The Commonwealth Government has ordered a Melbourne facility to appoint a nurse adviser for six months.
The requirement comes after an August audit of the Patricia Gladwell Aged Care Home in Brunswick, which found potential concerns with 30 of the 44 expected outcomes for accreditation.
The accreditation agency felt residents were not receiving appropriate care and services, leaving them in “serious risk”.
The nursing home will receive ongoing visits from the agency and the Department of Health and Ageing while it works to redress compliance issues.
“We make no apologies for the tough action that is being taken in relation to this or any other home where potential problems with care are identified,” said the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.
But the Australian Nursing Federation has said the government’s “tough action” would prove futile without concerted efforts to boost staff numbers across the industry.
“This situation cannot continue – we cannot keep seeing older Australians with complex health needs being put at risk by an over stretched, underfunded workforce,” said the federation’s Federal Secretary, Ged Kearney.
“Minister Elliot said that she is determined to put older Australians first – the government must act now to ensure a workforce of highly skilled, highly educated nurses are available to work in aged care.”
Ms Kearney said sanctions and withholding funds would not address the needs of an overstretched, underfunded aged care workforce.
In related news, Mrs Elliot announced that the Kirralee Aged Care Faiclity in East Ballarat which was sanctioned in July is now compliant with all 44 expected outcomes.
But the facility has had its accreditation period shortened and will continue to be monitored by the department and the agency.