Neglected residents, neglected system?

Media reports of poor care have added fuel to the fire, highlighting the need for an investigation and further government reform.

Newly emerged media claims of nursing home neglect have rocked the sector, prompting the need for further investigation and continued government reform. 

An article printed by News Limited’s The Sunday Telegraph last week made scathing remarks against two leading aged care providers, Bupa Care Services and Domain Principal Group.

The article claimed there were “despicable” conditions of cruelty and stated that poorly performing nurses mistreated residents.

Bupa Care Services defended their delivery of care which, they said, is of a high standard.

“Our residents deserve to be treated with the utmost decency and respect and we are committed to delivering the highest quality of care,” said Bupa’s service and quality director, Leanne Morton.

“Any failure to meet this standard of care is totally unacceptable. Bupa Care Services is extremely concerned by the allegations outlined in The Sunday Telegraph and has launched an immediate enquiry into the events.”

Managing director of the Doman Principal Group, Dr Greg Roder said that they will also investigate the matter, and will work closely with the Department of Health and Ageing to ensure that all areas of concern are addressed as a priority.

“The Domain Principal Group is committed to the highest standard of care and the wellbeing of our residents,” said Dr Roder. “Our employees and volunteers work hard in delivering this care with a focus on maintaining privacy and treating residents with dignity and respect.”

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has since called for continued government reform to relieve the pressure placed on aged care nurses.

“Reform has begun, but these disturbing allegations are a harsh reminder that it is imperative Australia acts quickly to protect its most vulnerable citizens,” ANF Assistant secretary, Lee Thomas, said.

“We need enough staff with the right skills to look after residents, many of who have complex needs. We also need to pay aged care nurses competitive wages in order to encourage them to remain or enter the aged care sector.”

CEO of Catholic Health Australia, Martin Laverty, also stressed the need to pay aged care staff better in an opinion piece printed in today’s The Australian newspaper (also owned by News Limited).

“The case for better pay for aged-care workers has been building for a while,” said Mr Laverty.

“Yet this pay claim is not likely to play out like other standard union campaigns. The issues are more complicated than they first appear. It is not in the gift of employers to simply bump up pay overnight.

“…With the government controlling funding to aged-care services, a pay claim can be met only if funding rules are changed and government funding increased. Without these changes, there is little money in the kitty for better pay.” 

Tags: aged, australia, bupa, care, catholic, domain, group, health, principal, services,

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