The CEO responded after a number of mainstream media outlets highlighted concerns from relatives of residents at Newmarch House – where 27 residents and 14 staff have tested positive – that there are not enough staff to care for their loved ones during the outbreak.
“We are in the eye of a storm,” he said.
“Everyone is struggling to find staff for us, including the Commonwealth Government and eight agencies. On some days we struggle to have a full staff complement, and it’s no one’s fault.
“We are deeply sorry for the effect that it has had on some of the people we look after and that they have had to wait for the care they deserve during this crisis. Under normal circumstances Newmarch has had an excellent reputation for the care of our residents.
“There are still a number of people who are affected by the virus, and they are receiving first-class care through the hospital system and a specialist in infectious diseases, and I would like to thank the New South Wales Government for that.
“I’ve also personally spoken to the families of the three people who have unfortunately passed, and they have been fulsome in their praise for the care their loved-one received, despite the deeply unfortunate outcomes.
“I must stress that in my opinion, there is no-one to blame for the situation aged care facilities, including Newmarch, are in. We are simply in a terrible situation.”
Will the media and its readers recognise this however? And should they instead be directing their concerns towards the Government?
Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck had said the Government would provide homes with emergency staff from Aspen Medical and Mable should they have staff shortages during an outbreak.
Minister Colbeck told Ray Hadley the home is short-staffed because of the high rate of COVID-19 infections among staff, but the Government is working to resolve the situation.
“We’re all working together with the resources that we have to pull this together as quickly as possible,” he said. “These people deserve high-quality care.”
Can the Government actually deliver on its promises?