Xenophon Senate aged care inquiry receives multiple negative submissions by representative bodies

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The inquiry – commissioned by Nick Xenophon after the Oakden scandal – has heard there were 589 complaints about medication administration and management received by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner in 2016, Adelaide Now reports.

Commissioner Rae Lamb told the committee the complaints were “particularly high in relation to administration of high risk medicines and ‘as required’ medicines.”

Just last week, the 40-bed Adria Village aged care home in Canberra was sanctioned by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) for “immediate and severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of care recipients” after being found to be failing to manage medication safely.

The Senate inquiry received 46 submissions as reported by Australian Ageing Agenda, while the national Fed Govt inquiry into aged care regulation being overseen by Kate Carnell has dealt with over 400.

The Australian Medical Association has made a submission to that inquiry regarding registered nurses being replaced by “junior personal care attendants”.

“Some of our members are concerned that aged care staff are requesting sedation of residents so they are easier to handle,” the AMA submission reads.

The Australian Law Reform Commission has also put in its two cents, recommending safeguards around the use of sedation or “chemical restraint” in aged care facilities, and a national code of conduct for unregistered aged care workers.

That’s three major agencies telling the Govt that the aged care sector is in crisis – despite what the sector’s peak bodies saying the opposite.

It’s also what the public is hearing.

Case in point: this ABC story here about a Port Stephens woman whose mother died in an aged care facility after seven months of being treated for infected wounds.

Despite the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner finding the care was ‘appropriate’ and the woman herself being a registered nurse, it is the sector that comes out tarnished.

A reminder that while 99% of aged care news is positive, we only hear the 1% that is not.

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