St. John’s Village has reported its former Acting Care Services Manager to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority following a review by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA).
The conduct detailed by AACQA was notifiable conduct and St John’s Village is under a legal obligation to report it.
The AACQA report identified the failings of the Acting Care Services Manager who was in charge of the facility during the influenza outbreak that resulted in 10 deaths. The AACQA review audit report states:
‘Management could not demonstrate consistent adherence to the Australian Government infection control guidelines. Management did not implement timely and effective infection control measures and did not provide coordination, direction and management during the outbreak to control the spread of infection. The home’s infection control coordinator was on planned leave from 31 August 2017 until 25 September 2017.… Roles and responsibilities for management and staff during the outbreak were not defined. Management reported while they met informally with designated staff to discuss the outbreak and order stock, they did not form an outbreak management team to coordinate and action a response to the outbreak. Management attended the home for short periods of time on weekends. Staff reported they did not receive consistent communication, education, guidance and support in relation to required infection control practices until approximately 22 August 2017…. Monitoring of staff practice to ensure compliance with infection control guidelines did not occur.’
St. John’s Village accepted the resignation of former Acting Care Services Manager at the conclusion of the AACQA review.
The Bishop of Wangaratta and Chair of the Board of St. John’s Village John Parkes said care services staff did an incredible job under very difficult circumstances.
“Fifty-three St John’s staff and 79 residents contracted flu, putting an enormous strain on our resources. I want to pay tribute to the way that the staff rose to the challenge of continuing to provide the best possible care to residents under such trying circumstances. Our priority going forward is the welfare and care of our residents and their partner, carers, families, and the staff.”
The AACQA has determined that St John’s Village does not meet 13 of the 44 Expected Outcomes in the Accreditation Standards (part of the Aged Care Act 1997). AACQA has told St John’s that the not-met Expected Outcomes and in fact the majority of issues identified occurred in the specific context of the influenza outbreak.
Two weeks prior to the review audit the St John’s Village Board established the Infection Control. Response & Quality Project Working Group to undertake an internal review of infection control, clinical care and quality processes against the 44 Expected Outcomes of the Accreditation Standards.
Prior to and in response to the review audit St. John’s has appointed a Nurse Advisor, a Nurse Practitioner and a new Business Manager. The number of care staff have been increased on weekends, week days and nights. Three permanent clinical care coordinators have been appointed and St. John’s is advertising for additional nurses and carers for evenings and weekends to reduce the need for agency staff.
St John’s is confident that these changes will guarantee St. John’s ongoing accreditation. We will continue to work closely with AACQA to make sure we deliver the highest quality care to our residents in line with accreditation standards.
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