Bupa audit scrutiny

Cher Jimenez

Traralgon aged care service Bupa has undergone another re-accreditation site visit as it battles further controversy about the quality of care being provided to its residents.

A spokesperson from the federal health department has confirmed to The Express that the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency conducted a visit of the Park Lane facility on December 12 – almost four months after sanctions were imposed against it.

The spokesperson said while there were no scheduled visits planned at Bupa over the coming month, “however, an unannounced visit can occur at any time.”

Three days after the December visit a photo of scrambled eggs served to a resident was shared by a relative and made the rounds on social media.

In a statement to The Express, Bupa said a food services assistant prepared the eggs as its chef has left a week before the incident.

The results of Bupa’s performance during re-accreditation visits showed the facility went from meeting all government standards in 2015 when it was new to declining service quality in 2018.

A review audit done from July 16 to July 25, 2018 showed that Bupa complied with only 29 of the government’s 44 expected outcomes for an accredited aged care facility.

Aged care facilities are required to meet four AACQA standards covering management systems, health and personal care, care recipient lifestyle and physical environment to remain accredited and receive commonwealth subsidies.

These four standards contain 44 expected outcomes that facilities must be able to comply with.

With failure to meet 15 expected quality outcomes including eight critical ones, sanctions were imposed on Bupa on August 9 which included a revocation of its provider status and withholding federal government subsidies for new clients until January 27, 2019. Bupa moved quickly to retain its provider status but is still not receiving Commonwealth subsidies for new residents.

The decision, posted on the website of My Aged Care, showed there was an “immediate and severe risk” to the health and wellbeing of residents as found by the audit.

A spokesperson from Bupa said the “majority of [the government] standards have now been met” and they “believe” they will start receiving Commonwealth subsidies when the sanction period expires on January 27. However, a federal government spokesperson said Bupa was in danger of receiving additional sanctions or losing its provider status unless it rectified all its issues.