Response 339723358

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Introduction

2. Do you give consent for your submission to be published in whole or in part?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Yes
No

Details about you

3. Are you answering on behalf of an organisation?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

4. Where do you live or where is your organisation based?

Please select one item
NSW
Ticked Vic
Qld
WA
SA
Tas
ACT
NT
City/Town
Frankston

More details about you

8. What role best describes you?

Please select one item
Aged care consumer
Ticked Family and/or carer for an aged care consumer
Aged care worker/professional
Aged care advocate
Clinician/geriatrician
Health worker/professional
Other

9. Do you identify with any of the following special needs groups? Please select all that apply.

Please select all that apply
People from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities
Ticked People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
People who live in rural or remote areas
People who are financially or socially disadvantaged
Veterans
People who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
Care-leavers
Parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Questions about accreditation and monitoring compliance of residential aged care services

11. Do you think that processes to accredit and monitor residential aged care services are effective?

Accreditation process
Please select one item
Yes, always Yes, mostly Yes, sometimes Ticked No Don’t know
Monitoring process
Please select one item
Yes, always Yes, mostly Yes, sometimes Ticked No Don’t know

12. Do you think processes to review and investigate non-compliance with the accreditation standards are effective?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
Ticked No
Don’t know

14. Do you think these sanctions are effective?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
Ticked No
Don’t know

15. What features of the existing assessment and monitoring process should be retained?

Retain assessment & monitoring processes
Not happy with any of the processes currently being used.

16. What features of the existing assessment and monitoring process should be changed?

Change assessment & monitoring
-Accreditation should be less paperwork-focused, and more practical, ie more focus on outcomes and consumer/carer involvement. -Visits should all be unannounced and more frequent. -All results of quality assessments, visits, staff ratios, per head spending on food, should be transparent and available to the public. -Complaints scheme should act more as an investigative body rather than a mediator, which is the current situation. There should be more visits to follow up complaints rather than relying on phone calls (eg I have twice been told by the Complaints staff that : 'this is a "he said, she said" situation', even when photographic evidence was submitted. If they had visited the facilities there would be less relying on verbal resolution.) -Consumers and carers should have more input in to the use of preferred pharmacies, allied health professionals, and other relevant providers. -Reports should be provided by the Complaints Scheme when a complaint is "resolved" .(Resolved means the case is closed by the Complaints Commissioner, not that the complainants are happy with the outcome). -Vague wording in the standards such as adequate staffing and adequate training should be replaced by a quantifiable descriptions. Who judges what adequate means?? -There needs to be some way of ensuring that consumers/carers are not vilified for making complaints. Despite assurances to the contrary, there are repercussions for complaining, such as my experience of a DON writing to family members threatening them with a ban to enter the facility if they continued to put forward complaints.

Questions about complaints

17. Have you made a complaint about a residential aged care service in the last 10 years?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

Details on your complaint

18. In what year did you make your complaint? Please specify the year or 'Don't remember'

Year of complaint
2014 and 2016

19. Who did you make the complaint to?

Please select all that apply
Ticked Aged care staff
Management
Commonwealth department
State/territory department
Elected official
Ticked Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
State or territory health complaints entity
Police
Other

20. Did you experience difficulty finding information about:

Who to direct complaints to
Please select one item
Yes Ticked No
The complaints handling process
Please select one item
Yes Ticked No

21. Where did you go to find information about making a complaint?

Please select all that apply
Residential aged care service
My Aged Care website
Ticked Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
Commonwealth Ombudsman
Other

22. How satisfactorily was the complaint addressed in terms of the following:

Time taken to resolve
Please select one item
Completely satisfactory Ticked Mostly satisfactory Unsatisfactory
Clarity of process
Please select one item
Completely satisfactory Mostly satisfactory Ticked Unsatisfactory
Personnel handling the complaint
Please select one item
Completely satisfactory Mostly satisfactory Ticked Unsatisfactory
Clarity of communication
Please select one item
Completely satisfactory Mostly satisfactory Ticked Unsatisfactory
You are welcome to provide further details on your response
I have made two complaints and on both occasions. The first occasion I was very disappointed to learn that no one would go and investigate the facility, and the staff member actually told me "you can move your mother if you like", rather than address the issues. I had a photo of dried cat faeces under my mother's bed and was told anything short of CCTC footage was not admissible. Nothing was solved so I moved my mother to anoter facility. The second facility was excellent for a year or two and when a new DON started things deteriorated dramatically. I had issue with necessary equipment being withdrawn form my mother, and this and many other issues prompted me to contact the Complaints Scheme again, knowing it had changed. Nothing had changed at all, and I was again told the "he said, she said" line. The equipment was put back by the facility at least, due to the involvement of the Scheme. I requested a summary of the Complaints Scheme's findings but was refused. The facility On both occasions the women I was dealing with laughed at some point of my conversation with them, which I found very upsetting, as it was my mother's care we were dealing with. On both occasions the staff members did not call back when they specified they would.

23. Describe the complaint and how it was handled.

Description of complaint handling
Complaint 1: -My mother was being left alone in her room for long periods (she has dementia) -On one occasion I found two full, bulging colostomy bags in her room: one dripping out of the wheelie walker basket and one on the floor of the bathroom -My mother was very unwell and on Endone, and left hanging in her chair, unable to get to the toilet, for long periods of time. Despite my requests she was not admitted to hospital until she was really ill and dehydrated. -No one was able to tell me when she was being showered -Dried cat faeces were found under her bed. (There was a resident cat). As above, the Complaints Scheme staff member disregarded the photo and virtually found nothing amiss with the facility. She said I could move my mother. When I told her I knew of other people who were formally complaining she finally listened and said she would alert the Quality Agency. Complaint 2: -My mother was being left in bed alone in her room for up to 16 hours a day despite an agreement to get her up in the main room for stimulation -Fall mats were removed from all rooms without explanation to residents/families and no alternatives put in place. -My mother's hired air mattress was removed without any notice or explanation. When I queried this I was told that she did not have pressure areas so did not need it (my mother is immobile, thin, has dementia and does not move). Of course the reason she did not have pressure wounds was BECAUSE of the mattress. -The Director of Nursing used bullying tactics to myself and others in order to silence us. (Yelling at me over the phone, writing threatening letters to others). Outcome: the Complaints Scheme staff member commented that there may be a personality clash, again stated the "he said, she said" statement, and said she had requested paperwork from the DON. A mattress was brought in from another facility, and the case was closed.

24. How could your complaint have been better handled?

Suggestions for improvement
Complaints Scheme staff need more authority to handle complaints; the current standards actually make it difficult as there are no objective measurements for them to make a judgment with. The Complaints staff could have been more respectful of the emotional toll making a complaints (and being a carer) takes on individuals, and we are dealing with our loved ones. Flippant remarks are very upsetting. There should be less reliance on a facility (or provider) producing paperwork that can be easily fudged, and more on evidence-based facts. There should be a summary for the complainant outlining conclusions etc. Staff members should have contacted me when they stated they would.

Additional comments

27. Do you have anything else that you would like to contribute to the Review?

Additional comments
The whole aged care residential system needs a major overhaul. At the moment there is far too much emphasis on service providers making a profit at the expense of consumers. Staffing levels in may facilities are totally inadequate and PCAs woefully under- qualified. The direct care staff are often very caring and try their best, but there need to be more of them and they need to be paid better. There should be minimum qualifications; a 12 week course is not good enough. There needs to be greater transparency all around: in the facility's staffing ratios, spending on food per head, actual amount of allied health provided ,