A nursing home in Sydney’s western suburbs has been dubbed ‘Australia’s worst nursing home’ after it passed only one of the government’s 44 expected outcomes.

In an audit by the Federal Government’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency in April this year, the nursing home passed one expected outcomes required by the government for aged care providers.

The nursing home’s accreditation will be revoked from 21 July unless it can turn its operations around and show it is meeting government standards.

Last month, the AACQA issued a ‘serious risk’ warning for the facility, and will monitor its performance with unannounced visits.

Areas in which the nursing home failed to meet standards include not referring residents to external health professionals when required, not managing medication safely, not assessing pain adequately, not providing easily accessed drinking water for residents, and not managing continence needs properly.

The audit report states, “Staff and care recipients said they have been fearful in the home” and “Staff do no demonstrate respect for the privacy and dignity of each care recipient.”

Industry under growing financial pressure

While there is no doubt that for a nursing home to fail 43 of the 44 expected outcomes is a poor state of affairs, in light of the recent StewartBrown report showing that nearly 50 per cent of aged care facilities are making a financial loss, it’s perhaps not surprising. The industry is under financial pressure, and that pressure is said to be increasing.

Checks and balances are working

The fact the unmet standards have been identified suggest the aged care industry’s clamp down on checks and balances in the wake of the Oakden scandal appears to be working.

Company expresses “disappointment”, commitment to quality care

The owner of the nursing home in question issued a statement on its website.

“While we were very disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, we have been and will continue to work closely with the Quality Agency and the Department of Health to ensure that the care of our Care Recipients is of the highest standard and the facility continues to provide a high quality service well into the future,” it said.

It pointed out its accreditation remains in place for now.

The company has appointed an independent nurse administrator and a nurse advisor, and implemented a full training program for the staff. The company said its entire team has been actively working to restore the facility to full compliance and is making “strong progress” in addressing all issues.

“We are confident in our ability to meet full compliance in the near term and have our accreditation continued,” it said.

“Our priority is ensuring the quality of care for our Care Recipients,” it said.

This of course is the top priority – to ensure the elderly residents are well cared for. Let’s hope they don’t have to face the uncertainty and disruption of having to move to a new facility should the nursing home’s accreditation be revoked later this month.

We sincerely hope for a positive outcome for all involved.

CarePage’s Responsible Care initiative seeks to promote dialogue and engagement between all stakeholders in the sector. The sector has faced a history of limited transparency and accountability due to structural challenges of the sector. These issues are often left unresolved and deferred through a sector wide systemic trend historically to openly engage and commit to improvements. We believe that the sector requires a concerted effort to look beyond negative events and individual stories of distress however important these are, and for real change, to ask questions and accept answers focusing on constructive intent, innovation, cultural change, accountability and leadership rather than blame and avoidance.

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