Carinity Fairfield Grange nursing home in Townsville
Carinity Fairfield Grange nursing home in Townsville

Fresh concerns in nursing home audit

FRESH concerns were flagged during a new inspection of a Queensland nursing home where police are probing the suspicious deaths of five residents.

The Baptist Church-run Carinity Fairfield Grange home in Townsville has passed its latest audit, published by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency yesterday.

But one in five elderly residents told government inspectors they did not always feel safe.

Nearly 80 per cent of residents said they always felt safe, with 20 per cent feeling safe most of the time.

Seven per cent said staff met their healthcare needs some of the time, with 30 per cent saying most of the time.

Agency inspectors interviewed 13 residents at random during a three-day check on the home last month, in the wake of suspicious deaths at the nursing home last year.

The Baptist Union sacked three nurses and reported a doctor to the Queensland Health Ombudsman following the death of resident Charlotte "Lottie" Paluszak.

A Queensland Coroners Court spokeswoman said yesterday the northern coroner was still investigating a number of deaths' at the nursing home and awaiting a police investigation.

A Carinity spokesman said yesterday that of the 13 residents surveyed, 10 felt safe all the time and three felt safe most of the time.

"Our residents and their families are very happy with the quality of care and there are no outstanding complaints,'' he said.

"We're very happy we have been given the highest rating possible.''


Carinity Fairfield Grange nursing home in Townsville
Carinity Fairfield Grange nursing home in Townsville

The latest federal government audit reveals the nursing home is having to pay a nurse to visit once a week to treat wounds because doctors were unable to attend.

The audit found the home had improved its medication system, after it was identified that unpacked medications were either over ordered or unavailable.

Carers complained to the agency inspectors that they were too busy to cater to residents' needs at meal times.

"Care staff identified that meeting all care recipients' needs at meal times was difficult as they were also required to assist within the serveries,'' the report said.

"A review of workloads and duties was undertaken and some tasks were reallocated to support staff to enable care staff to focus on care recipients."

Carinity Fairfield Grange had failed nine of the 44 quality standards - including those for clinical and palliative care and medication management - in the agency's previous audit in March this year.

The agency had warned that residents were at serious risk after identifying "deficiencies" in staff practices relating to the administration of end-of-life controlled-pain medications.