The manager of a Tasmanian aged care facility that came under the spotlight during the royal commission into the industry has been stood down pending investigation into allegations of staff harassment.
- The facility manager of an aged care home in Tasmania’s north has been stood down pending an investigation
- Glenn Barnes had only been at Glenara Lakes since January this year
- The union representing workers at the home say Mr Barnes has been the subject of 12 complaints
In a memo to staff at the Glenara Lakes facility, near Launceston, Southern Cross Care Tasmania chief executive Robyn Boyd said manager Glenn Barnes had been “suspended from duties … pending a full investigation into allegations of staff harassment and misconduct”.
“Southern Cross Care takes any reported incident of workplace harassment or misconduct very seriously,” Ms Boyd wrote.
“A comprehensive independent investigation will be conducted, and additional support services have been implemented for all staff at Glenara Lakes Aged Care Home.”
According to Mr Barnes’s LinkedIn profile, he was appointed facility manager at the Youngtown home in January.
Glenara Lakes staff carried a vote of no confidence in management on Wednesday.
Health and Community Services Union assistant secretary Robbie Moore said he was aware of 12 complaints related to Mr Barnes.
“The complaints range in nature. The allegations are quite serious and have warranted the action that’s been taken today,” he said.
Mr Moore said members were also concerned about staffing levels at Glenara Lakes, and that 30 employees had resigned in the past year.
“There’s some broad issues right across Southern Cross Care and all their sites, and certainly Glenara Lakes has been part of that where staff are not being backfilled, they’re working short-staffed,” Mr Moore said.
“Some of that does appear to be a decision by this manager but a lot of it has been approved right up to the CEO level.”
Southern Cross Care and Mr Barnes were contacted for comment on Thursday night.
It comes as the Royal Commisson into Aged Care Quality and Safety is expected to hand down its final report on Friday.
Commissioners visited Tasmania in 2019, when two former Glenara Lakes managers revealed they had left their jobs because they were worried for residents’ health and safety.
Southern Cross Care defended it’s so-called “break even” strategy as not intended to impact on resident care.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission slapped Glenara Lakes with a non-compliance notice related to two accreditation standards in early 2019 but the facility was later reaccredited until December this year.
During an audit in October 2019, the majority of residents told the regulator they felt the home was well run either most of the time or always, while all people asked said they received the care they needed.