The Earle Haven Retirement Village firecracker – instant new state laws, federal government enquiry, Royal commission and federal police investigation

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10 days after 70 residents of the Earle Haven Retirement Village aged care facility were left stranded with no age care operator in the building, state and federal governments have jumped in at an unprecedented volume.

The Queensland State Government has announced ‘out of the blue’ that all residential aged care facilities in QLD will be asked to publicly report their staffing information under proposed legislation, alongside the launch of a new government website.

‘After Earle Haven’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured below) wants to increase transparency of safety and quality information within public and private hospitals, as well as public and private residential aged care facilities in QLD.

Ms Palaszcuk also announced she will pass new legislation that will require her own government’s 16 aged care homes to mandate a minimum of 3.65 hours of nursing for residents per day, targeting a ratio of seven patients per nurse across 24 hours.

The new Federal Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Sen Richard Colbert, last Friday, eight days after the Earle Haven incident, announced that he had commissioned Kate Carnell AO to conduct an inquiry “to examine the impact and consequences of the event on the safety and well-being” of residents.

He said in a speech relaid to residents I am angry and deeply saddened by the events that occurred at Earle Haven Retirement Village last week”. “I am determined to ensure that you and I fully understand why the situation occurred that those responsible are held to account”.

Ms Carnell (pictured left) is a heavy hitter. The Federal Government commissioned her to conduct the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes in 2017 following the Oakden (SA) aged care facility failure.

Terms of Reference for her Earle Haven inquiry can be seen HERE. Ms Carnell will deliver her report in October.

Sen Colbert also asked for Earle Haven to be referred to the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

And the Federal Police started their investigation at the village/aged care home yesterday, despite QLD police saying on Friday There was no evidence of any criminal offences being committed and there are no charges to be preferred against any person or organisation.”

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