Concern as care standard queried

George Connelly was not happy with the care he was receiving.
George Connelly was not happy with the care he was receiving. Mike Knott

FEARS have been raised about the standard of care at a North Bundaberg retirement home, after a group of residents and former employees made claims about unsatisfactory conditions.

Navy veteran George Connelly lived at the RSL Care Fairways Retirement Community for seven months and said he was disgusted by the quality of food, cleanliness and medical care.

“It's terrible - I wouldn't send anyone there, let alone an ex-serviceman,” former chief petty officer Mr Connelly said.

“The food was disgraceful and the cleanliness used to leave much to be desired so I would clean my room myself.”

Mr Connolly's claims are backed up by two former staff members and two current residents who spoke with the NewsMail on the condition of anonymity.

One former carer said she complained to senior management and was told the matter would be investigated internally.

“It's like a prison,” she said.

“If a resident needed a new incontinence pad, you couldn't just go and grab one. They were rationed - locked away in a cupboard - and you had to fill in paperwork to explain it if you needed more than the resident had been allocated.”

She said due to the restrictions, residents were left wearing soiled pads for extended periods and would develop rashes, urinary tract and skin infections as a result.

Another former employee said unqualified workers were asked to dispense medication and give injections.

She claimed one resident was denied medication after she made a complaint about care and eventually had to take a taxi to her GP for help.

Both residents said the living conditions were miserable and people were afraid to speak out.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger has written to RSL Care and Premier Anna Bligh seeking answers.

“I am calling for an independent investigation speaking to residents, families and former staff,” he said.

RSL Care chief executive officer Ross Smith said the concerns were being investigated.

“We have been working extensively with the retirement village residents including current and former members of the Retirement Village Committee,” he said.

He said the facility had regular scheduled and unannounced inspections by the Standards Agency and it complied with all 44 expected outcomes of the aged care accreditation standards.

“RSL Care is committed to providing quality care and appropriate staff training to ensure the wellbeing of all residents,” he said.

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