A staff member at Carinity Fairfield Grange home has raised the alarm over five mysterious deaths at the Queensland nursing home.
The residents’ deaths, which occurred over the past 12 months, are currently being investigated by police.
All five residents were receiving palliative care from the one doctor, who has now been reported.
Carinity CEO, Jon Campbell, explained that they took immediate action when the matter was brought to them.
“As soon as we became aware of the breach of procedure on 21 November, the staff concerned were removed from the workplace and the matter was reported to the relevant authorities,” he said in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by these events and extend our sincere sympathies to the families affected.”
“We have met with those families who have been offered pastoral care and counselling support.”
Three nurses have been sacked and a doctor reported to the Queensland Health Ombudsman.
“Carinity removed any harm or potential for harm on 22 November last year, two weeks before the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency arrived for a six-day audit,” he said.
The nurses were sacked for breaching Carinity’s clinical policies and procedures. Reportedly, one of senior nurses administered a lethal dose of morphine and midazolam to one of the residents in November and she died the next day.
“While the nurses acted within the doctor’s direction, no system is immune from the ability of human beings to make inappropriate choices. We will continue to strengthen and improve our systems based on this experience,” said Mr Campbell.
The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, released a statement about the death. He also announced that he has requested an urgent review of the facility.
“I am extremely saddened to hear of the deaths at Carinity Fairfield Grange and my thoughts are with families, friends and other residents.”
“As police continue their investigations, I have asked the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner to urgently examine that the approved provider, Carinity, has taken the appropriate actions,” said Minister Wyatt.
“The provision of safe, quality care is non-negotiable, and the health and wellbeing of senior Australians in aged care services is of paramount importance.”
“Any abuse is unacceptable and the Department of Health is continuing to closely monitor the welfare of care recipients.”
If families or friends have any concerns about the care of their loved ones at Fairfield Grange, or at any other aged care home, they should immediately contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552.
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