The Minister for Ageing has issued a warning to residential care providers which offer extra services but fail to deliver up to expectations.
Justine Elliot’s promise of “tough penalties” for underperforming extra services facilities follows an investigation by the Herald Sun into the state of extra services in Victoria.
The Melbourne newspaper reported that a local GP was led to remove her mother from an extra services facility in Brighton after it failed to comply with 24 of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency’s 44 expected outcomes.
In response, the Minister has encouraged concerned family members to report concerns about the provision of extra services to the Complaints Investigation Scheme.
Mrs Elliot said specific allegations would be referred directly to the Department of Health and Ageing.
“If residents and their families are paying extra to receive additional services in their nursing home; then they have a right to receive what they are paying for,” she said.
But Victoria’s aged care industry body, Aged and Community Care Victoria has defended the delivery of extra services across the state.
The association’s CEO, Gerard Mansour said the complaint at the centre of the investigation was an isolated, outdated event.
“We already have a very robust independent complaints system, and while there will always be some who are dissatisfied with any service system, only six per cent of all complaints relate to the type of extra services our members provide,’’ said Mr Mansour.
“This is an excellent record for the quality of extra services in the industry.”
Since 2003, nursing homes have been able to charge high care residents accommodation bonds if they are approved by the department to deliver extra services.
Extra service options include hotel-style furniture and varied meal choices and beverage options. They can also include personal services like manicures and hairdressing.