What you missed at the Royal Commission: Japara in the spotlight

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This week’s Royal Commission hearings have begun in Perth– and the first day saw Japara get a grilling from Senior Counsel.

We covered all the details in our newsletter, The Daily COMMISSION. Read today’s full edition free of charge HERE.

It wasn’t Japara’s day. They were certainly ‘villainised’ far more than other providers – both Bupa with multiple facilities sanctioned and Southern Cross Care WA caught up with maggots in residents’ mouths receiving significantly lighter treatment from both Commissioners and Counsellors in the past.

Yesterday focused on the case study of Clarence Hausler, an 89-year-old man with severe dementia since 1991, who lived in an aged care facility in Mitcham, Adelaide for 15 years – 2002 until his death in January 2017.

Japara only took over management of the facility in 2014.

After becoming concerned about her father’s welfare by late 2015, Mr Hausler’s daughter (an RN and midwife) installed a hidden camera in his room at the facility – recording three different incidents of alleged physical assault by two different carers (details in the full edition).

Senior Counsel strongly accused Japara of being more concerned with “corporate interests” than investigating the alleged assaults, and “deliberately misleading” Ms Hausler.

Over the rest of the day, the former facility manager of Mitchem and a current Japara Quality Manager, were grilled by Senior Counsel and Counsels Assisting on how the incidents were handled.

They were accused of supplying incorrect information to the Department of Health, and taking too long to response to Ms Hausler’s concerns.

Even the Commissioners stepped in to challenge Japara’s staff in some very tense follow-up questions during their evidence – again, details in the full story.

The Royal Commission will run through to the final report in April. Yesterday’s hearing serves as a reminder that the Commission can (and will) compel providers to produce evidence at any time.

The Perth hearings run until Friday. Two more weeks of hearings have been scheduled for Darwin and Cairns next month.

Subscribe to The Daily COMMISSION for a detailed rundown of every hearing day, released the next morning at 6am.