A BENDIGO aged care home has been found non-compliant with several quality and safety standards, with auditors citing "deficits" in care, failure to manage infection risk, and short staffing.
Results of an audit into Royal Freemasons Kangaroo Flat showed it did not meet four of Australia's Aged Care Quality Standards.
Among the findings was "deficits" in wound care, and inadequate supplies of hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment.
The family of one resident said the report reflected ongoing issues at the home.
Families of residents at the Kangaroo Flat and Flora Hill Royal Freemasons raised concerns in July 2020 about planned cuts to staffing. The facility later said these would not be enacted while Victoria remained in a state of emergency.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Audit conducted in February found the Kangaroo Flat home failed to make sure consumers received effective and safe personal and clinical care. It also did not effectively manage consumers' risks around health deterioration, the report said.
Infection control risks, including details of COVID-19 outbreak management plans, and human resources were also found lacking.
Assessors cited failings in clinical care, included in wound care and the management of pressure injury risk, and skin care intervention.
They said not all the aged care consumers who took part in the audit had received effective management of "high impact high prevalence" risks, to minimise deterioration in their health.
This was particularly associated with the effects of dementia.
The report said behaviour care plans did not always include strategies to mitigate pain, possible infections and maintain dignity when disruptive behaviour occurred.
Assessors also said they found deficits in the minimisation of infection risks, including a lack of detail in the COVID-19 outbreak management plan, and inadequate supplies of hand sanitiser and PPE. Staff practices did not consistently show knowledge of infection control processes or correct PPE use, they said.
The audit found the home was often short staffed, causing delays in care and service.
Assessors said the service did not consistently show how its workforce allowed for the delivery of safe, quality care and services.
They found most residents and representatives interviewed were dissatisfied with staff availability and response times. But most did consider they got care and services most of the time from people who were knowledgeable and caring.
Some previous audits from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have found the home non-compliant with several standards.
In 2018 the commission warned failure to meet five standards placed the safety, health and wellbeing of care recipients at serious risk.
For Dianne Metcalf - whose mother has lived at the home since it opened - the report confirmed what she had been fighting against for years.
Ms Metcalf said the facility had run through an "awful lot of staff" in her mothers four years there, with staff overworked and poorly treated.
She said the shortages meant residents were falling over because they were unsupervised and not engaged with activities.
Ms Metcalf said some residents were not being turned or toileted frequently enough, while staff did not have time to feed and hydrate residents adequately.
She said most days just two staff members were rostered on in her mother's ward.
"The residents are not getting the service that they pay for. They're left to wander the hallways, they get into mischief, they fall over," Ms Metcalf said.
"There's a lot of things that are basically being shoved under the carpet: 'We just haven't got the staff, just too bad, so sad'."
Royal Freemasons said in a statement that the site remained fully accredited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. They said the home had been given a period of time to overturn the four non-compliances.
It said that no changes had been made to rostered staffing, but recruitment was challenging in a regional area.
It said the Royal Freemasons was deeply committed to overturning the issues identified and was working with staff to do so.
The commission is yet to release results of an audit into the Flora Hill Royal Freemasons home, which has previously met all its accreditation standards.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson said the commission would continue to monitor the situation.
"When the commission identifies non-compliance with the quality standards, the service is expected to make improvements and ensure it is working to return to full compliance as soon as possible," Ms Anderson said.
"Should the commission have ongoing concerns about care and services at a service, the commission will take a proportionate, risk-based approach in determining any regulatory compliance and enforcement actions."
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