Carinity voluntarily appoints Nurse Advisor

Statement by CEO Jon Campbell

Carinity will voluntarily appoint a Nurse Advisor to its Fairfield Grange community in Townsville to demonstrate its commitment to high-quality aged care and quell concern caused by false media reports.

Community alarm has been driven by sensationalised anonymous and inaccurate media reporting this week including allegations that 30 deaths are under investigation and of an alleged culture of cost-cutting and chronic understaffing. These are all false.

Carinity has always put people before any other criteria. We’ve invested over $30 million in a state-of-the-art residential community and operated Fairfield Grange at staffing levels 18% above industry benchmarks.

We’ve also ensured the highest quality of nursing care through operating with Registered Nursing levels at twice the average of comparable services nationally.

The issues Carinity decisively dealt with last year resulted largely from the actions of an individual staff member.

Carinity is confident with its extensive systems to ensure resident safety. Carinity is subject to all the same regulations as other aged care services throughout Australia and Fairfield Grange’s performance has been constantly and consistently measured.

We have an open complaints system and residents and their families have the opportunity to raise complaints with us and external regulators. In the 18 months since Fairfield Grange has been open there has only been two complaints to an external regulator and both were satisfactorily resolved.

Despite Carinity’s robust systems, frequent Quality Agency reviews and transparent complaints mechanisms, no system is immune from the ability of human beings to make inappropriate choices by acting outside of policies and procedures.

The actions we took last year have been acknowledged as proper and appropriate by the Commonwealth Department of Health. Carinity has not been sanctioned, remains fully accredited by the Quality Agency and we continue to work with the regulators to meet all our obligations.

Resident satisfaction levels are high and we are confident in our systems and quality of care, and do not believe any additional changes are needed. However, in order to give the Townsville community complete confidence we are voluntarily appointing a temporary Nurse Advisor.

The Nurse Advisor will work at Fairfield Grange for two months and report any further improvements that could be made to the CEO.

Response to claims made in The Australian newspaper

It is important to address the false claims reported in The Australian newspaper today by former employee Sharon Duthie who worked for Carinity for only six shifts.

Ms Duthie only worked six shifts on the floor at Fairfield Grange between 15 and 28 November 2016.

In her resignation letter of 26 January 2017 she said it was “unfortunate that I have to resign from my position” because her husband had just accepted “a new job” in Hughenden, almost 400km west of Townsville.

Her reported portrayal of Carinity and Fairfield Grange in The Australian article is completely at odds with the praise she had for the organisation in the resignation letter.

“I really enjoyed my time at Carinity, it is a beautiful place to work and I really felt we had a great team of nurses who cared, were empathetic but also excellent well trained nurses. I will miss working with them,” Ms Duthie wrote.

“I might not have been there long but I try to learn whatever I can from people and I learnt from all of them. Thank you again to everyone,” she said.

22 February 2018


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