Bupa aged care boss vows snap inspections of nursing homes
The head of Bupa’s aged care operation has promised to make surprise visits to some of the company’s embattled residential centres alongside a public advocate, to “find out the truth” of what’s happening.
Bupa aged care managing director Suzanne Dvorak made the undertaking to Stewart Johnston at a meeting in Melbourne on Monday.
Johnston, who became an advocate after blowing the whistle on his mother’s treatment at Adelaide’s Oakden nursing home, was invited to the meeting after tweeting about Bupa on Friday.
The tweets followed reports last week, based on audit data, that Bupa was putting the health and safety of older people at “serious risk” at a third of its 72 aged care centres across the nation.
The centres house more than 6,000 people.
Johnston said the meeting with Dvorak and Bupa’s corporate affairs director, Roger Sharp, was “very positive”, with the former committing to join him on a series of unannounced site visits.
They intend to speak with aged care staff and residents in an effort to “find out the truth”, he said.
“I said, ‘we don’t want to hear how sorry you are for what’s happened’,” Johnston said on the step’s of Bupa’s Melbourne office on Monday.
“We want you to understand there is so much more … you don’t know, and I want you to be able to find out.”
He was also told the healthcare provider has no directive to limit incontinence pads for aged care residents, regardless of how often they need replacing.
“So if at any facility, their staff have been told they can only use three a day, it is a lie,” he said.
Johnston asked to meet with Bupa Australia’s chief executive, Hisham El-Ansary, and anticipates that will happen within a week.
Bupa said it appreciated the opportunity to hear Johnston’s ideas.
“We are always keen to listen to those who have experience in the aged care sector,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“We have made improvements across a number of our homes, and remain committed to ensuring all our care homes meet the standards.”
Ms Dvorak joined Bupa in June, several months after the aged care royal commission was launched in January.
Source: Guardian Australia