Aged care worker furious with ‘slow’ complaint response
A Coast support worker who says her client suffered from an untreated infection in an aged care facility is furious with a delay in investigating the issue.
New Staff Solutions director Peta Simpson said the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission took more than a month to investigate the complaint.
"I've experienced some really disgusting things in this industry, but nothing has made me feel more helpless than this conversation with the commission who is supposed to be the watchdog," she said.
Ms Simpson said her client was in her late 50s and had limited communication and paralysis.
She said the client was living in an Ozcare facility when she was hospitalised with seizures that a doctor told her were caused by an untreated urinary tract infection.
She alleged the woman then suffered further brain damage and chronic pain.
Ozcare has strongly denied any claim it did not provide appropriate care.
A complaint originally lodged with the National Disability Insurance Scheme Commission in late August was transferred to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on September 8.
An Ozcare spokesman said the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission had notified Ozcare that it had completed its investigation.
"Ozcare provided full documentation to the commission and answered all questions on this matter," the spokesman said.
"Ozcare has not been advised that it has any case to answer in relation to the complaint.
"We are awaiting final closure of the commission's investigation."
The incident came as a survey for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety revealed less than half of formal complaints were resolved to the client's satisfaction.
The survey was conducted by the National Ageing Research Institute.
Ms Simpson said there was a need to do more to support and ensure the safety of vulnerable people.
"What does it tell us when the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has complaints sitting for more than one month while nothing changes for the resident?" she said.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson PSM told the Daily that the commission was working with both parties in the matter to resolve the concerns raised.
She did not comment on the outcome of the investigation.
"The commission is unable to disclose details of individual complaints due to privacy considerations," Ms Anderson said.
She said the commission aimed to resolve complaints as quickly as possible.
"The circumstances of the complaint, including the complexity and the number of issues will determine the length of time it takes to resolve a complaint," she said.
"If there is evidence that a service is or may be non-compliant with the Aged Care Quality Standards, the commission will consider proportionate regulatory action."
Ms Simpson said no help was given to the client while they waited for a response, so the family moved her from the facility.