Sanctions on care home
By Bert van Bedaf
CARE concerns have put the Domain Seahaven aged care residence in Inverloch under Federal Government scrutiny, leaving it with reduced funding.
The Department of Health and Ageing imposed sanctions on it last Tuesday night, due to "continuing issues of concern identified by the independent Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency during a support visit on April, saying management had not fixed previous non-compliance.
The department had concerns about poor care plans that did not provide individualised instruction for clinical care and behavioural management; poor wound management and weight management; inadequate systems and processes to monitor and assess clinical conditions and incidents; inadequate systems and processes to identify relevant legislation, standards and guidelines; and lack of an activity program for residents leading to a rise in behavioural issues, due to the resignation of the activities co-ordinator.
In the 2007/08 financial year, Domain Seahaven received about $4.624 million in Australian Government funding for resident care, but for the next three months it will need to do with less. The official sanction to Domain Aged Care (Services) Pty Ltd was served on May 12, putting several measures in place. They include "ceasing Australian Government subsidies for any new residents admitted during the next three months; requiring the provider (Domain Aged Care) to appoint an adviser, with nursing experience, approved by the Commonwealth, who has the appropriate skills, qualifications and background to assist the home to comply with their responsibilities for a period of three months.
"We recognise that there are challenges in providing aged and community care in regional communities, but we will act when it is necessary, "the Federal Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot said. "My main concern is the welfare of the residents at Seahaven. "The Domain Aged Care is co-operating fully with the Department of Health and Ageing following its decision to impose sanctions on Domain Seahaven," said its spokesperson Rebecca Wilson last week. She said there was "no suggestion by the Accreditation Agency or the Department that any residents are at risk."
When asked by The Star to comment on the government department concerns, she said: "Unfortunately, we can’t expand any further than what was provided in the statement at this stage. As soon as we’re in a position to provide further details we will be happy to give you an update.
"We take these compliance issues very seriously and want to assure families that our residents are not at risk," the executive director of Domain Aged Care headquartered in Queensland, Bill Summers said. "The health and wellbeing of our residents is of the utmost importance to us. We are confident that Domain Seahaven meets all its compliance requirements."
A relative of a care resident said her sister had been treated well at the home. Joyce Hadden said her sister Valma Dwight had been at Domain Seahaven for the last two years and was happy at the facility. "She turned 80 this year and she has deteriorated, but that is old age catching up with her. It has nothing to do with the care" Mrs Hadden said. She said her sister used to go to craft classes on Wednesdays, "but they don’t have that anymore." She said the nurses were accommodating. "The girls are very nice to the residents. There are always plenty of girls around."
Domain Seahaven is a 109 place facility. Currently, it has 104 residents; of whom 71 are high care and 33 are low care. The aged care home has 26 residents over the age of 90. The care facility will be closely monitored by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and the Department of Health and Ageing. Nationally, there are now 14 nursing homes under sanction out of a possible 2830 aged care homes.
This is the second aged care home in the district that has been hit by sanctions. Mirboo North Aged Care’s Grand Ridge Lodge Nursing Home at Mirboo North had sanctions placed on it by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency in May 2007.
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