Parramatta nursing home does some backsliding

Article published 26 September 2019

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IT used to be called Ark Health Care Parramatta before this for-profit nursing home was sold to Anglican Community Services, who runs it as a not-for-profit nursing home. It’s now called Thomas Street Lodge.

The reason this nursing home was sold was that Ark Health Care had made an almighty mess of care and lost accreditation for the home on 21 July 2018. Ark Health Care Parramatta failed 43 of the 44 standards. Famously, the only standard it did meet was: ‘planning and leadership’.

Surely, a faith-based, not-for-profit provider would do a better job?

Anglican Community Services took over a mess, but by 22 November 2018 Thomas Street Lodge met all 44 standards. Well done!

Now, however, nurses at Thomas Street Lodge fear residents’ care and safety will be compromised again following a restructure to cut overall nursing and care staff at the facility, according to the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA).

The NSWNMA were advised last month of Anglican’s plan to reduce registered nurse hours by 34 per cent and carer hours by 10 per cent. In other words, Anglican is cutting back on all direct care staff, including registered nurse hours by one-third.

Back to the bad old ways?

“Our members have highlighted that daily showers or bath routines would be impacted, along with residents’ meal times”, said Brett Holmes, the NSWNMA’s General Secretary.

“Members have also expressed concerns for those residents who require observations every 15 minutes and others who require assistance to be turned every two hours to avoid pressure sores. The highly specialised nursing care provided to these acutely unwell residents cannot be underestimated”, he continued.

Thomas Street Lodge is accredited until 21 January 2022, but it might be a good idea for the regulator to hit the home with a bout of spot checks sooner than that.

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