QLD: Carinity reports five deaths at Townsville aged care facility to authorities

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The deaths at the Not For Profit’s Fairfield Grange facility in Idalia were reported to the police, coroner, Queensland’s Office of the Health Ombudsman and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) in November last year following notification by the facility operator Carinity.

The Australian reports the AACQA audited the home in December 2017. It found the facility had failed six accreditation standards including clinical care, medication management and palliative care and also placed the health and safety of a resident at risk.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has now asked the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner to investigate that Carinity took “appropriate actions”, but Carinity’s chief executive Jon Campbell says there is no risk to residents.

He says Carinity dismissed three registered nurses and referred both them and a doctor who supervised the nurses to the Queensland Health Ombudsman when informed of the breach.

“While the nurses acted within the doctor’s direction, no system is immune from the ability of human beings to make inappropriate choices,” he said.

It’s not the first time Carinity, which has 11 aged care facilities in Queensland, has been in the headlines.

In early 2015, The Australian ran a series of stories on alleged resident abuse at Carinity facilities. They led to a Federal Government investigation that found a number of issues relating to abuse and a serious risk finding being made against its Karinya Village home in Brisbane.

Carinity took the case to the Federal Court which found the AACQA had “failed to observe the requirements of procedural fairness”. It overturned the serious risk finding and ordered the AACQA to pay $25,000 of Carinity’s costs – a first for the sector. The Not For Profit also took the Department of Social Services to court seeking damages for lost revenue.

Mr Campbell says Carinity has now voluntarily appointed a Nurse Advisor to the facility for two months to “quell concern”.