Hillside at Figtree has failed to adequately manage residents’ pain and medication, nor give them the respect and privacy they deserve – even in their final days.
A shock assessment by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency reveals the aged care provider met just 26 of the 44 expected outcomes of the national accreditation standards.
Details of the audit – which has led to sanctions being imposed on Hillside for at least six months – outline the key areas where the facility fell short.
The management of pain and medication; nutrition and hydration; skin care and continence were among the areas to fall below accepted standards.
‘’Hillside at Figtree is unable to demonstrate that all care recipients’ medication is managed safely and correctly,’’ the audit report stated.
‘’Not all care recipients are repositioned, assisted with movement and exercise, given gentle heat therapy or massage involved in distraction therapy.’’
Residents did ‘’not receive adequate nourishment and hydration to meet their dietary needs’’ with wounds ‘’not attended as directed’’.
The facility also failed in the vital area of palliative care, with the report noting that the ‘spiritual, cultural, psychological and emotional needs’’ of residents were not always considered.
‘’The home’s systems do not ensure the comfort and dignity of terminally ill care recipients and support for their families and those involved in their care.’’
Residents’ dignity and privacy was also an issue, with ‘’insufficient staffing’’ part of the problem. ‘’Staff and/or contractors do not always respect care recipients’ right to privacy and/or maintain their dignity,’’ the report stated.
Meantime several residents expressed concerns about safety to the assessment team, claiming staff were not effectively managing residents with ‘’challenging behaviours‘’.
‘’Several care recipients do not feel safe in the home due to unmanaged behaviour impacting on them,’’ the report noted.
The audit also revealed concerns about the adequacy of education and training, as well as staff qualifications and availability.
‘’Call bells are not answered in a timely manner. Care recipients and (representatives) express dissatisfaction with the availability of staff.’’
The Federal Department of Health has given Hillside until November to meet all 44 standards, or its approval as a provider of aged care services may be revoked.
Hillside at Figtree director Maurice Tulich said a raft of work changes had been implemented to address the AACQA review.
In the month since sanctions were imposed, the facility had appointed a nurse advisor and undertaken a full review of all systems.
An education and training plan for staff had been developed, which focused on care-related matters like medication and wound management.
Around 20 new staff had been employed, including three registered nurses, while an executive manager and care manager were being recruited.
Lifestyle programs were also being reviewed to meet residents’ needs.
‘’We take our role as care providers seriously and to have not met the standards determined by the AACQA is unacceptable,” Mr Tulich said. ‘’This situation deserved our full attention and we have reacted quickly to address all matters raised in the report.
‘’We are continuing to work closely with the residents and their families to ensure we meet every resident’s individual needs and foster a caring environment.’’