Statement by CEO Jon Campbell
“In November last year Carinity reported to the Queensland Police and the Coroner our concerns surrounding the deaths of five residents who had received palliative care at our Fairfield Grange Community in Townsville.
We lodged a report with the Office of the Health Ombudsman relating to a doctor associated with all five of the reports to the Coroner and Police. We also reported three registered nurses for breaching Carinity’s clinical policies and procedures. All three were dismissed for not fulfilling their duty of care.
There is no risk to residents at Fairfield Grange. Carinity removed any harm or potential for harm on 22 November last year, two weeks before the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency arrived for a six-day audit.
The Carinity investigation followed a complaint from a Carinity staff member. As soon as we became aware of the breach of procedure on 21 November, the staff concerned were removed from the workplace and the matter was reported to the relevant authorities.
As this matter is before the Police and Coroner it would be inappropriate to comment further until the Police and Coroner have concluded their investigations. In the meantime, we are fully cooperating with their investigations.
We are deeply saddened by these events and extend our sincere sympathies to the families affected. We have met with those families who have been offered pastoral care and counselling support.
The care and wellbeing of every resident at Carinity is our primary concern. To this end, all staff undergo rigorous checks – including police background checks – before commencing employment, and we have strict policies and procedures to guide clinical practice and maintain residents’ care and safety.
While the nurses acted within the doctor’s direction, no system is immune from the ability of human beings to make inappropriate choices. We will continue to strengthen and improve our systems based on this experience.
The Department of Health and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency are aware of these matters and we are working cooperatively with them.”
20 February 2018
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