Auditors praise Yaralla's care but union is concerned

THE new managers of Maryborough's Yaralla Place Aged Care Facility say they are being praised by auditors for the level of care they are providing and accreditation standards have been met.

The 96-bed facility was privatised late last year and the Queensland Nurses Union has since raised claims that staffing levels were reduced.

A PresCare spokesman told the Chronicle on Wednesday that auditors just completed a review of the aged care provider and the signs were all positive

"A review by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency last week endorsed PresCare's management of Yaralla Place with the auditors praising us for our good work and high quality of care," the spokesman said.

He said the nature of aged care was that residents' care needs change on a day-to-day basis depending on who was living there at any point in time.

He said it was not unusual for PresCare to have a flexible workforce to enable it to focus on maintaining quality care.

QNU Bundaberg organiser Anne Stevens said former staff employed before and after privatisation were concerned with some of the changes.

"My major concern, and the concern of the staff I spoke to who used to work with Queensland Health, was that the skill mix (used to be) higher and the staffing levels were higher," she said.

"Until the government brings in mandatory staffing levels for aged care the employers are going to get away with the least amount of staff they can."

PresCare is a not-for-profit ministry of the Presbyterian Church that has operated Maryborough's Groundwater Lodge Aged Care Facility for the past 30 years.

As part of privatisation process PresCare chief executive Greg Skelton said the organisation intended to spend more than $1 million upgrading facilities at Yaralla Place and PresCare's Groundwater Lodge.