"False claims" place Laidley aged care centre in spotlight

KARINYA Village at Laidley has been hit with sanctions following a review by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

The review followed serious allegations of abuse and neglect at the Kepnock Grove Retirement Centre in Bundaberg.

Those allegations triggered a review of all facilities operated by Carinity Aged Care.

The Department of Social Services said Karinya was sanctioned due to several deficiencies, including the lack of systems to accommodate residents with cognitive impairment, a lack of strategies to prevent assaults on residents, a lack of systems to accommodate residents who require modified meals, ineffective clinical assessment of residents who suffer falls and ineffective systems to monitor residents' blood glucose levels.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said his department received notification of a "serious and immediate risk" from the Quality Agency in relation to Karinya, which has 59 residents.

"As a result, my department imposed sanctions on Karinya immediately," Mr Fifield said.

The sanctions require Karinya's management to appoint an adviser approved by the Government within five days, with the advisor required to remain in place for six months.

Karinya will also have to train staff on blood glucose management, dietary requirements, behaviour management and post-falls management clinical assessment within three months.

The centre will receive no new funding for residents for a period of six months.

Mr Fifield said senior clinical staff from the department were sent to the site last weekend to work with Quality Agency Officers to monitor the Karinya's operations.

Karinya management was required to arrange meetings with residents and their families to explain the situation - in the presence of departmental officers.

"Commonwealth law allows for further action, including revocation of the Baptist Union of Queensland's approved provider status, if deemed necessary to ensure the ongoing safety of residents," Mr Fifield said.

In a statement released on the Carinity website, CEO Jon Campbell strenuously rejected the report and said the decision would be appealed.

Mr Campbell said the crack-down stemmed from factually incorrect information in a Quality Agency report that had been driven by a media agenda.

"Over the past fortnight eight of Carinity's nine aged care facilities have undergone simultaneous audits as a result of sensational false claims in The Australian newspaper. None of these claims have been substantiated despite the unprecedented investigations by the Department and the Agency."

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