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26 July, 2022

Aged home fails audit

A DAMNING report on Mareeba’s Blue Care Aged Care Home has revealed conditions at the facility are far from satisfactory, with the home failing every aged care standard during a recent Federal Government commission audit.

By Robyn Holmes

Aged home fails audit

The Mareeba facility did pass its audit last year, failing on only one standard of care, but 12 months later, the home has failed all eight standards which have been laid bare in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Report. 

Despite the damning outcome, the facility has retained its accreditation and, according to the report, is taking immediate action to remedy all the issues raised.

 The most troubling issues included: 

Staffing levels are not up to scratch, meaning residents do not get the level of care they require. 

Residents who need help with hygiene and personal care being left for extended periods of time resulting in incontinence, soiled continence aids not being changed in a timely manner, and there was an absence of a toileting regime for those who are immobile.

Two residents reported physical abuse from staff and/ or staff treating them disrespectfully. 

Some shared equipment was unclean, some indoor furniture was observed to be stained, unhygienic and unfit for use and outdoor furniture was dusty, unclean and covered with animal droppings.

Some fittings such as automatic exit doors were observed to pose a potential safety hazard for residents.

Some residents did not feel comfortable to complain for fear of reprisal, providing examples of threats of being punished, being spoken down to and feeling ignored by management after raising complaints. 

While the home has a documented infection control process, including an outbreak management plan for Covid, education and training for staff has not been provided in infection prevention and control. 

Lifestyle activities did not cater consistently to residents from various cultural backgrounds. 

Staff were unable to communicate with residents who did not speak English. 

“Most sampled consumers did not consider that they receive personal care and clinical care that is safe and right for them,” the report said. 

“The care is not tailored to their individual needs – this included ineffective pain management, continence management, medication management, falls management, behaviour management, and skin/wound management.” 

The report also noted a failure by the home to be able to “demonstrate that residents nearing the end of their life were provided with a therapeutic environment and provided with interventions that maximised their comfort and preserved their dignity”. 

The home had not properly captured residents’ needs, goals and preferences including end of life planning. 

“Consumers’ (residents) preferences were incorrectly identified, consumers’ needs, goals and preferences for palliative care are not assessed or documented to guide staff practice,” the report said. 

The report also noted that the home could not demonstrate that residents were consistently being referred to other appropriate health professionals such as dietitians, physiotherapists, and speech therapists, when their condition deteriorated or when behavioural management strategies had not been effective in keeping residents safe. 

“The service does not have effective processes in place to ensure that when a consumer’s condition changes or deteriorates that this is escalated, and consumers receive timely and appropriate medical review and intervention,” the report said.

Those residents who were immobile or in the memory support unit were not supported to engage in activities. 

“Lifestyle staff advised they do not have the time to provide activities specific to the needs of those in the memory support unit.

Staff sampled confirmed they do not have the time and are not supported to provide one on one engagement to consumers that require this level of support,” the report noted. 

In a statement, Blue Care said it was taking the matter seriously. 

“We regret these findings and sincerely apologise to residents and their families that their home did not meet the quality standards,” a spokesperson said. 

“We aim to provide the care and environment our residents and their families rightly expect and deserve. 

“Blue Care recognises the ongoing challenges of the Covid pandemic and sector-wide workforce shortages. 

“Informed by the ACQSC’s audit findings and our own internal review, we have acted swiftly and comprehensively to improve the standard of care at Mareeba.

“Improvement actions are well progressed and we are determined to ensure that care standards at Mareeba not only meet but exceed the expectations of our residents and their families. 

“We are working openly and transparently with the ACQSC, our residents and their families and the local community to complete improvements at the site.”

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