FATAL FLU AUDIT
Review reveals ‘management errors’ at St John’s
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.”