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The situation in the home owned by this group was so bad that staff complained. It was assessed and sanctioned.
Emerald Glades Nursing Home
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Once again this is a small Victorian company about whom there is little information although we do get the names of the owners One must ask what the motivation was that brought these people into aged care - other than greed. Muskjest owned only one nursing home, Emerald Glades.
The situation was so bad there in 2004 that staff complained. Documents had been falsified in order to pass accreditation. The nurses were promptly sacked by management but were later vindicated. In spite of the situation created by money pinching management the owners were not criminally prosecuted. The sanctions on the home were lifted in December 2004 and in April 2005.
STAFF at a Victorian nursing home have formally complained about its hygiene and its care of residents, after an elderly man who was bleeding profusely from the bowel was forced to wait for six hours before an ambulance was called.
Oct 2004 Nurses report a dreadful situation
The management of the Emerald Glades nursing home at Emerald, southeast of Melbourne, has been accused of unprofessional and unethical conduct, including covering up a gastroenteritis outbreak and endangering the 54 residents, including eight highly dependent and frail patients.
Nine personal-care attendants wrote a letter to authorities last month allegeing breaches of commonwealth care standards.
"These residents are unable to do this for themselves because of their frailty and the manipulation and intimidation they will be subjected to if they voice their complaints," the letter says.
It says a gastroenteritis outbreak in July that affected 15 residents was not reported and that no infectious control protocols were put in place.
Staff will testify that documentation of the outbreak was backdated by management and that the cook was told to falsify kitchen and temperature charts in time for an inspection by accreditation officials.
"Cook refused and her hours were drastically cut back without consultation," the letter says.
It details an incident in which staff notified management at 9am that a male resident was bleeding profusely from his bowel.
"No action was taken ... and the ambulance did not arrive until 3pm ... Five to six `filled pans' containing blood were discarded." The resident has since died.
"We remain concerned that there is no active presence in the facility overnight at the weekends."
Hygiene `horrors' in nursing home The Australian October 8, 2004
AT weekends, residents were under the nightly care of the manager's son, who slept downstairs and often did not hear the cries of distressed residents. On one occasion an elderly resident rang the bell in severe pain but the bell did not work and another resident had to use her own supply of painkillers to help.
Oct 2004 Staffing and neglect
A LARGE outbreak of gastroenteritis was not reported to health authorities and there were often no medication charts for staff to follow.
CARERS not nurses had to administer insulin and ice cream containers used for carrying dressings.
THE cook was asked to falsify kitchen charts and was offered valium.
THE kitchen was without hot water for six months and soup and milk were often watered down. "The cook often bought milk, ice cream and cereal out of her own money so there were adequate supplies," staff noted in a letter to the Health Services Commissioner.
Authorities move on nursing home Alarm on plight of elderly Herald-Sun October 9, 2004
The federal Department of Health and Ageing imposed sanctions on Emerald Glades, a 60-bed hostel in the Dandenongs, after "serious risk" was identified in medication management. It is believed a Government report on the private-run hostel identified 17 breaches in the standard of care.
Oct 2004 Sanctions
Staff were also concerned that there was no registered nurse employed at the facility, even though between eight to 10 of the residents were high-care.
The owner of the nursing home is Muskjest, a private company whose directors are listed as Vasilios Tzirkas and Albert Kheng Seng Young. Members of the Young family are believed to have been involved in running the centre.
Nursing home rapped over care breaches The Age October 9, 2004
The company's two listed directors, Vasiliops Tzirkas and Albert Kheng Seng Young, were removed from their management role at the nursing home last Thursday.
Oct 2004 Directors no longer managing
Nursing home's care stir Free Press Leader October 13, 2004
EIGHT nurses sacked for blowing the whistle on conditions at a Melbourne nursing home have been vindicated by a Federal Government inquiry.
Oct 2004 Nurses vindicated
The probe found residents at the Emerald Glades Aged Care Home at Emerald were forced to hoard food and pay for concerts and craft activities that should have been included in their fees.
It found residents were locked out of the kitchen area after dinner at 5pm, and many kept loaves of bread to tide them over.
"The service does not ensure that residents receive adequate nourishment and hydration," the report said.
The agency's inspectors were shocked to learn residents were expected to buy soap and fresh fruit.
A petition from 21 residents complaining of a lack of bread at meal times went unanswered by management.
Even before the eight nurses were sacked, the home was severely understaffed. The director of nursing frequently called on her two unqualified sons to help.
At other times, just two carers were expected to look after 54 elderly residents, many of whom required special treatment such as insulin injections.
When entertainers visited the home or craft workshops were held, residents were forced to hand over $10 each to take part.
Sacked nurses cleared Herald-Sun October 16, 2004
One wonders if removing the owners as managers is a reasonable solution to a problem like this. Whatever manager they appoint is still accountable to the owners and they control what he does. To me this is a cop out. They should be forced to sell their interest in the home.
For Updates:- A good way to check for recent developments in aged care is to go to the aged care crisis group's search page and enter the name of the company, nursing home or key words relating to any other matter in the search box. Most significant press reports are flagged there. The aged care crisis web site has recently been restructured and some of the older links used from this site may not work.
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This page created Sept 2006 by Michael Wynne