The many extracts on these pages are from copyright material. They are owned by the reference given or its owner. They are reproduced here for educational purposes and to stimulate public debate about the provision of health and aged care. I consider this to be "fair use" in the common interest. They should not be reproduced for commercial purposes. The material is selective and I have not included denials and explanations. I am not claiming that the allegations are true. The intention is to show the general thrust of corporate practices as well as the nature and extent of any allegations made. Any comments made are based on the belief that there is some substance at least to so many allegations.

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A South Australian nursing home was purchased by someone who had been a director of a previously sanctioned home. It was soon in serious trouble. The accreditation agency overruled their own staff's advice that the home be closed. There was concern that previous audits may have missed serious problems.

 Australian section   

Tolega Pty Ltd and Karoona Pty Ltd
Barton Vale and St David's Nursing Homes  


Toleda owns a single nursing home in South Australia. An interesting facet was revealed in an answer given in the Senate in May 2006. This revealed a failure to address the issue of probity when giving approval status, a requirement of the legislation prior to the revision in 1996/7. People who had previously failed the system were now welcomed back into the fold.

It seems that a director of Tolega was also a director of Karoona the owner of St Davids which had been sanctioned in 2001. Karoona had subsequently closed the home and gone out of business.

May 2006 Department aware but no action taken

Senator McLucas asked:
Was the Department aware that the prospective owner of Barton Vale, that is the bed owner - was the previous owner of St Davids?

The Approved Provider of Barton Vale Nursing Home is Tolega Pty. Ltd. The Department was aware at the time Tolega applied for approval as the Approved Provider of Barton Vale Nursing Home, that one of Tolegaís Directors was also a Director of Karoona Pty. Ltd., the former owner of St. Davidís Nursing Home.
Community Affairs Legislation Committee Examination of Additional Estimates 2005-2006 -- May 2006 Hansard Page: CA 70

May 2006 The Karoona story

Senator McLucas asked:
What happened as a result of the sanction?

Sanctions were imposed on Karoona Pty Ltd, the approved provider of St David’s Nursing Home in St Peters, South Australia on 17 May 2001. The Department of Health and Ageing made the decision to lift one of the sanctions on 1 August 2001 and the remaining sanction expired on 17 November 2001.

Karoona Pty Ltd made the decision to close the home in April 2003 and all residents were transferred to a new residential aged care service. Karoona Pty Ltd ceased to be an approved provider under the Aged Care Act 1997 in November 2003.
Community Affairs Legislation Committee Examination of Additional Estimates 2005-2006 -- May 2006 Hansard Page: CA 70

It is not surprising that there were major problems at Barton Vale Nursing Home run by Tolega. Tolega took over the management of Barton Vale Nursing Home in July 2005 and by October the home was a disaster area. It was not compliant with 27 of the 44 criteria. The press reports tell the story. Sanctions on the home were lifted in January 2006.

Jan 2006 Problems identified

FRIGHTENED and neglected residents of an Adelaide nursing home have complained about being left unattended in soiled beds and threatened by staff in a damning audit of the aged care facility.

Bartonvale Nursing Home at Enfield failed 27 of 44 accreditation standards measured when it was inspected in October by Federal Government authorities.

"Serious risk" was uncovered in the areas of clinical care, pain management, skin care, privacy and dignity by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency assessment team.

The home has kept its accreditation despite a recommendation by the assessment team to revoke it.
Residents were at times left unattended in soiled beds, and their nourishment and hydration were not properly monitored, the audit report says.

"Staff were observed to walk past residents who were calling out and showing signs of distress or wandering around the home approaching other residents, visitors or staff for help, without stopping to assess the residents' needs," the assessment team found. "Staff interviewed said they did not have time to respond, had not noticed the resident calling out, or that the particular resident asked about `is always like that'."

Residents complained of "staff entering their rooms without knocking and standing over them and threatening them about making formal complaints".

"Residents feared retribution from some care staff after making complaints," the audit report said. The assessment team found 35 per cent of residents had skin problems, including skin tears and ulcers.

"Beds are saturated in the morning and residents are left in bed until late morning . . . constantly asking the (staff) when they well be attending to them," one document said.

MANAGEMENT could not demonstrate residents received adequate nourishment and hydration.

WOUNDS were not reviewed consistently, with some wounds going five to 10 days without being reviewed.

35 PER CENT of residents had a skin problems such as skin tears, ulcers and blisters.

FEMALE residents left in chairs without rugs covering them and some had underwear exposed.

MEDICINE storage and administration systems were not safe.

REPORTS of residents feeling intimidated, laughed at, shouted at in an aggressive manner, harassed and bullied and fearing retribution and humiliation from staff.
Residents ignored, left in soiled beds The Advertiser January 7, 2006

Jan 2006 Agency overrules assessors to keep home open

Residents were being left unattended, they were suffering wounds which went unchecked and they felt frightened to complain.
Serious risk was found in the areas of clinical care, pain management, skin care, privacy and dignity.

In its recently published damning audit report, the assessment team recommended the home's accreditation be revoked.

Ultimately, the ACSAA did not go that far but it has sanctioned Barton Vale.
Vigilance crucial in aged care The Advertiser January 7, 2006

Jan 2000 Another case of conflicting audits

Opposition aged care spokeswoman Jan McLucas said she was concerned the facility failed so badly after passing compliance checks earlier in the year.

She questioned whether unannounced spot checks were occurring. "This is exactly what the spot check system was set up for - to ensure that confidence in the provision is maintained," Ms McLucas said.
Nursing home given damning report AGED CARE DISGRACE The Advertiser January 7, 2006

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