Conducted as part of the standard re-accreditation process, the April 2018 audit by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) listed the Ark Health Care Parramatta facility as meeting just one of the 44 expected outcomes outlined in the national Accreditation Standards.
Standards such as medication and pain management, nutrition and hydration, continence management, oral and dental care, sleep, education and staff development, privacy and dignity and infection control were all reported as ‘not met’ by the provider, with planning and leadership listed as the only outcome ‘met’.
In their public review of the facility, the AACQA states that the decision to revoke accreditation from 21 July was made by an authorised delegate on 22 June as the failure “has placed, or may place, the safety, health or wellbeing of a care recipient of the service at serious risk”.
They further state that “the Department of Health has been notified of the risk” and that the Agency will “continue to monitor the performance of the service, including through unannounced visits”.
The Agency explains in their audit report that accredited residential aged care homes receive the Australian Government subsidies to provide quality care and services to care recipients in accordance with the Accreditation Standards.
They further mention that to remain accredited and continue to receive the subsidy, each home must demonstrate that it meets the Standards.
During the five days the AACQA assessment team spent on site at Ark Health Care Parramatta, they spoke to the Chief Operating Officer, Facility Manager, Care Manager, six Registered Nurses,13 Care Staff, 21 care recipients and/or representatives, on top of a number of other allied health professionals, contractors and staff.
Ark Health Care released a statement online in response to the review and accreditation revocation saying:
“Ark Health Care Parramatta, which is subject of a sanction following an inspection by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, is working to actively remedy the issues raised by the Quality Agency.
“Our priority is ensuring the quality of care for our Care Recipients at Ark Health Care Parramatta and to meet all their needs, the expectations of their families and the Accreditation Standards.
“We take this matter very seriously and assure our stakeholders that we immediately put in place steps to comprehensively address the issues raised by the Quality Agency.”
The management chose to highlight that their accreditation remains in place (until the 21 July cut-off noted by the AACQA) while also making mention that they have appointed an independent nurse administrator and nurse advisor, and implemented a full training program for the staff.
They add that their ‘entire team’ has been actively working to restore the facility to full compliance and say the facility has made ‘strong progress’ in addressing the issues.
“While we were very disappointed with the outcome of the inspection we have been and will continue to work closely with the Quality Agency and the Department of Health to ensure that the care of our Care Recipients is of the highest standard and the facility continues to provide a high quality service well into the future.”
Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has been heavily promoting the importance of high quality aged care since last years’ Oakden scandal and has just this week welcomed the roll out commencement of unannounced aged care audits.
He says when it comes to the provision of safe, quality care for older Australians, “there will be no compromise”.
“Services who fail to deliver will be identified and will have to undertake immediate improvement,” he says.
“While the overwhelming majority of Australia’s almost 2,700 residential aged care facilities provide excellent care, Commonwealth aged care authorities have revoked the accreditation of nine homes in the past year.
“The introduction of unannounced re-accreditation audits from 1 July will intensify compliance, as will the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission which begins operation on 1 January 2019.”