Southern Cross Care Tasmania fail in court bid to be guardian of outspoken resident

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The Not For Profit operator went to court in a bid to become guardian over an outspoken resident at its Yaraandoo Residential Aged Care Facility in Somerset, to the west of Burnie.

73-year-old Brain Halpin said the court action by the Not For Profit organisation, the leading aged care provider in Tasmania, had given him a purpose in life.

“To represent the concerns and rights of the residents of this home – 60% of whom cannot speak up for themselves,” he told the Mercury.

Southern Cross Care Tasmania went to Burnie Magistrates Court to seek to become Mr Halpin’s guardian, which came after the Health and Community Services Union and Mr Halpin raised concerns about conditions at the home last month.

Mr Halpin, who has been a resident at Yaraandoo Residential Aged Care Facility for six years, asked the court to appoint his daughter his guardian instead. The court ruled that Mr Halpin did not need a guardian.

He said staff were often in tears because they could not provide the care they wanted to and did a fantastic job under the circumstances.

“I told them that we’ve run out of options to protect ourselves,” Mr Halpin said.

“Bells are going unanswered and residents are being left in bed until lunchtime because they cut hours and refuse to roster enough staff on.”

Southern Cross Care Tasmania said the government watchdog, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, accredited Yaraandoo at their latest review in May 2021 under the current staffing arrangement.

“Southern Cross Care Tasmania rejects outright any claims that residents are receiving inadequate care. Those claims are simply untrue,” the NFP said.