ALLEGED NEGLECT: Southern Cross Care, the operators of the Illoura Aged Care facility in Chinchilla, have responded to allgations of neglect.
ALLEGED NEGLECT: Southern Cross Care, the operators of the Illoura Aged Care facility in Chinchilla, have responded to allgations of neglect. Brooke Duncan

Aged care home fails assessment, faces random checks

AFTER failing standards - and allegations from the public - Illoura Aged Care will face random checks from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Last Thursday the Chinchilla News unveiled allegations of neglect at the Chinchilla facility, including leaving residents unwashed and with bandages unchanged for days.

A whistleblowing carer and a family member of a former resident detailed the neglect they claim they witnessed.

Following the article, Illoura's operators, Southern Cross Care, issued a letter to residents and their family members stating they were "deeply disappointed that the newspaper has chosen to portray what we believe to be a misleading view of the facility".

The letter acknowledged the efforts and dedication of staff, as well as the challenge of attracting and retaining professionals in regional Queensland.

It also detailed several measures Southern Cross Care has implemented following the facility's failure to meet multiple accreditation standards when assessed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on January 30.

The letter states Illoura has recruited a nurse advisor, three nurses and an extra 19 personal carers, and added "hundreds of additional fortnightly hours".

It said these and other measures were in response to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

An ACQSC spokeswoman told the Chinchilla News their quality assessment team undertook a monitoring visit to Illoura Village on January 30.

As a result, the spokeswoman said it was determined the service had failed to meet three expected outcomes of the Accreditation Standards.

"It was also determined that the identified non-compliance with the Standards placed the safety, health or wellbeing of care recipients at serious risk," she said.

"The Department of Health was notified of the risk and the commission placed the service on a formal timetable for improvement."

The spokeswoman said the ACQSC closely monitors providers to ensure compliance before their timetable expires, which for Illoura occurred on April 29.

She confirmed a follow-up monitoring visit took place on April 30, at which time the service "was found to be compliant with the three expected outcomes".

"The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will continue to monitor the performance of the service, including through unannounced visits," she said.

An Illoura spokesman told the Chinchilla News this week that Southern Cross Care are confident no residents have become ill or been injured by the practices at the facility.

"The commission has given Illoura written confirmation that it conforms with all aged care accreditation standards," the spokesman.

"As is the case with all aged care providers, the commission makes regular scheduled and unscheduled visits to ensure compliance."

The spokesman said prior to January 30, the last ACQCS assessment had occurred in February 2018.

The ACQSC spokeswoman said the commission aimed to respond quickly to identified issues and concerns.

If anyone has a concern or wishes to make a complaint about an aged care service, they should contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822.