A report commissioned by Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) has highlighted fundamental shortcomings in the way elderly patients are transferred from hospitals to aged care facilities.
The study found a common perception among facility staff, residents and their family members that hospital personnel involved in transfers are “discourteous and unconcerned with the safety of older people”.
A major concern among aged care providers was that hospital personnel were failing to take responsibility and even blaming nursing homes, for skin tears and cases of severe weight loss that occurred during hospital stays.
Some nursing homes have even resorted to taking photographs of residents before admission to prove that the care they had provided was of high quality.
ACAA CEO Rod Young said the issues raised in the report require urgent action from the hospital and aged care sectors with Government support.
“Many of the issues can be fixed by hospitals adopting a more cooperative and coordinating role with aged care providers to ensure that the chain of custody is maintained with the patient’s welfare as the prime objective,” he said.
The report was based on the responses of 371 senior aged care professionals.