Royal Commission to closely analyse Southern Cross Care TAS and Bupa

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The Hobart hearings of the Royal Commission is shining a light on two Tasmanian aged care providers.

The two case studies are Southern Cross Care which operates nine centres across the state, and Bupa Aged Care Australia, which has one aged care centre in Tasmania.

In the first hearing on Monday, Senior Counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Peter Rozen QC, said they would look into how the two facilities had failed to provide quality of care and how this could be fixed. They would look beyond the conduct of aged care staff and acknowledge the responsibilities of the government.

In Southern Cross Care (Tas)’s case, Mr Rozen related how its Yaraandoo Hostel facility had not met 18 of the 44 standards in November 2018 – including eight of the 18 outcomes related to health and personal care.

The Counsel Assisting reviewed Southern Cross Care put budget outcomes ahead of residents and cut staff hours for financial reasons without assessing the impact on residents.

The Senior Counsel said Bupa made similar errors in its South Hobart facility, which failed to meet 32 of the 44 outcomes in October last year – including just four of the 17 health and personal care outcomes.

“Bupa had reduced its staffing numbers, particularly the number of registered nurses in the previous 12 months,” Mr Rozen said bluntly. “The evidence will be that this was a cost cutting exercise.”

The evidence on SCC continues today.

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