Taralga Retirement Village Hostel. Jandowae. Photo: Contributed/Social Media
Taralga Retirement Village Hostel. Jandowae. Photo: Contributed/Social Media

Aged care residents medicated without consent, audit finds

AN AGED-CARE facility on the Western Downs was drugging four residents without consent, an audit by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has found.

The ACQSC discovered several issues at Jandowae's Taralga Retirement Village Hostel during a recent visit, which saw the facility deemed non-compliant with two of the Aged Care Quality Standards.

Taralga is considering the commission's findings and has 14 days to respond.

The commission's assessment team, during their June visit, discovered four residents were prescribed regular and "as required" antipsychotic medications, despite not having a diagnosed mental health disorder, physical illness, or condition.

When the assessment team queried Taralga on the issue, "(Taralga) was not aware the use of psychotropic medication for these four consumers was a form of chemical restraint and confirmed consent for the authorisation of their use had not been obtained".

The report said Taralga had since obtained consent and authorisation for the use of chemical restraint for two residents, while the use of psychotropic medication for two others had been ceased "through consultation with the treating medical officers".

The assessment team also discovered a resident with a pressure wound but no corresponding documentation to support ongoing monitoring of the injury, and a resident who suffered chronic pain who had not undergone a pain assessment.

"As (Taralga) does not have a clear understanding of the use of restraints and monitoring of consumers with chronic wounds and pain has not occurred, it is my decision consumers are not receiving clinical care that is best practice and therefore this requirement is non-compliant," the commission's report said.

The report also found residents who sustained falls with injuries and those with ongoing challenging behaviours had not been referred to the appropriate providers in a timely manner, and there was no evidence information about residents' condition, needs, and preferences were being documented and communicated with others where responsibility for care was shared.

The commission identified 10 areas for improvement for Taralga to work on.

The report said Taralga had committed to addressing the deficiencies identified by the ACQSC.