10 September 2019

Bupa commits to addressing care standards at Eden facility

| Ian Campbell
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Bupa Eden. Photo: Bupa website.

Bupa Eden. Photo: Bupa website.

Country communities have a reputation for taking care of their own – and that is largely true, so it has been confronting for many this week to hear that an Eden nursing home has again failed to meet basic levels of care.

In a 16 page 6,500 word report based on a review carried out in March this year, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission revoked the accreditation of Bupa Eden with only “14 of 44 expected outcomes of the Accreditation Standards” met.

“The period of accreditation of the service will expire on 16 August 2019.”

Among the concerns raised are, pain management, palliative care, nutrition and hydration, skin care, continence management, privacy and dignity, leisure interests and activities, cultural and spiritual life. Areas of life every family counts on when they engage a service like Bupa in the care of a loved one.

The facility on Barclay Street was home to 52 residents when the March audit was conducted. Sanctions imposed by the Health Department late last year have blocked the admission of any new residents.

Those connected with the service have also had to contend with news that maggots were found to have infested one resident’s wound earlier this year. Soon after that incident is when the commission moved in to conduct their most recent audit.

As well as observing the operations of the facility and inspecting documentation, auditors interviewed thirty-three people ranging from the general manager to nursing and laundry staff to families and residents.

The outcomes of the audit make for confronting reading:

“All care recipients are not as free from pain as possible. For one care recipient, while pain monitoring was in place, the care recipient was not being provided with adequate pain relief prior to a procedure that is likely to cause them pain.”

“Management has not demonstrated the comfort and dignity of terminally ill care recipients has been maintained. Comprehensive end of life care planning was not undertaken for two care recipients who recently passed away.”

“Care recipients do not receive adequate nourishment.”

“The service’s management has been aware of improvement required in wound care, and until very recently action to bring about improvement has been minimal.”

“Leisure and lifestyle activities are limited and therefore are not effective in providing diversion for care recipients with challenging behaviour.”

“Care recipients are not provided with emotional support in response to incidents that occur within the service, including care recipient assault.”

Speaking with the ABC, a spokesperson for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission says what happens next is up to the operator.

“Decisions about the future of this service are a matter for Bupa. There is a process available for services seeking accreditation by the commission,” she said.

A Bupa spokesperson has apologised and labeled the matters as “very serious” and issues “which would take time to address.”

“We won’t walk away from the work that needs to be done, we have done a lot already, but we know there is more that needs to be done,” the spokesperson told the Eden Magnet.

“We are committed to ensuring we fix them in a sustainable manner.

“The issues identified at this care home are being addressed as a priority so that the care home returns to full compliance as soon as possible.”

Comments on the newspaper’s Facebook page are mixed:

Tania Severs writes, “I was there today actually. The place is looking fantastic! Morale of residents and staff alike was high! Fantastic to see the local Eden community rallying around our local residents, nurses and carers. Can’t wait to see the unveiling of the upgraded, first class facility it will be. Once everything is in place and the sanctions lifted! I worked at Bupa Eden for 5 years. The improvements were extremely evident to me and not just from superficial observation but from my 10 years of working in aged care industry. So I’m wasn’t just a casual observer.”

Kendra Alexandra says, “To those making positive comments about the facility that’s great to see the support particularly for the locals that work there but keep in mind these sanctions are made for a reason. There are clear standards to be upheld at nursing homes as there are at hospitals. If the agency responsible for such sanctions state that residents health is at risk this should not be taken lightly. There is much behind the scenes that an average visitor may not notice.”

Bupa Eden is one of three Far South Coast aged care facilities to fail accreditation standards in recent months, IRT Dalmeny was pinged in February 2019, while Banksia Lodge at Broulee only met all 44 of the ‘expected outcomes’ set down by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission in May this year.

The issues raised for all three facilities come in the context of the Royal Commission into Aged Care which is taking submissions until at least the end of September 2019.

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