Oak­den abuse trig­gers aged care royal com­mis­sion

Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

New Fed­eral Govern­ment data has re­vealed there was a 177 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of aged-care homes where a “se­ri­ous risk” to res­i­dents had been iden­ti­fied in the last fi­nan­cial year.

There was also a 292 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of fa­cil­i­ties re­fus­ing to com­ply with rules.

Mr Mor­ri­son told the Sun­day Mail he was “trou­bled” by the brief­ings he had re­ceived since tak­ing the top job and had de­cided to act.

“Walk­ing by these sta­tis­tics was not pos­si­ble,” Mr Mor­ri­son said. “I want to be sat­is­fied, I want to know how wide­spread it is.”

The Coali­tion will spend the com­ing weeks con­sult­ing with stake­hold­ers be­fore an­nounc­ing the terms of ref­er­ence.

But the royal com­mis­sion is Walk­ing by these sta­tis­tics was not pos­si­ble. I want to be sat­is­fied, I want to know how wide­spread it is ex­pected to fo­cus on care qual­ity pro­vided in pri­vate and govern­ment-run aged care homes.

The Sun­day Mail un­der­stands it will also hear from young Aus­tralians with dis­abil­i­ties liv­ing in res­i­den­tial aged care homes.

Re­cently, pri­vately owned aged-care fa­cil­i­ties worth bil­lions of dol­lars have come un­der fire from ad­vo­cates for putting profit ahead of pa­tients.

But Fed­eral Govern­ment data shows that the surg­ing num­ber of com­plaints are not As a com­mu­nity, we ex­pect high stan­dards for the qual­ity and safety of aged-care ser­vices re­stricted to any one part of the aged-care sec­tor, whether it is for profit or not-for-profit.

The de­ci­sion to hold a royal com­mis­sion into aged care was also trig­gered by the Oak­den el­der abuse scan­dal, in which el­derly de­men­tia pa­tients at a State Govern­ment-run fa­cil­ity were abused and ne­glected over a 10-year-pe­riod.

Fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tions, the Coali­tion ramped up its checks and sanc­tions, which has re­sulted in the clo­sure of al­most one aged-care ser­vice per When­ever you make that de­ci­sion (to place some­one in aged care), you want to be con­fi­dent as a hus­band, wife or part­ner … that it’s go­ing to be OK month. “As a com­mu­nity, we ex­pect high stan­dards for the qual­ity and safety of aged care ser­vices,” Mr Mor­ri­son said.

The Prime Min­is­ter said he was for­tu­nate that his par­ents John and Mar­ion were still liv­ing in their fam­ily home where his mother cares for his fa­ther be­cause of re­cent ill health.

He said he wanted all Aus­tralians fac­ing the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to send a fam­ily mem­ber into care to have con­fi­dence in the sys­tem. “When­ever you make that de­ci­sion, you want They are trust­ing you 100 per cent that you are mak­ing the right de­ci­sions for them. That’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity and peo­ple feel that re­ally deeply to be con­fi­dent as a hus­band, wife or part­ner … that it’s go­ing to be OK,” he said.

“They are trust­ing you 100 per cent that you are mak­ing the right de­ci­sions for them. That’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity and peo­ple feel that re­ally deeply.”

To­day’s an­nounce­ment comes less than a week af­ter Mr Mor­ri­son told Fed­eral Par­lia­ment he re­gret­ted his strong op­po­si­tion to the bank­ing royal com­mis­sion.

He said as well as ex­pos­ing sig­nif­i­cant mis­con­duct, the

The Oak­den scan­dal broke when chief psy­chi­a­trist Dr Aaron Groves re­leased a damn­ing re­port into the nurs­ing home in April 2017.

It was trig­gered by the over­dos­ing of a for­mer res­i­dent, who also had un­ex­plained bruises, while at the fa­cil­ity in 2016.

Mr Groves’ re­port re­vealed pa­tients were over-med­i­cated, phys­i­cally abused and iso­lated.

It found med­i­cal er­rors had gone un­re­ported, pos­ses­sions reg­u­larly went miss­ing and staff kept res­i­dents on the floor rather than prop­erly deal­ing with their be­hav­iour.

The re­port found pa­tients had been left soiled and un­bathed and were mocked and ridiculed.

A year later, ICAC boss Bruce Lan­der made find­ings of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion against five in­di­vid­u­als and the pub­lic au­thor­ity re­spon­si­ble for the fa­cil­ity. He said he found it as­tound­ing that govern­ment min­is­ters and chief ex­ec­u­tives, re­spon­si­ble for the home, did not know what was go­ing on. bank­ing royal com­mis­sion was “as­sist­ing peo­ple in com­ing to terms with what has hap­pened”.

The an­nounce­ment comes ahead of a TV in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the sec­tor due to air this com­ing week. But the Fed­eral Govern­ment has de­nied it was a trig­ger to act with the royal com­mis­sion, which was ticked off at a fed­eral Cabi­net meet­ing a week ago.

In June, La­bor leader Bill Shorten in­di­cated he would “con­sider” an aged-care royal com­mis­sion but said the Fed­eral Govern­ment should fo­cus on boost­ing sec­tor fund­ing.

The Coali­tion will hope the royal com­mis­sion pledge helps its prospects as MPs head back to Can­berra to­day for an­other sit­ting week ex­pected to be over­shad­owed by a back­bench re­bel­lion that could force Peter Dut­ton to face the High Court.

Pic­ture: TAIT SCHMAAL

CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE: Fam­ily mem­bers of vic­tims of the Oak­den scan­dal, front row, Corey John­ston, Barb Spriggs, Michelle Martin, Partina Cole, Rina Serpo, Lor­raine Gum, and back row, Ste­wart John­ston, Clive Spriggs, Mark Martin, Deanna Sto­janovic and Alma Krecu pic­tured in May.

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