FA­TAL FLU AU­DIT

Re­view re­veals ‘man­age­ment er­rors’ at St John’s

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - sker­win@ne­me­dia.com.au BY SI­MONE KER­WIN

ST John’s Vil­lage is “on the front foot” to en­sure res­i­dent care, af­ter a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­view found is­sues with the fa­cil­ity’s pro­cesses dur­ing a re­cent fa­tal in­fluenza out­break.

The gov­ern­ment this week re­leased au­dit re­views of St John’s Nurs­ing Home and St John’s Vil­lage Hos­tel, which re­vealed “poor fa­cil­ity man­age­ment and low staff vac­ci­na­tion rates” dur­ing deadly flu out­breaks this year.

Fed­eral Aged Care Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att or­dered the re­views by the Aus­tralian Aged Care Qual­ity Agency as a re­sult of the out­break in Au­gust and Septem­ber, which re­sulted in the deaths of 10 St John’s res­i­dents.

The St John’s re­view found the fa­cil­ity failed to meet 13 of the 44 ex­pected out­comes of the gov­ern­ment’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion stan­dards.

“These re­view au­dits re­veal man­age­ment er­rors, es­pe­cially in in­fec­tion con­trol at the two sites,” Mr Wy­att said.

“The flu sea­son af­fected aged care res­i­dents and staff, and the homes’ in­fec­tion con­trol and con­tin­gency plans were over­whelmed, but it was un­ac­cept­able.

“Staff vac­ci­na­tion rates in both homes were low, with only around one third vac­ci­nated ahead of the out­breaks, and dozens of staff were sub­se­quently struck down with the flu.”

The qual­ity agency re­view found man­age­ment at St John’s did not pro­vide enough ad­di­tional sup­port, or the pro­fes­sional guid­ance re­quired to cope with the out­break.

Mr Wy­att said the qual­ity agency had now greatly in­creased its fo­cus on the is­sue of in­fec­tion con­trol at all aged care fa­cil­i­ties.

“The agency is re­view­ing in­fec­tion con­trol prac­tices, in­clud­ing a manda­tory sur­vey of all fa­cil­i­ties’ out­break man­age­ment and staff vac­ci­na­tion rates, which is due for com­ple­tion next week,” he said.

“Re­sults will be col­lated, then the agency will fo­cus on and en­gage with all homes which have reg­is­tered low vac­ci­na­tion rates or dif­fi­cul­ties man­ag­ing the 2017 flu sea­son.”

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