Pioneer Lodge.
Pioneer Lodge. Mike Knott BUN221217PIONEER2

Blue Care admits to failing Bundaberg residents

AN AUDIT of Bundaberg aged care facility Pioneer Lodge has found the Blue Care organisation has failed its residents.

The audit result comes after the NewsMail reported on an alleged leaked memo from the Pioneer facility in early December.

The memo said an Australian Aged Care Quality inspector had uncovered serious breaches at the facility during a spot inspection.

At the time Queensland Nurses Union acting secretary Sandra Eales said the Blue Care memo reported finding a resident hanging out of bed calling for help.

According to Ms Eales, the memo went on to say that, after both verbal calls and the call button went unanswered, the AACQA representative sought and found assistance.

It also said residents weren't showered, were left alone on the toilet for long periods of time and went underfed - some fed less than a child's Happy Meal.

At the time Blue Care refuted claims residents were suffering due to understaffing.

Today a Blue Care press release put the blame on a small number of staff members.

"This review has identified that some employee practices, facility processes and amenities have fallen below Blue Care's internal standards and several Accreditation Standards of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency,” the statement read.

Blue Care Group Executive for Regional and Remote Services, Alan Wilson said Blue Care was acting swiftly and decisively to ensure its Pioneer facility met the same high standards as its other Blue Care sites across Queensland, which to date have maintained a strong track record of compliance with AACQA accreditation standards.

"We take all matters relating to the quality of care and service provision at our aged care facilities very seriously.

"We have taken immediate action to address process and staff practice failures at Pioneer, implementing a range of immediate changes and improvements,” Mr Wilson said.

"We apologise for the quality failures identified at Pioneer and would like to reassure the Bundaberg community that the safety and well-being of Pioneer residents is our number one priority.

"We are strongly committed to ensuring Pioneer residents receive care consistent with Blue Care's high standards.

"While the vast majority of employees at Pioneer do an excellent job of complying with Blue Care's quality standards and management processes, it is clear that several employees were not fulfilling their duties in accordance with our standards and expectations.

"While we cannot share details of employee conduct, these matters are now being dealt with.

"As a matter of priority we have engaged senior independent nursing experts to work at Pioneer and oversee immediate improvements to staff practices, processes and site amenities.

"The situation at Pioneer is highly abnormal for Blue Care and inconsistent with the high standards of management and practice observed at our other facilities.

" We are taking immediate and decisive action to rectify the relevant management and practice failures at Pioneer.

"Previous claims that staffing levels at Pioneer had adversely impacted the provision and quality of care at the facility, are false.

"Pioneer's staffing levels have always been either above or in line with Australian residential aged care facility averages.

"We will continue working collaboratively with the AACQA to ensure our Pioneer facility returns to full compliance with the AACQA accreditation standards as swiftly as possible.”



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