Google Maps

Glenlyn Aged Care Facility - "multiple incidents of sexually inappropriate or physically aggressive behaviour (between consumers).''

Glenroy

Owned by Kincsem Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 and banned from admitting new residents until proving it is COVID-19 free and has rectified "serious risks'' to residents.

An inspection in November 2020 found breaches of seven of the eight quality standards, including resident care and staffing.

"Following the recent COVID-19 outbreak the service was unable to demonstrate effective staff practice in the use of personal protective equipment, hand hygiene and other prevention strategies.''

Response: "The residents we care for are the people who have been refused placement at other aged care homes due to their diagnosis and/or behaviours, and for many of them the only alternative is often a locked psychiatric ward. We believe that the findings of the … ACQSC (audit) fail to interpret the requirements of quality and safety standards in a way that is appropriate to our … residents.''

Glenlyn Aged Care in Glenroy. Picture: Mark Stewart
Glenlyn Aged Care in Glenroy. Picture: Mark Stewart

Cumberland Manor - "staff lacked an understanding of key clinical areas''

Sunshine North

Owned by Primary Caring Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 and banned from admitting new patients until "serious risks'' addressed, after COVID-19 infected 53 residents, resulting in 11 deaths, as well as 54 staff.

Failed standards for personal and clinical care, staffing, governance and planning with consumers during a November 2020 audit.

"The service has not delivered safe and effective care to all consumers prescribed chemical restraint.''

Response sought January 21, 2021

Cumberland Manor, Sunshine North. Picture: Supplied
Cumberland Manor, Sunshine North. Picture: Supplied

Florence Aged Care Facility - "fearful of retribution"

Altona North

Owned by Softwood Ridge Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 and banned from admitting new residents until addressing "serious risks'', after a COVID-19 outbreak infected 28 residents and 15 staff, with eight residents dying. The home failed five out of eight quality standards, including personal and clinical care, in a November 2020 audit. External managers were appointed in September 2020.

Residents and relatives told the inspectors they had "no faith'' in previous management and felt "bullied and were fearful of retribution when raising concerns'', but were happy with the interim management team.

Response sought January 27, 2021

 

Florence Aged Care in Altona North. Picture: Mark Stewart
Florence Aged Care in Altona North. Picture: Mark Stewart

Glendale Aged Care

Werribee

Owned by Allity Pty Ltd

Threatened with sanctions over "serious risks'' in July 2020 after COVID-19 infected 25 residents and 18 staff, killing three residents. The home breached personal and clinical care standards in a November 2020 audit.

"The service was unable to demonstrate the minimisation of infection related risks as staff PPE practices are inconsistently monitored and do not align with infection control guidelines".

The home told inspectors that staff had been "counselled and further training provided'' and would "ensure higher standards are maintained''.

Response: "The COVID pandemic has taught us all how critical it is to prevent infection from entering aged care homes. The regulator has accepted our plan for improvement … and we continue to work regularly with the regulator as well as state and federal health authorities to ensure we can make aged care as safe as possible for our residents, staff and families.''

Twin Parks Aged Care Centre, Reservoir. Picture: Google Maps
Twin Parks Aged Care Centre, Reservoir. Picture: Google Maps

Twin Parks Aged Care Centre

Reservoir

Owned by Coburg Aged Care

Threatened with sanctions in August 2020 and banned from admitting any new residents until demonstrating it has addressed "serious risks'' to residents. The ACQSC found it breached four of the eight standards - including personal and clinical care and staffing.

Response sought January 28, 2021

 

 

NSW

Newmarch House - "many medication incidents''

Kingswood

Owned by Anglican Community Services

Threatened with sanctions in July 2020 and ordered to train staff and appoint an adviser for six months, after 19 residents died in a COVID-19 outbreak between April and June. Failed all eight quality standards in a July audit. Accreditation cut short to May 14 this year.

"Skin care, falls management, medication management, continence care, end of life care, nutrition and hydration and incident management does not always meet consumer needs and does not optimise consumer health and wellbeing.''

"Deficits were found in staff infection control practices and cleaning of equipment including during the COVID-19 outbreak.''

New audit completed January 12-15 but results not finalised.

Response: We have been working closely with all Government authorities since the beginning of the outbreak and extending beyond the closure of the outbreak to the present day to ensure the best possible care for all those for whom we are responsible. The current Notice to Agree for Newmarch House will be lifted on 30 January 2021.''

Newmarch House in Kingswood, Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Newmarch House in Kingswood, Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

St Simeon Village - "gaps in many areas of personal and clinical care''

Plumpton

Owned by Serbian Orthodox Diocese Aged Care and Education Property Fund.

Failed all 8 quality standards in October 2020 audit by ACQSC.

"The Assessment Team identified gaps in many areas of personal and clinical care, including behaviour management and use of psychotropic medication; skin, pressure, and wound care; falls prevention and management; nutrition and hydration management; pain management; clinical monitoring and oversight; and accident and incident reporting, investigation and follow-up.''

Response sought January 21, 2021

 

St Simeon Village, Plumpton, New South Wales. Picture: Google Maps
St Simeon Village, Plumpton, New South Wales. Picture: Google Maps

Courtlands Aged Care Facility - "immediate and severe risk''

North Parramatta

Owned by Christadelphian Homes Limited

Stripped of Commonwealth subsidies for new residents in October 2020, for six months, after the ACQSC found it an "immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing'' of residents. An inspection in October found infection control to be "non-compliant''. On December 22, 2020 the ACQSC shortened accreditation to June 19 this year.

"The assessment team noted that sanitiser wipes were not readily available, some staff were touching masks, slings were being shared, as well as breaches in the screening of visitors. Bathrooms and toilets … were not clean.''

Response: "It related to a couple of bathrooms out of approximately 110 … the residents … had minor accidents … I agree it is not acceptable and we immediately modified the cleaning schedule.''

Courtlands Aged Care Facility, North Parramatta, NSW.
Courtlands Aged Care Facility, North Parramatta, NSW.

Mirae Community Care Service Australia (in-home care) - "unable to demonstrate each consumer gets safe care''

Bankstown

Owned by Stonebridge Global Consulting Pty Ltd

Sanctions imposed October 2020, and stripped of Commonwealth funding for new residents for four months.

Failed seven of eight standards in September 2020 audit.

"The service was unable to demonstrate that each consumer gets safe and effective personal care, clinical care, or both personal care and clinical care that optimises their health and wellbeing."

Response: Could not be contacted by phone or email listed on website.

Mirae Community Care Service Australia website. Picture: Supplied
Mirae Community Care Service Australia website. Picture: Supplied

RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village - "medication management unsafe"

Glen Ines

Owned by Royal Freemasons' Benevolent Institution

Breached all eight quality standards in a November 2020 audit. Ordered to train staff in "safe and effective clinical and personal care, falls management, restraint management and identification of clinical deterioration.''

"Medication management at the service is unsafe; consumers are administered the wrong dose of medications.''

Response: "We were very disappointed with these findings as they do not reflect the standard of care that we pride ourselves on and we have taken immediate steps to address the gaps identified. RFBI … are committed to turning these results around and ensuring our residents continue to receive the very best care and services.''

RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village, New South Wales. Picture: Google Maps
RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village, New South Wales. Picture: Google Maps

Scalabrini Village Nursing Home - "immediate and severe risk''

Allambie Heights

Owner Scalabrini Village Ltd

Sanction imposed December 2020, and stripped of Commonwealth funding for any new residents for six months. The ACQSC found an "immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing'' of residents, with the nursing home breaching all eight quality standards including personal and clinical care. The full report has not been released.

Response sought January 27, 2021

Scalabrini Village Nursing Home, Allambie Heights. Picture: Supplied
Scalabrini Village Nursing Home, Allambie Heights. Picture: Supplied

 

St Charbel's Care Centre - "infection risks not minimised safely"

Punchbowl

Owned by St Charbel's Care Centre Ltd

Threatened with sanctions in November 2020 and ordered to appoint an adviser and train staff in safe and effective clinical care and management of resident behaviour, medication, restraint, falls and infection control. The home failed seven of the eight quality standards, including resident care, in an October audit.

Response sought January 27, 2021

St Charbel’s Care Centre, Punchbowl. Picture: Google Maps
St Charbel’s Care Centre, Punchbowl. Picture: Google Maps

Lithgow Aged Care - "immediate and severe risk"

Lithgow

Owned by Lithgow Aged Care Ltd

Sanction imposed in December 2020 and stripped of Commonwealth subsidies for new residents for four months. ACQSC inspectors identified an "immediate and severe risk" to the safety, health or wellbeing of residents after the nursing home breached six out of eight quality standards, including personal and clinical care.

"Infection prevention and control had not been maintained through standard and transmission based precautions and there was a lack of COVID-19 outbreak management preparedness.''

Response by Lithgow Aged Care chairman Stephen Lesslie: "We are forbidden to take in any new residents and we have only a short time to satisfy the ACQSC inspectors. On a personal note . I have noticed that Lithgow Aged Care is a happy place and that the care and love that our staff give to our residents is exceptional.''

Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra (MACI), Warrawong. Picture: Google Maps
Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra (MACI), Warrawong. Picture: Google Maps

Illawarra Multi-Cultural Village Hostel - "medication errors''

Warrawong

Owned by Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra

Sanction imposed in November 2020, and stripped of Commonwealth subsidies for any new care recipient for six months. The hostel was ordered to appoint an adviser and to train staff in preparedness for a COVID-19 outbreak, as well as wound care, pain and medication management, chemical and physical restraint and weight loss. The hostel breached all eight quality requirements.

The ACQSC ordered the hostel to "review and update the COVID-19 outbreak management plan and improve COVID-19 outbreak preparedness''.

Response sought January 21, 2021

 

Heritage Botany Aged Care Facility. Picture: Supplied
Heritage Botany Aged Care Facility. Picture: Supplied

Heritage Botany - "immediate and severe risk''

Botany

Owned by Heritage Care Pty Ltd

Sanctioned in November 2020 and stripped of commonwealth subsidies for any new care recipients for six months. Ordered to appoint an adviser and train staff after failing all eight regulatory standards, including personal and clinical care. The ACQSC identified an "immediate and severe risk'' to the safety, health or wellbeing of residents.

An audit in August 2020 ordered the home to train more staff in PPE use and COVID-19 outbreak management.

"The service has not undertaken robust measures to minimise risk and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.''

Response: "A Commonwealth appointed nurse Adviser is overseeing the home."

Elizabeth Jenkins Place Aged Care Plus Centre, Collaroy. Picture: Supplied
Elizabeth Jenkins Place Aged Care Plus Centre, Collaroy. Picture: Supplied

Elizabeth Jenkins Place Aged Care Plus Centre - "high incidence of falls''

Collaroy

Owned by The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust

Threatened with sanctions in October 2020 and forced to appoint an adviser for six months and train staff in personal and clinical care including wound, pain and falls management. The home failed all eight regulatory standards in an October 2020 audit.

"There has been a high rate of injury following falls. Consumers have been dehydrated . pressure area and wound care is not being adequately addressed at the service''.

Response: "(The facility) has been working directly address the issues raised in the audit, while also introducing a new training plan for staff and engaging an external consultant to assist in reviewing and implementing improved standards of care for our residents''.

 

 

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Regis Burnside - "immediate and severe risk'' to residents

Linden Park

Owned by Regis Aged Care

Threatened with ACQSC sanction on 17 December 2020 and forced to appoint an adviser and train staff in "safe and effective clinical care and personal care, including incident reporting, the completion of monitoring charts, behaviour management, skin/pressure area care, wound care, and pain management''.

ACQSC inspectors identified an "immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of care recipients''. Regis Burnside failed to meet quality standards for personal and clinical care, staffing and service environment. ACQSC has not yet released the report.

Response sought January 21, 2021

 

 

Regis Burnside, Linden Park in South Australia.
Regis Burnside, Linden Park in South Australia.

Annie Lockwood Court Hostel - "immediate and severe risk to residents''

Whyalla

Owned by Whyalla Aged Care Inc

ACQSC threatened to impose a sanction on 23 December 2020 and forced the hostel to appoint an adviser for six months and to train staff in "safe and effective clinical care and personal care including unexpected weight loss and malnutrition, swallowing deficits and choking, falls management, restraint practices and obligations, and infection control practices''.

The hostel was deemed to pose an "immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of care recipients'' after failing all eight quality standards - including clinical care and staffing - in an ACQSC audit. The full report has not been released.

Response sought January 27 2021. Phone disconnected.

 

Annie Lockwood Court Hostel. Picture: Annie Lockwood Court
Annie Lockwood Court Hostel. Picture: Annie Lockwood Court

 

 

Originally published as 'Immediate and severe risk': Queensland's horror nursing homes


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