An aged care facility on Sydney’s northern beaches has had its Government funding cut, after a family secretly filmed a resident allegedly being pushed and shoved, and being repeatedly hit with a shoe.

The sanctions follow an incident at Bupa Seaforth in which a member of staff, Prakash Paudyal, was arrested and charged with common assault after a resident’s family secretly installed a camera in a room.

The shocking footage allegedly shows Mr Paudyal hitting the 82-year-old resident with a shoe and pushing and shoving him on the bed.

Mr Paudyal was fired by Bupa, and will face a Manly court next week after a magistrate granted him conditional bail last month.

Government funding slashed

The sanctions mean Bupa Seaforth will have funding for new residents cut for six months, and it must provide training for staff, and employ an advisor and administrator, all at its own cost.

The sanctions were imposed after The Department of Health deemed the facility to be “an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of care recipients” after being presented with information from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

The Agency identified “serious concerns” about Bupa Seaforth’s human resource management, medication management, skin care, and behavioural management, among other issues.

When sanctions are imposed on an aged care facility, it is a worrying time for all those involved. It’s understandable that families and residents may be concerned about the standard of care their loved one is receiving, and there is even the possibility the facility may close, although that is not likely in this case.

Staff may feel frustrated by colleagues or management. Management is likely to feel a deep responsibility to residents, staff and families, and also to get to the bottom of the problems, and work out how to turn matters at the facility around to a more satisfactory state of affairs.

Bupa: we accept there have been failings

A Bupa spokesperson apologised for the fact that sanctions had been imposed at Bupa Seaforth.

“Bupa apologises unreservedly to the residents of our Seaforth home and their families, following sanctions placed on that home by the Department of Health.

“Our residents are always at the heart of what we do, and in the vast majority of cases the care we provide reflects this. We sometimes fail to live up to the high standards we set, and we are committed to addressing this.

“We make it our priority to provide a safe and supportive environment for our residents and we accept the Department’s findings that in this case there have been failings. We are working with the Department to address the issues in their report.”

Bupa held a meeting for residents and relatives on 28 September 2018, and appointed an advisor and administrator on 25 September 2018.

“We have appointed an independent expert to conduct a full review of the home,” Bupa aid.

“We are keeping residents and their families informed as we progress.

Even before the sanctions were imposed by the Department of Health, Bupa had make the decision not to take any new residents.

“Prior to receiving notice of the sanctions, we had already taken the step to voluntarily focus on our existing residents and not make any new admissions,” the spokesperson said.

Bupa appoints consumer expert, Beth Wilson

Last month, Bupa appointed health advocate Beth Wilson to act as a champion for residents following a number of incidents, including the issuing of sanctions at Bupa Traralgon.

A statement from Bupa said, “We have appointed a consumer champion, Beth Wilson, who is the former Health Services Commissioner of Victoria. She is consulting with residents and families across all our homes to consider how to improve our focus on what matters to residents, and their families.”

Ms Wilson was previously president of the Mental Health Review Board, a senior legal member of the Social Security Appeals Board and legal member of the WorkCare Appeals Board. She held various positions with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, the Law Reform Commission and the Victoria Law Foundation.


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