Evacuated home responds quickly to sanctions

A rural Victorian facility which was forced to evacuate during the recent fires has been hit with sanctions.

A rural Victorian nursing home which was evacuated during the recent bushfires has been sanctioned by the Commonwealth Government.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency identified serious risks to the health and safety of residents at Yarra Valley Nursing Home during an audit earlier this month.

Issues with non-compliance were first identified at the home in October last year but compliance action was suspended during the fires.

Problems at the home related to staffing levels, clinical care, pain management and nutrition and hydration.

The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot said she recognised that the home and its residents had been through a traumatic experience in the last two months.

“We want to work together with aged care providers, staff and families to help Yarra Valley Nursing Home provide quality care for their residents, but we make no apologies for placing a nursing home under sanction and looking after the welfare of frail and aged Australians,” she said.

The home has acted quickly to appoint a Commonwealth-approved nurse advisor and install new management systems.

General manager, Athol Hawke expressed his regret to residents and their families, saying the home was committed to working with the authorities to rectify the situation.

“I am disappointed but accept this decision,’ he said.

“I give my undertaking to our residents, their families, our valued staff and the community that we will fully cooperate with the Department of Health and Ageing and the agency and work hard to rectify the areas of non compliance as quickly as we can.”

He added that the need to evacuate the facility on two occasions in February had hampered its efforts to regain compliance.

“I do not seek to make excuses but I believe these extraordinary circumstances have contributed to the non-compliances in areas such as record keeping and management systems that have now been identified by the Agency,” Mr Hawke said.

Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) CEO, Gerard Mansour expressed regret about the sanctioning, saying it was an unfortunate but isolated incident.

He added that the home’s management was working closely with residents, their families and relevant authorities to prioritise the care of residents.

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