An Alice Springs aged care facility has been sanctioned for “immediate and severe risk” to aged care residents but allowed to keep operating.
- The operator of Old Timers Aged Care Service has been sanctioned for providing care that does not meet quality standards
- The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found non-compliance with five of the 42 standards
- As a result, OId Timers will not receive Commonwealth subsidies for new residents for six months
The operator of the Old Timers Aged Care Service in Alice Springs was sanctioned by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) for not providing care consistent with the Aged Care Quality Standards.
It comes after the commission conducted a site audit at the facility just south of The Gap mid last month.
“During the site visit, [the Commission] identified non-compliance with five of the 42 requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards,” the ACQSC said in a statement to the ABC.
On July 30, Australian Regional and Remote Community Services Limited (ARRCS) was issued a sanction in relation to the non-compliance, which will expire after six months.
On the Notices of Non-compliance, Notices to Agree and Sanctions in Old Timers on myagedcare.gov.au, the commission said it “identified that there is an immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or well-being of care recipients”.
The non-compliance issues relate to Standard 3 — Personal care and clinical care, Standard 7 — Human resources, and Standard 8 — Organisational governance.
Commonwealth subsidies stopped
As part of the sanction, Old Timers will not be eligible for Commonwealth subsidies for new care recipients for the six-month period.
“We will not be admitting new residents to Old Timers until the sanctions are lifted,” a spokesperson for ARRCS said.
In addition to the sanction, the commission also imposed a number of conditions on ARRCS.
“Including requirements to: appoint an independent adviser to ensure the safety and well-being of residents at Old Timers; provide training to its staff and; provide regular updates and reports to the commission on its progress in addressing and rectifying all areas where non-compliance was identified,” the commission said in a statement.
“If a service that is found non-compliant cannot demonstrate that it has made or is making progress on implementing the required improvements, the commission may consider further regulatory action such as varying the accreditation period, or revoking approved provider status.”
ARRCS said it “acted swiftly and decisively to make the improvements needed, to ensure the high standard of aged care we aim to provide”.
“We sincerely regret these findings and have apologised to Old Timers residents and their families, whose expectations we are determined to not only meet but exceed.”
They said the improvements included but were not limited to clinical and care practices, staff training, systems and processes, and consultation with residents and families.
‘Pressure on hospital’
The Council of the Ageing in the NT said it was an unfortunate situation.
She said it meant people looking to get into aged care could be waiting even longer.
“The federal government has released a whole lot of packages but, unfortunately, we haven’t seen those come through as yet,” Ms Shearer said.
The local Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, posted about the sanction on social media over the weekend after a letter sent to residents and their families was given to her office.
She said the news was “very concerning” but she did not want to put any more pressure on ARRCS.
“But we need to see this turn around very quickly,” Ms Lambley said.
“I’d like to think that we as a community can help Old Timers to correct the problems.”