An audit of the Regis Healthcare facility in Darwin found two issues of concern. (Supplied: Google Street View)
The federal Health Department has imposed sanctions on a national aged care provider after an audit of its Darwin facility revealed “immediate and severe” risks to residents.
Regis Healthcare operates 54 aged care facilities around Australia, including Regis Tiwi, which is home to about 130 residents in the northern suburbs of Darwin.
An audit conducted last month by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency of 44 accreditation standards found two issues of concern – the management of wounds and human resources.
“Following the information received from the quality agency, the federal Department of Health identified an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of care recipients at the home,” the department said in a statement.
It is the first time in Regis Healthcare’s 25-year history that sanctions have been enforced.
“I regret that, in some cases, residents did not receive the standard of care and support to which they are entitled,” the company’s chief executive Ross Johnston said.
Under the sanctions, Regis Healthcare is not eligible to receive Commonwealth subsidies for new care recipients for three months.
It also has to provide relevant training to staff and appoint an adviser for six months to oversee the implementation of its improvement plan.
If it fails to do so, Regis Healthcare could lose its status as an approved provider.
Rectification plan in place, CEO says
However, Mr Johnston said a rectification plan was already in place.
“Regis had already commenced action prior to the agency review to address issues identified by our internal processes as not meeting our standards,” he said.
“A comprehensive improvement plan is already underway.”
About a dozen additional staff from interstate have been brought in to assist at Regis Tiwi.
“It is exceedingly well resourced at the moment with very senior people,” Mr Johnston said.
He will meet with residents and relatives at Regis Tiwi on Tuesday afternoon to explain the audit findings and the sanctions process.