Kirralee reassures families and residents

The manager of the sanctioned facility says it is making good progress in meeting the agency’s recommendations.

The manager of a sanctioned Ballarat aged care facility has issued an apology to residents and family members.

The Kirralee Residential Aged Care Facility was found to have compliance issues in 33 of the accreditation outcomes, following an unannounced agency visit and follow-up assessment earlier this month.

The home’s Executive Director, Julie Reed acknowledged that the home could do better, adding that it had already made “considerable progress” in responding to the recommendations of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

The facility has brought in extra nurses and aged care health specialists, including a dietician, a speech pathologist, a pain management expert and a behavioural psychologist.

It has also appointed an independent client liaison officer, an independent administrator and a nurse advisor.

“I deeply regret the way in which this matter has been publicly highlighted and I apologise to any resident or family member distressed by this,” said Ms Reed.

“The care of our residents is at all times our highest priority. I would like to reassure our residents and their families that client care has not and will not be compromised.”

Just two months ago, the agency found Kirralee was compliant with all 44 accreditation outcomes.

Ms Reed said she did not feel there was a problem with the level of care provided at the facility.

“I believe that the non-compliances identified by the accreditation agency are as a result of insufficient documentation of the care we have given to residents, rather than insufficient care,” she said.

Ten months ago, the Kirralee was bought by Aged Care Services Group, which is part of the Japara Holdings.

“Since then we have been systematically working to improve the quality of care at the facility,” said Ms Reed.

The Department of Health and Ageing is currently investigating 30 other facilities with connections to Japara Holdings in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.

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