Complaints spike at state run aged care home sparks review

INDEPENDENT experts have been brought in to review the state of care at a State Government run aged care facility in Charters Towers after a significant spike in complaints.

Complaints against Eventide Residential Aged Care Facility accounted for half of all grievances lodged against State-run homes in Queensland.

There were a total of 18 complaints made against the facility in 2018/19, up from six the year prior.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said the organisation was aware the reporting rates were higher than other facilities and had engage independent aged care experts to review the care being provided at Eventide.

Two of the independent reviewers have also been tasked to work out of the facility in senior positions to "track and monitor improvements" in line with recommendations over the next few months.

"None of the instances reported have been able to be substantiated and all have now been closed; however, the reviewers have identified areas of improvement to the care we are delivering at Eventide," Mr Keyes said.


Townsville Hospital Chief Executive Kieran Keyes.
Townsville Hospital Chief Executive Kieran Keyes.


"The Townsville Hospital and Health Service engaged CareLynx to do this work. CareLynx consists of nurse advisers, nurse administrators, senior clinicians and operational specialists with significant expertise in the aged care industry."

Mr Keyes said no disciplinary action had been taken against staff because "none of the allegations could be substantiated".

The specific nature of the complaints has not been revealed, but the Townsville Bulletin understands there are concerns about the working culture being promulgated at Eventide.

Eventide, which has 153 employed staff and 110 beds, is accredited by the Aged Care Quality Standards until March next year.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Ros Bates said there needed to be more transparency across all aged care facilities, not just private facilities.

"It doesn't paint a good picture," she said.

"Our most senior Queenslanders have worked hard all their lives and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

The Townsville Bulletin in July reported a privately-run aged care facility in Douglas, Townsville's newest, had failed a government audit after failing to meet "expected outcomes".