Remote home responds quickly to sanctions

A facility in WA’s remote Kimberley region is taking necessary action to address shortcomings identified by the agency during an unannounced visit.

The operator of the sanctioned Numbala Nunga Aged Care Service in Derby has announced that it will take necessary action to fix all the problems identified at the home.

The sanctions were imposed on the Frontier Services home last Friday [23 January], following an unannounced visit from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

Assessors from the agency identified serious risk to residents’ health and safety at the 26-place facility, which has a high proportion of indigenous residents.

Issues of concern included insufficient knowledge among staff members, poor care planning and inadequate systems for monitoring nutrition and weight loss.

Frontier Services acknowledges that the home has serious problems, which it had begun to address before the agency’s visit.

“We will be cooperating fully with the Agency and the Department of Health and Ageing to ensure resident care is not compromised,” said Regional Manager, Sharon Davis.

“We have brought in experienced staff from other regions to ensure local staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the best possible care to our residents in the future.”

Ms Davis said the widespread challenge of finding skilled aged care workers is felt even more critically in remote regions.

“We do however take full responsibility for the local management failures and have implemented changes to fix administrative systems and ensure quality checks and balances are in place,” said Mrs Davis.

The home has appointed a Commonwealth-approved nurse adviser for 6 months and has arranged a meeting for residents and their family members.

“Frontier Services has a reputation for providing exceptional services in some of the most isolated and challenging regions of Australia for almost a century,” Ms Davis said.

“We are devastated by the Agency findings, but would ask that people judge us on our excellent track record of providing quality care over many years.”

The organisation took over the facility from WA Health less than 12 months ago and has begun work on a replacement aged care centre, which is due to be completed later this year.

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