Elliot silent on nursing home crisis

MORE than 100 frail and%elderly Murwillumbah Nursing Home residents today face the potential closure of their home, but local MP and new Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot is keeping mum about the looming crisis. A federal government authority, the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, is considering action that could close down the home, but Ms Elliot yesterday would not comment on what may happen to the residents. A spokesperson for Ms%Elliot said she could not make a comment due to legal restrictions. Family members of residents yesterday said they had no idea what to do if the home is closed, following concerns it has failed to comply with aged-care standards. Some have started making arrangements to put family members in another home. But many like Murwillumbah brothers Eric and Alex Lever, whose mum has been in the home for eight years, have been kept in the dark about the predicament. “We’d be the last to know,” said Alex yesterday, although he had noticed “a lot of people” who seemed to be inspecting the home “about three weeks ago”. “A lot of staff has been cut back over the years,” he added. Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Chris Falvey confirmed “a decision will be made in the next few working days” on whether the home has complied with dozens of compulsory standards which include issues ranging from clinical care to nutrition and infection control. Mr Falvey said concerns had been raised during an un-%announced snap inspection which prompted a full review. He refused “at this stage” to release the report which the agency is considering, saying a copy had been made available to the nursing home and its parent company, the Principal Aged Care Group, which he said could choose to make details public. But a spokesperson for the%Principal group said it had not yet received the final report. In a statement the company said: “Accreditation agency evaluation is a normal process of assessing aged-care performance. “Our staff and management at Principal Aged Care Nursing Home Murwillumbah are dedicated to providing quality resident care that is fully compliant with accreditation agency standards. “We look forward to receiving the final accreditation agency report when it is complete and will adhere to the recommendations.”



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