90% of residents given psychotropic medication without consent at Anglican Care facility in Lake Macquarie

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90% of residents were given psychotropic drugs, which affect the mind, emotions, and behaviour, without written consent at Anglican Care’s Greenmount Gardens aged care home at Mount Hutton, in Lake Macquarie, 143km north of Sydney’s CBD.

The Federal Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission made an unannounced visit to Anglican Care’s Greenmount Gardens from 8 to 9 April and found the service non-compliant with two of the 42 requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards.

“The Assessment Team received a psychotropic register, which indicated that 35/39 consumers are receiving psychotropics at the service and all have relevant diagnoses and conditions for the medications prescribed. The acting residential care manager said there were no written consents from representatives for consumers receiving psychotropics at the service,” said the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

“The Assessment Team interviewed staff who said that they have been short staffed for a while and are time poor with their consumers and cannot do everything for them.”

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was told about the perceived overuse of psychotropic medication in nursing homes. Experts said the drugs were being inappropriately used to manage symptoms of dementia.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s review of care planning documents for the consumers is not best practice, is not tailored to the needs of the consumer and does not optimise health and well-being.

“There is a lack of timely referral to behavioural specialist services. Pain is not monitored or evaluated effectively for consumers. Consumers are not receiving food congruent with their dietary needs. Two consumer’s wounds have deteriorated and there has been a lack of wound specialist review for one consumer.”

Anglican Care’s Greenmount Gardens Executive Director Andrew Wind informed residents and their families about the two instances of non-compliance and said remedial action was taking place.

“We are expected to meet high standards of care. I regret that we did not,” said Mr Wind.

“The work underway includes improvements to care planning, staff education, and improved processes around the prescription and administration of medication.”

If anyone has a concern about an aged care service, they should contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission by telephone on 1800 951 822 or via their website.