Earle Haven – the report that matters is in and nobody looks good

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The sudden operational collapse of the aged care facilities at the Earle Haven Retirement Village captured the nation in July, when 69 residents were abandoned by the manager of the aged care homes, Help Street.

They were in dispute with the approved provider, People Care, owned by Arthur Miller.

The Queensland government commissioned an enquiry, led by Kate Carnell AO (pictured) – who also coauthored the 2017 Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes with Professor Ron Paterson following Oakden.

For people who seriously enjoy reports, this is one of the best given its matter-of-fact style at about 76 pages – get it here: ‘Inquiry into Events at Earle Haven’ report.

It concludes People Care and Help Street never formalised their agreement for the running of the facility which ‘sowed the seed’ for the “disastrous collapse” of services.

People Care and its owner/CEO Arthur Miller doesn’t come out well. He had previously said that care at the facility was the responsibility of the nurse unit managers and staff and had indicated for several years before that he didn’t want to be operating aged care facilities.

He also failed to return residents’ Refundable Accommodation Deposits (RADs) in a timely manner after the events.

Help Street comes off even worse. They abandoned the residents in effect because of a money dispute (taking with them vital equipment). They and the appointed liquidator refused access to any financial information and the IT servers notoriously removed from the facility the day before were only received by the Department of Health on 2 August 2019.

The regulator was also found to be at fault.  People Care had been flagged as a risk with multiple sanctions since 2007 and a decision by its prudential compliance division to rate the provider a “severe risk” in 2016.

The report makes 23 recommendations.

You can download the full report HERE.

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