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Minister for Ageing must ensure consistency of standards.

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Senator Jan McLucas Labor Senator for Queensland Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disabilities and Carers

Media Release

24 April 2007

Minister for Ageing must ensure consistency of standards

Minister Pyne must explain the inconsistencies in the aged care accreditation process after his statement today showed that Broughton Hall was non-compliant on 12 out of 44 Accreditation Outcomes although the facility passed all 44 out of 44 a year ago.

These findings come after an audit by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency. The last assessment of Broughton Hall was in April 2006.

"The Minister for Ageing is responsible for the operation and standards of Australia's 3000 aged care facilities. It is his responsibility to ensure facilities are complaint with all 44 Accreditation Outcomes.

"The Minister was informed about the incidence at Broughton Hall on Saturday 14 April and it took him till 18 April to do anything about it. The Minister needs to explain why it took him so long to take any action," Senator McLucas said.

"Why is it that every time there has been an aged care incident reported in the media the Agency will visit and find a facility has failed several Accreditation Outcomes but only a short time previously it would have been given a clean bill of health?

"There is a view in the sector that there is inconsistency in the application of the accreditation standards. The Minister must now respond to that community concern and give an assurance that systems are in place so the public can be assured standards are consistent and reliable in Australia's aged care facilities."

Senator McLucas extended her condolences to the families of those who died in the outbreak of gastroenteritis in Broughton Hall Nursing Home, and her best wishes for the recovery of those currently hospitalised.

Contact: Sen Jan McLucas 0407 169 206 Heather Witham 0417 010 734