An aged care facility in New South Wales is facing serious sanctions following a shocking discovery of maggots in a resident’s head wound.
This is the second time this year the facility has been launched into the spotlight due to its improper care of residents. Back in January, the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission identified several issues on the premises surrounding medication management, clinical care, staffing, human resources and behaviour management. As a result the facility was ordered not to take on new residents until June this year.
Speaking to the ABC about the most recent findings, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the facility could face closure if action isn’t taken to improve the situation at hand.
The politician said it’s “totally unacceptable” that despite receiving a visit from the Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission earlier this year, the facility still has not upped its standards.
“The quality agency will certainly go back to that Bupa facility and will not allow them to provide reasons that are unacceptable,” he told the ABC.
“Ultimately as we have done in the past, we have closed facilities that have not performed.”
Bupa has since responded to the shocking incident and apologised to the man and his family. In a statement provided to Starts at 60 Bupa Aged Care Australia Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Cooper said they are committed to supporting the family into the future.
“We recognise the seriousness of this and apologise unreservedly to the resident and his family,” she said. “While recognising the need for privacy, the gentleman has returned to Bupa Eden and we are committed to caring for him and continuing to keep his family informed and supported.”
She added: “We can assure you we have taken immediate action to improve wound management at the home including providing additional training for our staff and also reviewing our existing guidelines.”
According to the ABC, the same facility was deemed a “severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of care patients” back in January. It was shockingly the ninth of Bupa’s aged care homes that failed to meet the compliance benchmarks set out by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
Speaking to the broadcaster earlier this year, Judy Reed explained the “appalling” situation her parents lived in while at the Eden facility. She claimed they were not treated as they should have been, likening it to something she wouldn’t even expose her dog to.
“My mother would sit on the toilet and the staff would say ‘I’ll come back soon’ and an hour and a half later they would come back, and she would still be sitting on the toilet. She couldn’t walk,” she told the ABC. “I wouldn’t put my dog in there.”
The maggot discovery follows news last month of the government’s pledge of an additional $662 million in aged care funding. A total of $282.4 million was announced to go towards 10,000 new home care packages, while another $320 million was to be offered to aged care providers to help boost subsidies.
Meanwhile, $4.2million is planned to go towards a medication management program and $7.4million on advisory services for care providers to help improve services.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted in the announcement in February that the elderly are now the government’s top priority.
“These places give older Australians the choice about how and where they want to live,” he said. “Older Australians have worked hard all their life, paid taxes and done their fair share, and they deserve our support.”