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Inadequate care at Retirement Village

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report finding Aria Park Senior Living Limited in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for failing to provide services to an elderly woman living at a retirement village with reasonable care and skill.

The woman experienced an unwitnessed fall which resulted in leg and arm pain, and she was unable to stand or weight bear independently. The next day there were difficulties moving the woman with a transfer belt, her pain escalated, and she was reviewed by a GP who recommended that she be taken to hospital for further investigation. The woman was diagnosed with an elbow fracture and was transferred back to the retirement village with instructions to continue her regular pain relief. However, this did not occur and the woman was re-hospitalised due to increased pain levels and later died.

Ms Wall’s investigation found failures with respect to the retirement village’s pain assessment and administration, incident reporting, documentation, compliance with its manual handling policy and communication. There were also delays in obtaining a GP review and in contacting an ambulance.

Ms Wall found that the retirement village "had the ultimate responsibility to ensure the woman received care that was of an appropriate standard and complied with the Code." Overall, she found that there were serious issues with the care the woman received from multiple different staff members at the retirement village and that the care was inadequate.

Ms Wall recommended that the retirement village report back to HDC on further education it provided to staff, and improvements to its services in the areas of medication administration documentation; the process to support the use of restraint and restraint use documentation; incident reporting; and the process of seeking medical attention and transferring a resident’s care to a hospital.

The full report for case 16HDC01467 is on the HDC website.


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