A Canberra nursing home has been issued with sanctions, only four months after an audit found it had passed all 44 quality standards.

The BaptistCare Griffith nursing home failed to meet 21 outcomes in an unannounced audit by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency carried about between 12 and 24 July 2018. The same facility passed all 44 quality standards in an AACQA audit in March 2018.

Following the second audit, the Department of Health issued the nursing home with sanctions, after deeming there to be “an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of care recipients”.

The Department identified concerns about the facility’s human resources management, clinical care, skin care, continence management, and behavioural management.

The sanctions mean the provider will not receive Commonwealth funding for new residents for six months, it must appoint an adviser and an administrator, and provide training for staff.

BaptistCare Griffith, which houses 160 residents and only opened in 2015, was widely considered to be one of Canberra’s best nursing homes.

It is believed the second audit was prompted by a complaint from a resident’s family, emphasising the importance of proper complaints handling procedures in aged care facilities.

The move to sanction BaptistCare Griffith also highlights the importance and effectiveness of unannounced audits.

BaptistCare “deeply concerned” by audit findings

A statement from BaptistCare said the organisation is “deeply concerned” about the matters identified in the audit.

“BaptistCare’s top priority is delivering the best possible care to its residents and the audit suggests we have failed to deliver on this occasion.

“We are deeply concerned by the circumstances that led to this result and are doing everything in our power to address the concerns raised as quickly as possible.”

BaptistCare said it is taking “immediate steps” to address the matters identified.

According to the My Aged Care website, BaptistCare Griffith appointed an administrator and an adviser on 30 July, and held a meeting for residents and representatives on 9 August.

“BaptistCare has already appointed an administrator and nurse adviser from Aged Care Management Australia who are on site with two of their clinical consultants.

“Additional staff are also in place to support the local management team at Griffith and a number of corrective initiatives are already underway,” the company’s statement said.

AACQA will continue to monitor the facility over the next few months.

The latest audit report was not available on AACQA’s website.

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