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Australian Government acts to protect residents at Melbourne nursing home



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THE HON JUSTINE ELLIOT MP

Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

Australian Government acts to protect residents at Melbourne nursing home

The Australian Government has required a Melbourne nursing home to appoint a nurse adviser - for the next six months - to improve clinical care and train staff at the 60-resident facility - as part of a range of tough measures.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency identified potential concerns with 30 accreditation outcomes out of a possible 44. This includes health and clinical care, nutrition and hydration, continence management, mobility and rehabilitation, infection control, catering and cleaning.

Last night (September 2), residents and family members at Patricia Gladwell Aged Care Home, a 45-high care and 15-low care nursing home in Brunswick were officially advised the home had been put under sanction by the Department of Health and Ageing.

It is the third nursing home in Victoria to be placed under sanction by the Australian Government since November 2007.

The Accreditation Agency deemed residents were not receiving appropriate care and services resulting in them being placed in “serious risk” in relation to their health, safety and wellbeing. The official sanction is expected to be on the Department’s website this week.

The sanction is for six months and the approved provider is Vaucluse Hospital Pty Ltd.

On 28 August 2008, the Accreditation Agency identified serious risk at the nursing home. This was after a full review audit was commenced on 22 August 2008.

On 2 September 2008, the approved provider submitted a nomination for an adviser with nursing and administrative experience. The Department has approved the appointment and the Nurse adviser has commenced at the home. Training is being organised for staff.

Under the tough measures imposed by the Australian Government, the nursing home:

Was required to appoint a specialist Nurse Adviser for six months;

Was required to implement proper training for staff; and

Will be ineligible to receive Commonwealth subsidy for new residents for a six-month period.

The nursing home will be visited daily by the Accreditation Agency while serious risk to residents remains in addition to weekly visits by Department of Health and Ageing officers.

The nursing home has already appointed a new Chief Executive Officer and a new Director of Nursing.

Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot said: “We make no apologies for the tough action that is being taken in relation to this or any other home where potential problems with care are identified.”

“Older Australians in aged care deserve good care and any home failing will be dealt with,” Mrs Elliot said.

September 3, 2008

For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280