UPDATE: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission releases Tarcoola audit findings from council run Western Downs facility. Pic: Patrick Gorbunovs
UPDATE: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission releases Tarcoola audit findings from council run Western Downs facility. Pic: Patrick Gorbunovs

Watchdog releases update on council run Tara nursing home

After beginning an audit at the council-run Tarcoola Aged Care Facility in Tara, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has exempted the nursing home from being reaccredited, because of 'exceptional circumstances'.

In February 2021, the Western Downs Regional Council asked the commission to audit their facility as they held significant safety concerns for the care of residents.

 

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Ms Janet Anderson PSM. Pic: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Ms Janet Anderson PSM. Pic: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

 

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Ms Janet Anderson PSM said after deliberating an audit request from the council in February, the Commission began a week long audit at the Tarcoola Hostel beginning on March 8.

"(The Commission) conducted a comprehensive unannounced site audit at Tarcoola Hostel residential aged care service," she said in early March.

"This was part of the service's application for re-accreditation."

Although according to an online report released on March 17, the ACQC said Tarcoola would be exempt from receiving a reaccreditation - which was supposed to determine whether or not the facility was meeting proper standards of care.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACQC has temporarily modified our Regulatory Program, including the suspension of site audits to determine whether to accredit, not to re-accredit or vary the periods of accreditation for a service," the report read.

"In order to give effect to continuity of accreditation the Department of Health has, under Section 42.5 of the Aged Care Act 1997, made a decision to grant 'exceptional circumstances' to this service until 04 October 2021.

"The service remains subject to compliance monitoring by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission."

 

Tarcoola Aged Care facility, Tara. Pic: Supplied
Tarcoola Aged Care facility, Tara. Pic: Supplied

 

Issues surrounding the safety, health, and wellbeing of residents at Tarcoola first came to light in February when the WDRC issued a letter to residents' families detailing multiple failings at the nursing home.

"Council has recently identified systemic safety and quality issues at our Tarcoola Residential Aged Care that are of significant concern to council," the letter read.

"Both age care facilities have long faced significant challenges in retaining quality and accredited staff.

"The ongoing problem is the product of several contributing factors and issues faced by the aged care and health industry broadly."

Any family members who are concerned about the care, or lack thereof, of loved ones in aged care facilities can contact the Commission here, or by calling 1800 951 822.

More to come...


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