Federal help for nursing home residents
MORE than 100 Murwillumbah Nursing Home residents facing uncertainty about the home’s future have been given a government guarantee they will be found emergency accommodation if necessary. But the company operating the nursing home has declared it “will not close”, despite a federal government investigation of its operations. Local MP and Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot yesterday broke her silence on the crisis after refusing comment to the Tweed Daily News on Thursday, vowing that frail, elderly residents of the home – one of the largest on the NSW North Coast – will be looked after. “I can guarantee that the Department of Health and Ageing will ensure that any frail, elderly residents of aged-care facilities that close, will continue to receive quality care through other approved aged-care providers,” Ms Elliot said in a prepared statement. “In cases like this,” she said, “it may include the allocation of emergency places.” The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency has confirmed it is about to consider a report on whether the Murwillumbah Nursing Home has failed dozens of accreditation standards following a thorough assessment ordered after a recent snap inspection raised concerns. The agency said only the operators of the home could release details of the report at this stage. Principal Aged Care, which runs the home, has said it has not reccieved a copy. Yesterday the company issued a statement saying: “At no time has the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency indicated that it may close the Murwillumbah Nursing Home. “Murwillumbah Nursing Home will not close. Principal Aged Care remains committed to continuing quality care to its residents and to full compliance with the accreditation standards.” Local state MP Thomas George, meanwhile, called on Ms Elliot “to get involved and broker a common sense solution”. Mr George said his office had already received a number of phone calls from concerned residents who had been unable to get satisfactory answers from Ms Elliot about the home’s future. The Tweed Daily News has been told complaints were lodged with Ms Elliot’s Tweed Heads electorate office from staff of the home and relatives of residents last year. A spokesman for Ms Elliot confirmed one complaint had been passed on to the Aged Care Complaints Commission which referred it to the Accreditation Agency. One caller believed problems found at the home by the Accreditation Agency “reflect the staff numbers” at the.” Principal Aged Care yesterday advertised in the Tweed Daily News for a number of nursing positions at the home, including Director of Nursing, Clinical Care Co-ordinator and Assistants in Nursing.