High profile law firm Slater & Gordon has confirmed it is investigating a possible class action against the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Scheme over the alleged improper accreditation of facilities and mishandling of complaints.

Lawyer Andrew Baker said the firm had been approached by a number of people over the last week and the investigations were being undertaken on their behalf.

The potential legal action relates to accusations of mistreatment and serious injury arising from failed complaints handling by the scheme or facility accreditation that was inappropriately given or renewed by the accreditation agency.

“We have been approached by people who have had a relative harmed or mistreated in an aged care facility, who believe these incidents could have been avoided if earlier complaints had been handled better, or where the facility in question shouldn’t have had its accreditation granted or renewed in the first place,” Mr Baker said.

“Residents of aged care facilities often find themselves in a vulnerable position and it appears that the systems put in place to protect them, in some cases, may not be adequately responding to their needs.”

The law firm said it intends to investigate the full range of legal options for residents and their families and called for others in a similar situation to come forward.

Mr Baker said the Commonwealth could face a potential class action if it could be proved that it failed in its duty of care to protect the rights of these residents.

The possible action follows a series of reports on the ABC’s Lateline program broadcasting disturbing cases of abuse, neglect and poor standards of care in more than 100 aged care homes.

 

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3 Comments

  1. If only assistant in nursing and Registered nurses could be supported with better education on how to manage behaviours , many of the complaints would go away. Dementia education needs to be more practical and mandatory for aged care staff. All dementia wings need 4 hrs of lifestyle care to assist with sundowning in the afternoons.

  2. Could not agree more Cathy but that will never happen while managers of facilities would rather spend $40.00 an hour on short term visa agency casuals, some who struggle with English,who are also usually untrained and largely uncaring, rather than pay to develop proper levels and standards of staffing at their facilities.

  3. Managers of facilities often have no choice in the staff that they hire these days; there simply isn’t the trained people out there to choose from! Whilst this labor Government continues to strip money from aged care, we stand little chance of recruiting good quality staff and being able to provide further education to staff that are already working in aged care. $1.3 billion stripped out of aged care already and supposedly being “given back to the sector” by way of the Workforce Compact! What a joke!!..it was stolen from the sector in the first place! HOw about these lawyers help the families to lobby the Government in order that the aged care sector can pay wages in line with those that work in the public sector for a start!

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