Critical issues at rest home a year after $10,000 refund

Morning Talk 21/08/2018
Photo: Getty.

An unannounced rest home inspection has revealed “concerning” issues less than a year since it was ordered to refund $10,000 to a 92-year-old resident.

Last year, Bupa Care Services was ordered to pay up for the way it treated Freda Love while she was a living in their St Kilda Care Home facility in Cambridge.

But an audit found St Kilda Care Home was meeting only four of seven criteria that were assessed.

Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson told RadioLIVE that the failings are concerning.

“These are basic failings in care, call-bells not being answered within required times, care plans not being reviewed, issues in complaints, no action to ensure they don’t happen again, so really concerning failings.”

She was in a wet bed, a urine-soaked bed for many hours.

Last November, Mrs Love’s son told Newshub his mother’s treatment was unacceptable.

"She was in a wet bed, a urine-soaked bed for many hours, and that happened on many occasions."

He had paid an extra $52 a night so she could have a better room and premium service at the rest home.

Mr Love was drawn to what he described as their impressive and persuasive marketing material.

Freda only lived at the care home for four months, but in that time Mr Love says he repeatedly found her in substandard conditions due to "poorly trained staff" and "incompetence".

Ms Wilson says the ongoing shortfalls at St Kilda highlight the problems with rest home monitoring and lack of adequate deterrents for breaches. A home’s failure to meet required standards may not be picked up unless there’s an unannounced inspection or a complaint is made.

“We would expect these big guys [Bupa Healthcare] to actually be leading the way in having really good standards of care but at this home, what we are finding from complaints and unannounced inspections are that there are ongoing problems.”

Bupa's chief operating officer Carolyn Cooper said in a statement that she has apologised to residents and relatives of St Kilda, and that they are responding to the inspection’s findings “with the utmost seriousness and desire to improve”.

"A follow up audit by an independent reviewer at the end of June found that there was no evidence of the historical complaints of poor care," the statement read. 

Listen to the full interview with Jessica Wilson above.

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