The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission responded swiftly to notification of alleged assaults of residents at the Japara Noosa aged care service last year.
The Commission was advised that a resident transferred to hospital following the alleged assault had subsequently passed away. We are aware that the Queensland Coroner is investigating this matter. Criminal investigations and prosecutions are matters for the police.
Given the serious nature of the assaults reported to the Commission on 20 October and other intelligence received, the Commission conducted an unannounced onsite review audit at Japara Noosa between 27 and 31 October 2020. Through this audit, the Commission identified that there was an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety, and well-being of care recipients at this service.
As a result, the Commission took regulatory action and issued a Notice of Requirement to Agree to Certain Matters (Notice to Agree - NTA) to the approved provider of the facility Japara Aged Care Services Pty Ltd with regards to Japara Noosa on 13 November 2020.
As required under the NTA, the approved provider appointed an independent adviser on 19 November 2020 to assist the service to comply with its legal responsibilities. Residents and relatives of the service were advised of the NTA and the requirements it imposed on the service in November 2020.
The NTA issued by the Commission contained all the provisions of sanctions. Failure by the provider to agree to the conditions in the Notice could have resulted directly in the Commission’s revocation of approval for Japara Aged Care Services Pty Ltd to provide Commonwealth-funded aged care. Such a decision would have affected all 50 residential aged care services operated by Japara in Australia.
Another outcome of the Review Audit was a Commission decision to shorten the service's period of accreditation, which will now expire on 14 September 2021.
A shorter accreditation period means that the Commission will return to the service sooner to conduct a comprehensive site audit against the 42 requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards. This is in addition to the close monitoring being undertaken, under the current NTA, of the quality and safety of care being provided at Japara Noosa as the service works to address the issues identified.
If anyone has a concern about an aged care service, complaints can be made via the Commission’s website www.agedcarequality.gov.au or by calling 1800 951 822.
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