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A Queensland nursing home which had serious problems and where regulators were tardy
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Alchera Park Nursing Home
Alchera Park was another for profit home owned by a single person but this time in Queensland. This scandal came at the same time as the Riverside scandal. It was another disaster where complaints had not resulted in action and residents were dying of neglect. Once again nursing levels were at the heart of the problem and motivated nurses were so disillusioned that they resigned. The accreditation agency had done nothing.
Bronwyn Bishop, already under pressure over her handling of the Riverside debacle, faced criticism from within her own party and fresh allegations of mistreatment of elderly residents, this time at a Queensland nursing home.
Mar 2000 Compounding the Riverside scandal
Mrs Bishop faced pressure from her party yesterday as Queensland backbenchers threatened to revolt over aged-care funding shortages and liberal backbencher Ian Macfarlane described her as intransigent and "not the most popular minister".
Bishop's nursing home nightmare deepens The Australian March 8, 2000
THE Federal Opposition yesterday released in Parliament a series of letters from former employees and relatives of residents about "abuse and neglect" at a central Queensland nursing home. In one letter late last year, a former nurse warned that funding cuts had led to the "undignified and painful death" of residents at the Alchera nursing home.
Mar 2000 A shocking story
"Recent hospital admissions of residents from Alchera have shown these residents to be in an appalling condition and death followed very soon after their admission," the letter said. "In 1999, old people should not be dying with pressure sores you can put your fist in, their stench on admission to hospital should not be overpowering and pain management should be in place."
The employee said 14 registered nurses had resigned from the nursing home during 1999 and 1998 because they had "felt powerless" over the situation and were ashamed to be associated with the care.
She (resident's daughter) said her father had claimed that the only way he received care in the home was to shout and throw things around his room. The elderly man, who died in October, was also suffering from a pressure sore on his foot, which became gangrenous while at the nursing home.
The woman said doctors at the Gladstone hospital had attacked the level of care her father had been receiving at the home. "He said within a minute or so of examining dad, (that) he was severely dehydrated and suffering ulcers in the back of his mouth-throat, was highly sedated and the dressing on his rotten-looking foot was totally inappropriate," the letter said. The woman said that her father died 10 days later.
Relatives' letters tell of abuse and neglect Courier Mail March 8, 2000
THE nursing home crisis widened yesterday with revelations that two residents of a Queensland home had developed gangrene and died after complaints about the standard of care had gone unanswered for seven months.
Mar 2000 Departmental inaction
Aged Care Minister Bronwyn Bishop confirmed that her department had received complaints about the standards of care for three residents of the Alchera Park Nursing Home in Gladstone on November 16 last year.
All three residents had subsequently died in Gladstone Hospital, Mrs Bishop told Parliament.
New nursing home shame Hobart Mercury March 8, 2000
RESIDENTS at a Queensland nursing home were tied to chairs for their protection because of a lack of staff, according to the daughter of one resident who died in hospital after suffering bed sores and dehydration. Gordon Stanley Briggs, 79, was a resident at Alchera Park Nursing Home near Gladstone. He died on November 6 after complaints were made of below-standard care.
Mar 2000 More allegations
Mr Briggs' foster daughter Maxine Vanderwolf yesterday described the neglect that led to ulcerated sores on her father when he was admitted to hospital just before his death. She said medical staff were disgusted when she took her father in for treatment. Mrs Vanderwolf said he was badly dehydrated. But she said staff did not even know her father was sick. "He went downhill in the last couple of months very quick," she said. "All of a sudden he was just like skin and bone," she said. "At first it (the level of care) was good there, but then it just went downhill." She said that last Christmas her father was tied to a chair. "They said that's to keep him from harming himself, he's walking into walls and we haven't got the staff to look after him." Other female residents also had been tied to chairs, she said.
Alchera Park owner Jim DeMaine said the family had never complained. Mr DeMaine said residents were never tied to chairs but some were restrained for their own protection.
Nursing home residents `tied to chairs' Courier Mail March 10, 2000
Aged Care Minister Bronwyn Bishop's office still had not responded to complaints from a woman whose father died after developing gangrene in a Queensland nursing home, the opposition said today.
Mar 2000 Evasive response
She said she was aware two GPs had raised concerns last year but said if they considered the matter to be serious, they should report it to the Queensland coroner.
Bishop dragging the chain on reponse to complaint Australian Associated Press March 13, 2000
For Updates:- A good way to check for recent developments in aged care is to go to the aged care crisis group's search page and enter the name of the company, nursing home or key words relating to any other matter in the search box. Most significant press reports are flagged there. The aged care crisis web site has recently been restructured and some of the older links used from this site may not work.
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This page created Sept 2006 by Michael Wynne