Lithgow Aged Care will not take any new residents into care over the next six months after sanctions were imposed by the Department of Health and Ageing.
As part of the sanctions handed down, Lithgow Aged Care will not be eligible to receive Commonwealth subsidies for any new care recipients for six months.
According to documentation from the Department of Health and Ageing website, it identified "critical deficiencies at the service contributing to serious and detrimental failings in several areas of care delivery".
These included but were not limited to:
"Standard 2 - Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers; Standard 3 - Personal care and clinical care; Standard 4 - Services and supports for daily living; Standard 7 - Human resources."
The sanctions will remain in place until February 20, 2020.
A meeting of relatives and residents was held on September 4 to discuss the sanctions.
In a letter to the Lithgow Mercury, which you read in full here, Lithgow Aged Care CEO Craig Oeding and chairperson Olwyn King stated "external help from industry specialists (a clinical advisor and a administrator)" had been brought in to the service.
Mr Oeding said it would be the administrator's role to review Lithgow Aged Care's policies and procedures to meet best practice benchmarks.
It did not, as the term "administrator" may suggest, mean that the Board has been dismissed.
"The Board being included is considered to be a vital part of the recovery process," Ms King said.
Mr Oeding flagged more intensive training over the next six months for clinical staff as part of a drive towards clinical and administrative improvements.
The audit, conducted by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission,was based on new standards brought into force on July 1. Ms King said these standards placed an increased emphasis on consumer choice around daily routines and activities, as well as more input from residents into decisions made in relation to the service.
Lithgow Aged Care Limited is community owned and operated, including Cooinda and Tanderra aged care facilities. It currently has 88 residents.
The company is six months into the building of its new aged care facility in Maple Crescent. The 36-bed facility, which was supported by Federal Government funding, is expected to be complete early in 2020.
Mr Oeding said the construction phase of the facility would not be impacted as a result of the sanctions, as it would be complete in mid February to mid March, after the sanctions' date of completion.
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