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Two related Victorian companies. There were serious problems in three of their four nursing homes. Both companies entered bankruptcy.

 Australian section   

Supported Residential Services (SRS) and Marnotta Pty Ltd
Tangerine Lodge, Ripplebrook Village and Rosedale Manor



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There are multiple reports about the nursing homes operated by these two Victorian groups. They are reported to be related. The press gives no information about the owners and the nature of these companies. This is typical of many of these privately owned companies - the owners and operators emerge as shadowy figures then vanish into anonymity again. There is no point in talking about deterrence if those involved are not publicly shamed.

Although there had been chronic problems at one home owned by these groups this did not seem to translate into actions or restrictions on others. Each home was treated as a separate entity. As a nursing home's operations and the care provided are controlled by the company's owners and managers this is clearly illogical.

These two companies owned four hostels, three of which were adversely reported on by the press. Both companies went bankrupt. Tangerine Lodge owned by Marnotta was closed down by authorities. Of the three owned by SRS, Rosedale Manor it seems was never accredited and could not get residents. It closed. Ripplebrook was a recurrent offender and the subject of strong criticism. The companies’ receiver sold Ripplebrook and the fourth home, Villa Lambarda, to a buyer whose name was not disclosed in the press but turns out to be Chevron Corporation Pty Ltd. The receivers claimed that they were "well known and proven" in the industry. Chevron owns only one other nursing home.

Two of these nursing homes had taken residents from other homes which had closed. The lives of staff and residents were once again disrupted.

Major causes of the problems seem to be a management which was not there and problems in staffing - possibly cost cutting. Once again we seem to be looking at whare-housing with little attention to activities that improved the quality of life.

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The Bankruptcy

The relationship between the two companies is not stated but one wonders if there is common ownership by someone the press preferred not to name. They entered bankruptcy together.

May 2003 Bankruptcy

THE welfare of up to 100 elderly Melburnians is in doubt after four nursing homes were placed in the hands of administrators this week.
Three Melbourne nursing homes in receivership. Australian Associated Press General News May 23, 2003

May 2003 Companies and the facilities they owned

Supported Residential Services Pty Ltd owns Rosedale Manor, Ripplebrook Village and a third facility, Villa Lambardi, at Keysborough.

The troubled company is also linked to Marnotta Pty Ltd, which operates Tangerine Lodge, Mt Martha.
Mr Secatore said Supported Residential Services and Marnotta each owed more than $1 million to suppliers and service providers, and Bentley's was managing both companies.
Receivers step in. Frankston Standard May 26, 2003

Sep 2003 Two of the homes sold to new owner

Ripplebrook Village, also at Carrum Downs, and Villa Lambarda, at Keysborough, both formerly operated by Supported Residential Services (SRS), attracted offers from potential operators.

"They are expected to change hands when transfer applications go through (the Federal Department of Health and Ageing)," Mr Secatore said.

He said it would be unnecessary for Ripplebrook Village and Villa Lambarda residents to change accommodation because the likely new owners could satisfy finance and care requirements.

"These people already have a good name. They're well known and proven in the industry," he said.
Manor on the market Frankston Standard September 22, 2003

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Tangerine Lodge

Tangerine Lodge, a relatively new facility was never properly staffed and proved to be one of the worst homes. Within 3 months there were serious prtoblems and after 6 months the plug was pulled.

Once again one wonders about staff policies and cost cutting. Management was not there when it was needed. The home survived after failing 33 of the 44 accreditation standards. It had to fail 37 before they closed it. This was even though there had been serious problems at other homes owned by a related group. Residents and staff were left in limbo and a not for profit was brought in to rescue the situation.

The receivers of Marnotta appealed the closure to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and won the case. The department responded by appealing this to the federal court which decided in the departments favour.

May 2003 Residents are pawns in the market game

Many of the residents at Tangerine Lodge were moved there after Elsternwick nursing home Abalene closed this year.
Elderly face grim future Herald-Sun May 23, 2003

May 2003 Problems in the home

YOUNG boys were assisting to nurse and toilet elderly female residents at a Mt Martha nursing home, a damning federal government report has found.
In one case, a resident died without any record of being visited by a doctor on that day, although a deterioration in health was observed previously.
PALLIATIVE care is not administered in the final stages of life.

INCONTINENT, immobile, epileptic, diabetic and other seriously ill patients were not given specialist treatment.

ONE resident was left on the toilet for up to half an hour and had to go looking for help.

TWO separate reports of "very young boys" and a man "who did not seem of high school age" assisting in the nursing and toileting of residents.

The 45-bed home, which remains open, has not been accredited to receive any new residents and has until June 20 to lift standards. It failed 33 of 44 compulsory standards.
Aged patients at grave risk - report. Herald-Sun May 27, 2003

Jun 2003 More details of problems

She (Labor's Aged Care spokeswoman) cites the example of the Tangerine Lodge in Victoria, which has failed 33 out of its 44 accreditation standards, including privacy and dignity, fire and emergency standards, infection control, pain management and nutrition.
A resident admitted to the Mount Martha home on March 13th this year with insulin-dependent diabetes should have had blood sugar tests up to four times a day. But the audit team found no record of their blood sugar being tested for five days.

Another resident who had a pressure sore told auditors the wound wasn't always dressed, because staff said they'd run out of dressing materials. Six residents' files were reviewed and none of the six had a completed long-term care plan.

Annette Ellis argues more spot checks must be done.

ANNETTE ELLIS: In the year 2002, the department's information to us is that they carried out 900 spot checks nationally. Now, there are 3000 facilities. Now that means that even if they did 900 every year for three years, you're lucky to have a visit once in three years. The accreditation system generally grants accreditation for up to three to four years.
- - - - what is not acceptable is what is happening now. And that is that there are 2,000 odd, or 2,100 nursing homes in 2002 that haven't been spot-checked.
And what was the time lag that led to those sanctions being in place. In other words, how long were people with diabetes and other conditions in that facility not receiving adequate treatment before the flag went up to the top of the pole? That's my concern.
Parliamentary criticism of Tangerine Lodge nursing home. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News June 2, 2003

Jun 2003 Mismanagement and poor morale

It acted after a report found that a school-age boy was given the task of changing continence pads for elderly women, and residents' bruising went unreported.

The department was advised two months ago that residents of Tangerine Lodge were at serious risk.
One personal care worker, who did not wish to be named, described the staff rostering system as a "debacle".

"It was sheer mismanagement," she said. "I've worked in other nursing homes and I've never come across anything like it. It was a comedy of errors."

The worker said it was difficult to contact those in charge at the home, and staff were often unsure when they were supposed to be working and what to do if they couldn't work a particular shift.

"There are usually about six personal carers on duty, but one day 15 turned up," she said.

She said morale among the staff was at rock-bottom.

Another personal care worker at the home said the majority of the staff members were dedicated but had more work than they could handle.

"I was coming off night duty once and I heard the sister saying there was not enough staff on so they just couldn't shower (the residents) that day," the woman said.

Health Services Union of Australia president Jeff Jackson described the management of the home as "disgraceful".

"If minimum staffing levels, minimum staffing qualifications and Resident Safety Committees required for quality care were adopted, this disgraceful chapter in the care of senior Victorians would not have occurred," he said.

The owner of Tangerine Lodge could not be contacted for comment.
Pin pulled on nursing home. Mornington Peninsular Leader June 3, 2003

Jun 2003 Marnotta's approval revoked after 6 months operation

Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing Victorian manager Maree Bowman said it had also revoked the Approved Provider status from the operators of the home, Marnotta Pty Ltd.

The aged facility first opened in December last year and has received $718,000 in federal funding since then.

The department was first advised of serious risk at the home in March and imposed sanctions that made it ineligible for funding for new residents and it had to appoint a nurse administrator.

The department continued to monitor the home and found it again failed to meet the required standards in a range of areas and there were serious risks to residents in the areas of nutrition and hydration and clinical care.
A Care Standards and Accreditation Agency report into Tangerine Lodge found young boys were reportedly working in the facility as volunteers and had assisted in the continence management of female residents.

The report also found patients with serious medical conditions had not been assessed to determine their clinical needs, patients had been given incorrect dosages of medication, and palliative care had not been given to dying patients.
Vic - Commonwealth funding revoked from aged care home. Australian Associated Press General News June 6, 2003

Jun 2003 Home closed

The order for Tangerine Lodge to close came yesterday after a three-day audit found patient care had deteriorated despite administrators taking over last month.
But another family member said she had many concerns about standards at the home.

Vanessa Kane said she was surprised but relieved about the closure, even though it has left her sick grandmother without a bed.

"It's sad but maybe something will happen and it will be reopened with better care," she said.

Other relatives and sacked staff were too upset to talk to the Herald Sun yesterday.

Graham Martin, who came to collect his carer wife Julie, said staff were in shock.

"They've all been sacked. She's in there crying her eyes out," Mr Martin said.
"It's absolutely pitiful what they've done to the residents."

But the troubles began in March when it failed 33 of 44 standards and receivers Bentleys MRI were appointed.
Audits listed inadequate pain management, no palliative care for dying residents and "very young boys" nursing elderly women.
Tears as home for aged shut. Herald-Sun June 6, 2003

June 2003 Dreadful conditions

Investigations at the 33-bed home reportedly found patients living in shocking conditions, young boys reportedly working in the facility, inadequate nutrition, hydration and clinical care.
Nursing home funds cut. Adelaide Advertiser June 6, 2003

Jun 2003 Mismanagement

The home's closure followed claims of mismanagement and sub-standard care at the facility, which had been open for less than a year.
Nursing home ordered to shut. Mornington Peninsular Leader June 10, 2003

Jun 2003 Angican Aged Care comes to the rescue

A spokeswoman for the Anglican Aged Care Services Group said its workers would provide care for residents for two to three weeks.
The department has revoked all of the approved places held by the former approved provider and has also removed its approved provider status.

This means that the home can no longer operate as a Commonwealth funded aged care home.
Meanwhile, former Tangerine Lodge staff said they also were facing a struggle.

Former personal care worker Lisa Gordon said she was told in a phone call on June 6 that she no longer had a job.

"I was set to do my shift when I got a call telling me my services were no longer required," she said.

She said she was owed about three months' superannuation and holiday pay but held out little hope of recovering it.
Church carers step in to help. Mornington Peninsular Leader June 17, 2003

Jul 2003 Last resident goes

THE final chapter in the saga of disgraced Mt Martha nursing home Tangerine Lodge took place last Tuesday when the home's last remaining resident was moved to a new facility.

About 30 elderly residents had to be relocated from the home after the Federal Government revoked all of the Commonwealth-funded aged care places and the operator's approved provider status on June 5.
An audit at the home on May 28 to 30 had found non-compliance with 37 of 44 expected outcomes and a serious risk to residents in the areas of nutrition, hydration and clinical care.

The Federal Government appointed Anglican Aged Care Services Group to manage the facility until homes could be found for the residents.
Disgraced centre's final hour. Mornington Peninsular Leader July 1, 2003

Feb 2006 Appeal by Marnotta's receiver rejected

The Federal Court recently decided in favour of the Department of Health and Ageing in a case involving an aged care facility that had been shut down. The receivers and managers, Marnotta, had successfully applied to have the Department’s decision reviewed, but the Department appealed on the basis that the facility had not provided care for a continuous period of six months.
Six month clause thwarts Marnotta Lawyers Weekly February 24, 2006

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Ripplebrook Village

Ripplebrook is a chronic offender with deficiencies on multiple previous occasions. Its troubles are part of a continuum. Note that once again a key issue is under-training and staff numbers - likely from cost cutting. There is a set of shadowy managers who are not available. In spite of Ripplebrook’s many documented failings starting in 2001 these two related companies were allowed to go ahead and build Tangerine Lodge and Rosedale Manor.

When the SRS, the company owning Ripplebrook became bankrupt the home was sold to Chevron.

Jan 2003 Problems going back to 2001

The report claims one acutely ill resident had to wait 12 hours before seeing a doctor, while leisure activities at the home were restricted to irregular lunchtime visits to the local pub and an occasional session of "dementia games".
Ray Brown, whose wife Rita moved from Riverside to Ripplebrook, estimated there were now 10 former Riverside residents living at the new home.

Mr Brown said Ripplebrook had some problems but staff were "doing the best they can with what they've got".

According to the accreditation agency's website, a series of visits found Ripplebrook to be non-compliant in August, 2001, December, 2001, and again in November last year, but the home has nonetheless been approved for another year's accreditation (the standard period is three years).

While residents reported that staff were "very kind to them and responsive to their needs", the agency found that levels of training were inadequate for staff to provide satisfactory clinical care.
"It's certainly very unfortunate for the Riverside residents, who should have been able to feel satisfied that things would be safe for them."

Staff at Ripplebrook Village would not comment yesterday, while registered operator Supported Residential Service Pty Ltd could not be reached for a comment.
Fresh trauma for elderly as new home fails tests The Age January 16, 2003

Jan 2003 Details of Nov 2002 audit

In November (2002), the home failed five of 44 accreditation standards.

It also failed to meet some criteria in checks in both August and December 2001.

The November report found Ripplebrook did not provide adequate clinical care and medication management, offered insufficient leisure and recreational activities, and did not provide an appropriate living environment.
The agency today released a statement which said Ripplewood had only been given a one-year accreditation, until February 2004, rather than the customary three years.

"The non-compliance was not of a nature, extent or severity to warrant a decision to not accredit," the statement said.

"However, it was significant and, given the home's history of compliance, it was decided to accredit Ripplebrook for one year.
Mr Thomson (Health Services Union of Australia national secretary) said one acutely ill resident had to wait 12 hours to see a doctor before they could go to hospital and another lost 4kg in a month without a doctor being told.

He said residents' medication was not always managed safely, and vital details were left off charts.

Mr Thomson said the home was told in August 2001 that personal care standards were unacceptable, and the government should have taken tougher action then.
Former Riverside residents still in substandard housing Australian Associated Press General News January 17, 2003

Jan 2003 Ripplebrook's response

Ripplebrook spokeswoman Brenda Savage said last Thursday it was a good facility and its staff were more upset than residents over the audit and media attention.
Audit criticism was levelled at the home's rate of improvement, clinical care, management of medication, provision of leisure and recreation, and the safety and comfort of its environs.
Ripplebrook fixing problems in report Frankston Standard January 20, 2003

May 2003 More information

In January this year, a federal government inspection found residents at Ripplebrook Village did not receive appropriate clinical care and their medication was not managed safely.
Elderly face grim future Herald-Sun May 23, 2003

May 2003 Riverside residents go through it all again

Ripplebrook Village is home to up to 30 former residents of the controversial Riverside Nursing Home who were bathed in kerosene to rid them of scabies.

The federal government spent $65,000 on Ripplebrook so it could accept the residents.

In January this year the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency found Ripplebrook Village had consistently failed to meet operating standards set by the federal government.
Three Melbourne nursing homes in receivership. Australian Associated Press General News May 23, 2003

Chevron Corporation renamed Ripplebrook, calling it Sandhurst. After it was taken over by Chevron staff reported to the accreditation authority that management became much more responsive and that things improved.

In Dec 2003 it failed only one criterion but this related to problems in medication an important criterion and the unions remained critical. It was accredited for two years instead of three. It should be noted that these were not unannounced checks and so are of little value.

Mar 2004 Now renamed Sandhurst, the home shows inprovement

The nursing home watchdog failed Sandhurst, in Carrum Downs, on specialised nursing care needs after an inspection last December.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency found diabetic residents at Sandhurst were receiving inadequate care.

Charts did not show insulin had been administered according to doctors' orders.

The 30-bed nursing home was given only two years' accreditation instead of the usual three in light of its history of failed standards.
Sandhurst is run by Chevron Corporation. Chevron operations manager Jan Harver said Chevron had taken over the home last October, and significantly raised standards.

"Sandhurst used to be Ripplebrook, that had a bit of a bad run, and we've turned it around," Ms Harver said.

"We were thrilled that we achieved 43 out of 44, and at the time of the visit corrective action was put in place for the issues of non-compliance."
Kerosene victims' bad run The Herald Sun March 23, 2004

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Rosedale Manor

Rosedale manor was never accredited. There is no mention as to whether this was because of problems at other homes owned by SRS but it seems likely. Perhaps company management simply could not get its act together.

Jan 2003 A more low key operation

Ripplebrook operator Supported Residential Services Pty Ltd also has Rosedale Manor.

This year-old Carrum Downs interim-care facility is linked to Peninsula Health.

The Frankston Hospital began moving patients there last year under a contract to ease hospital congestion.

Ms Savage said Rosedale Manor did not require ACSAA accreditation but "we run it as though it had to be".

Peninsula Health was unavailable for comment prior to the Leader's deadline.
Ripplebrook fixing problems in report Frankston Standard January 20, 2003

Sep 2003 Closed as owner goes under

THE two-year-old upmarket Carrum Downs aged-care centre Rosedale Manor again stands empty while receivers scramble to find someone to buy it.

The last of a small number of residents were moved to another centre earlier this month.

The 45-bed Rosedale Manor was completed in 2001 but remained empty for months as it sought government funding.

It eventually attracted residents of various care classifications, including some from Frankston Hospital.
Spokesman Bruno Secatore said last Tuesday that his company could neither sell nor continue to operate the centre.

"But we are confident we can sell it as a shell," he said.
Manor on the market Frankston Standard September 22, 2003

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