Chaos for residents, staff and operator as Gold Coast retirement village suddenly closes

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More than 70 residents at the Earle Haven Retirement Village in Nerang (13 kilometres west of the CBD), were forced into emergency care last week after an “ownership dispute” between the operator, People Care, and their sub-contractor HelpStreet Group, caused the site to suddenly shut down.

According to The ABC, police were called to the village to investigate a reported disturbance amid suggestions that the operator had gone into administration – when around 50 residents were moved to other facilities while around 20 were taken to hospital.

An assessment team from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) attended the village last week to assess the situation and is now undertaking a review audit of People Care’s regulatory compliance.

“The team is ensuring all residents who have been moved to other residential aged care facilities are safe, have access to their appropriate medication and are given the support they need”, an ACQSC statement said. “The Commission . . . will be visiting each of these services to ensure they are safe and receiving appropriate care.”

CEO of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, has labelled the situation “a violation of human rights” and “a blatant breach of the Aged Care Quality Standards.

“We need providers and contractors to be criminally liable for advising the Department and the Quality and Safety Commission in advance of such actions and for the Department to be able to immediately step in and take over a [facility]”, he said.

QLD detectives are currently investigating whether any criminal charges are warranted against the operator as a result of the sudden closure’s effect on residents.

The MyAgedCare website lists four archived sanctions for People Care, and one current notice of non-compliance from January 2019 – for failure to provide an Aged Care Financial Report to the Health Department within the required period.