The emergency evacuation of 70 residents of the high care home following a ‘000’ call to police by a staff member has dominated the media since Thursday afternoon.
Unprecedented in the aged care sector, the subcontracted facility operator HelpStreet Group had withdrawn its services without notice because of a payment and contract dispute with the facility owner, People Care.
Queensland Health staff, including ambulance, nurses and doctors, spent from 2pm to 1am completing the transfer of residents to other aged care homes and hospitals.
The task was made more complex by HelpStreet (allegedly) stripping the facility of equipment and, most importantly, resident medical records – including medications.
Adding to the tension was a subsequent fall by one female resident (which is life-threatening) and a male resident who is reported to have subsequently passed away.
The new Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator Richard Colbeck, immediately issued a blunt media release:
“I find it simply outrageous that a contract dispute could escalate to the situation that it did . . . I will be looking to bring the full force possible of action onto those who put residents of Earle Haven in such a terrible position – it is simply unacceptable.”