Sunday, July 21, 2024

COVID-ravaged aged care homes given clean bill of health by federal regulator

Some of the aged care homes hardest hit by Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreaks were given a clean bill of health by the sector’s federal regulator only months before their first infections, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper has reported.

It said exclusive new data released to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald showed the full extent of COVID-19 fatalities in nursing homes, with 50 facilities across Melbourne recording at least one resident fatality.

The data revealed the highest death tolls were at St Basil’s in Fawkner, where 44 of its 120 residents died; Epping Gardens (35 of 148 residents); and Kalyna Care in Delahey (23 of 102 residents).

Since the pandemic first hit Australia, all but 31 of the nation’s deaths in aged care have been in Victoria.

The Age report says analysis of the accreditation process followed by Canberra’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission showed the Victorian homes where many coronavirus deaths and illnesses had occurred had passed Federal assessments.

Epping Gardens, St Basil’s and Estia Health Ardeer collectively had 583 coronavirus infections, and yet all three homes received perfect compliance ratings in audits completed by the regulator in 2018 and 2019, The Age reported.

The home with Melbourne’s worst aged care outbreak, Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee, has recorded 232 coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, yet it received a near-perfect assessment from the commission in January.

Among the federal quality standards assessed was a requirement for homes to develop and maintain an infection control and “outbreak management” plan. It states, homes are required to “implement an effective infection prevention and control program” in the event of any outbreak.

READ FULL ARTICLE: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/federal-aged-care-watchdog-approved-homes-with-worst-covid-19-outbreaks-20200907-p55t9k.html

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