The Australian newspaper still after Carinity (QLD) over abuse

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While care operator Carinity has received a first ever reprieve from the Department of Social Services for alleged staff abuse of care residents, heavily covered by the Australian newspaper, it appears they are not out of the media yet.

On Monday the National Chief Correspondent for the Australian, Hedley Thomas, wrote an 850 word article titled “Aged care whistleblower sector talked to the media”.

The article opens with:

“A Baptist group running aged care homes in Queensland has now sacked an executive manager who disclosed an alleged deliberate campaign to cover up suspicious deaths, injuries, dodgy reports and grossly negligent care”.

“The decision to terminate the job of whistleblower Darryl Turner, human resources head for Baptist Community Services, follows his close co-operation with an urgent investigation ordered in February by Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield”.

However Carinity’s letter to Mr Turner identified a different reason for his termination – the fact that he provided confidential information to the Australian newspaper:

“has determined that on the balance of probabilities, you directly or indirectly disclosed confidential information to The Australian newspaper in breach of your obligations under your contract of employment, the common law and the Corporations Act 2001”.

The notable point out of this saga is the comments by CEO Jon Campbell that within 10 days of the initial media eruption of alleged resident abuse and the immediate Department of Social Services audit response, all parties recognised that “the facts did not support the sanction”. The media however kept the issue alive.

Four months later the Department overturned the sanctions and expunged Carinity’s record – a first by the Department.