Australia’s aged care regulator has put a residential facility on SA’s Upper Spencer Gulf on notice after it was found non-compliant in six of the eight categories of Aged Care Quality Standards.

Key points:

  • A Port Pirie aged care was found non-compliant in six of eight care standards categories
  • St Joseph’s House has been re-accredited until 2023
  • The facility have until August 31 to address non-compliance

Each of the care standards can be broken down into sub-criteria and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found the facility was non-compliant in seven of the 42 requirements.

Despite this, the regulator has re-accredited St Joseph’s House until 2023 — shorter than the usual accreditation period of three years that facilities with stronger compliance records were likely to get.

In July, the commission issued the non-compliance notice to The Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie, the provider of St Joseph’s House, after an unannounced audit discovered that residents’ falls and rapid weight loss had not been tracked or managed.

A close-up shot of a hand resting on an elderly woman's hands.

Reduced visiting hours also meant many residents missed out on visits from family members.(

Pixabay: sabinevanerp

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The report stated that a resident had five falls in four months but just one was recorded.

The report also found that neurological tests were not carried out consistently on residents after they fell to check their health and wellbeing.

Two residents were also found to have undergone rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies over three months that were not addressed, investigated or referred to specialists.

The residents, who lost 7.1 and 5.4 kilograms respectively, also had their meal and care plans evaluated in the two months prior to the audit but the weight loss was not noted.

“Recent weight loss was not considered through the care evaluation process and strategies to manage the risk of further weight loss were not considered,” the report said.

A brown house with a sign of St Joseph's House sits behind a beige fence with a clear blue sky.

St Joseph’s House has been given until August 31 to address concerns in the audit.(

ABC North & West SA: Gillian Aeria

)

Other concerns raised in the audit were the reduced visiting hours for residents’ families and insufficient consideration for married couples in maintaining relationships and intimacy within the home.

Sundays were the preferred time for family visits to the residence because of school and work commitments but the restrictions on visiting hours meant that many residents missed out on seeing loved ones.

“I also find that assessment and care planning processes did not consider the needs, goals and preferences of married couples in maintaining and/or engaging in intimate relationships.

In a statement, St Joseph’s House acknowledged that some minor issues were identified and the team had been working with the commission to address these by August 31.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson said the Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie had submitted a continuous improvement plan with details of how the non-compliance would be addressed.

Ms Anderson said the commission would continue to closely monitor the quality of care and would consider taking further action against the facility if they had additional concerns.

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St Joseph’s House breaches aged care standards
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