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This is another instance where the department tolerated appalling standards in a Victorian nursing home over many months before it forced the company to sell to someone else.
Templestowe Private Nursing Home
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CIS Holdings is another small Victorian company owned by a single person. It is clear that the company was not able to maintain standards in spite of continued supervision and support by the department. This was another scandal exposing the inadequacy of the oversight process. The concern is why so many people were put at risk while the department continued to support this company.
First there was Riverside, then Yagoona now it's Templestowe. Horror allegations are again emerging about the treatment of elderly residents in nursing homes.
Aug 2001 Another horror story
Canberra Update Radio National August 10, 2001
The home was originally accredited for a one-year period from 12 December 2000.
Aug 2001 Forced to sell
C.I.S Holdings Pty Ltd has been the approved provider since 30 May 1999. The building is a leasehold premises.
The Department has sought a solution which provides minimal disruption to the resident's and their families. The Department's preference is the sale of the home to a new approved provider with a good track record which allows the residents to remain in the home.
On 26 July 2001, the approved provider has agreed to proposing the transfer of the places to a new approved provider. Discussions are currently being held between potential purchasers, the Department and the current approved provider.
Templestowe Private Nursing Home From web page of Australian Dept health and Aging August 9, 2001 Accessed June 25, 2006
ELDERLY residents of a Melbourne nursing home have suffered for months, with one frail woman losing her leg to gangrene.
Aug 2001 Criticism of regulatory inaction
Residents were routinely left alone all day without proper food, water and pain relief.
One in four had ailments that were not properly treated.
Aged-care inspectors reported one woman was restrained in a chair for five hours, alone in a room with the blinds drawn and the lights out.
The incident is part of an unpublished report on Templestowe Private Nursing Home, which could be forced to close today over poor care standards.
CIS Holdings, which operates the 60-bed home in Lower Templestowe, has been told by Aged Care Minister Bronwyn Bishop's department to find a buyer by the close of business today.
Julie Segal, head of CIS Holdings, did not return calls from the Herald Sun yesterday.
The home has been allowed to operate for nine months despite Ms Bishop's assurances she would crack down on dodgy nursing homes.
The Templestowe home has been twice sanctioned by the department - last September and again in June - and was rated critical on all four standards after an inspection last November.
It was again rated critical on three of four standards in February and another inspection in July rated residents at serious risk.
The February report by Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency inspectors found:
- LACK of pain relief and poor access to health care.
- POOR nutrition and dehydration.
- A QUARTER of residents had injuries not properly treated.
The same inspectors reported finding the woman restrained in a darkened room all day.
"The majority of residents remain in their rooms for most of the day," the report said.
"One resident was observed sitting alone restrained by a chair table from 11am to 4pm on the final day of the audit. The window blind was down, the room dark and the lights were out."
The Agency's February report noted the home had not had a director of nursing for three months. She had quit in November and her replacement quit after only one shift.
The agency's July inspection report said case notes for one woman noted on May 6, "black area noticed on side of left foot, to remain resting in bed."
There were no further entries until May 13 when it said, "no improvement ... left foot swollen and red. Some lesions in both areas."
The following day gangrene of the left foot was diagnosed and the woman was admitted to hospital, where her left leg below the knee was amputated.
She returned to the home on May 22 and on May 29 her case notes said the wound had become infected.
The home has failed to improve despite Mrs Bishop's pledge to rid the industry of sub-standard providers in the wake of last year's kerosene baths scandal.
Despite new powers to remove undesirable nursing home operators and more funding for "flying squads" to maintain care standards, the home has continued operating as standards dropped.
Another nursing home's problems leave elderly suffering AGONY OF THE FRAIL Herald-Sun August 10, 2001
THE Templestowe Private Nursing Home has received nine spot checks from Federal Government officers since January. In February a report by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency found that almost 60 residents at the home were poorly nourished and dehydrated, had poor access to health care and a lack of pain relief and that a quarter of them had injuries that were not properly treated, - - - - - - . Finally, on Thursday, the Federal Government took the unprecedented step of publicly calling on the home to sell its bed licences to another operator.
Aug 2001 Failure of the oversight process
The saga is disturbing, but, unfortunately, not surprising. We have become accustomed to reading about appalling conditions in our nursing homes.
However, some of the residents at Templestowe have paid a heavy price for this more tentative approach. We are entitled to ask how it was that the home was allowed to operate in this way for so long. It now appears that even the spot checks have provided inadequate protection for residents who, by definition, are too old and sick to protect themselves.
The Sorry State Of Our Nursing Homes The Age August 11, 2001
For Updates:- A good way to check for recent developments in aged care is to go to the aged care crisis group's search page and enter the name of the company, nursing home or key words relating to any other matter in the search box. Most significant press reports are flagged there. The aged care crisis web site has recently been restructured and some of the older links used from this site may not work.
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This page created Sept 2006 by Michael Wynne