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This web page describes a company which was allowed into aged care even though the new owner of a nursing home had no experience and no training. It failed accreditation and went bankrupt. Elderly patients whose home this had been for up to 20 years were ejected and had to relocate.
St Lawrence Nursing Home
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This is another Victorian company where commercial interest and the redefinition of frail aged care as a commercial enterprise has brought people with no experience, no knowledge and little ability into the sector. Unusually the owner had enough insight to admit it publicly. Dampier Bay bought the St Lawrence Nursing Home in Morwell in 2003.
We have to ask about the humanity of a system where such people, however well intentioned some may be, are allowed responsibility for old, weak and frail citizens.
It seems that the Andrew Turner doctrine of "no skills needed" was still alive and well in the corridors of government and industry. A previous aged care minister had subscribed to it. What is concerning is that in spite of the massive scandals mostly in Victoria, the public outcry, and the promises to fix the problems this was still happening.
We have another contradiction here. Sanctions are commercial, restricting funding in some way. When standards in a nursing home fall because of insufficient funds the response is to reduce the funds further and so compound the problems and make them more difficult to fix - yet in the marketplace financial sanctions are the only ones that bite. The problems in this home are admitted inexperience but financial difficulties seem to have been a factor as well.
Once again the home of an interacting family of carers and residents built up over 20 years - the stability and security for aged seniors in their final years - was degraded and then rudely disrupted simply because the regulators who approved the licence saw this as a commercial enterprise, rather than a community of people. The close functioning unit was arbitrarily scattered with all the trauma that entails. These issues are discussed more fully on the Hastings Nursing Home page.
Staff at a Morwell nursing home have been told there is not enough money in the bank to pay their wages.
Jun 2006 No money left
"Our understanding is that the financials are in dire strait," he said.
"We're really concerned about getting staff paid for the work that they've already provided, and at the same time ensuring that the 14 high care residents are cared for, so at this stage the staff need to be applauded, they're working for nothing because there's no guarantee of wages, including the last fortnight."
No pay for nursing home staff Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News June 29, 2006
The Member for Morwell, Brendan Jenkins, has met staff and residents of the troubled St Lawrence Nursing Home at Morwell.
Jul 2006 Funds frozen - problems compounded by private sector
The Federal Department of Ageing has frozen funding for the facility until it meets accreditation standards.
Nursing home director Ian Kincaid admits he is in financial difficulty and has struggled to pay staff wages.
He wants to sell the facility as a going concern, but may be forced to close and sell his 30-bed licence.
Mr Jenkins says 13 elderly people still living at the nursing home do not want it closed down.
Mr Jenkins says problems in aged care are compounded by the involvement of the private sector.
"This means that you will always have a full profit motive underlying all decisions in relation to putting these facilities in place, and given that we have the private sector involved to such a large extent, the Federal Government is always going to be playing catch-up with this sort of operation," he said.
MP fights to keep nursing home Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News July 5, 2006
The owner of the nursing home, Ian Kincaid, admits he entered the venture three years ago with no experience in aged care and has now gone broke.
Jul 2006 No experience
Morwell nursing home set to close Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News July 11, 2006
Staff at the St Lawrence Nursing home at Morwell will not be paid their outstanding wages for at least another two weeks.
Jul 2006 Twenty year residents ejected
The nursing home closed two days ago and staff are owed nearly $300,000 in entitlements.
Elderly residents have been shifted out of the home, and some of them had been living at the facility for more than 20 years.
Nursing home staff face wages delay Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News July 13, 2006
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