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Inquiry to look into unexpected closure of facility

Community Australian Ageing Agenda

Kate Carnell will lead an independent investigation into the recent forced relocation of residents of a Gold Coast facility, the aged care minister has announced.
'Kate Carnell will lead an independent investigation into the recent forced relocation of residents of a Gold Coast facility, the aged care minister has announced.Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck announced on Friday the terms of reference for an independent inquiry into the events surrounding the unexpected closure of the Earle Haven Retirement Village in Nerang, Queensland, late last week.The announcement comes a week after the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission announced it had begun a review audit of the regulatory compliance of the facility’s owner and approved provider People Care after Queensland Health led an emergency operation to find 70 residents accommodation ( read more here ). Kate Carnell Ms Carnell, who co-led the review of the sector’s regulatory processes in 2017, will head up a three-month inquiry to examine the circumstances leading to a collapse in the provision of care services for the residents of the facility.It will also look at the impact and consequences of the event and whether it could have been prevented, along with the management and operational structure of the service and the governance, management and operational structure of People Care and its sub-contractor HelpStreet.Elsewhere the terms of reference show the inquiry will examine whether People Care had appropriate risk management and emergency planning procedures in place prior to the forced evacuation and the contractual relationship between allied healthcare service HelpStreet.The inquiry may make recommendations related to its findings including for legislative reform or systemic change, and seek any information relevant to its work, including documents or financial statements, or from any person, company, department or agency., according to the terms of reference.Ms Carnell has also been tasked with keeping Mr Colbeck informed throughout the inquiry and submitting findings and recommendations in October 2019.Richard Colbeck Mr Colbeck said the inquiry was called to get to the bottom of what occurred at the facility and he looked forward to Ms Carnell’s report. “I am determined to ensure we understand why the situation occurred, that we do what we can to prevent this type of event in the future and that those responsible are held to account,” Mr Colbeck said. “Residents should not have been put in a situation where they were forced to be relocated because they were left without the care they so rightfully deserved.” He again thanked staff from Queensland Health and the Commonwealth Department of Health for their response to the events. “Both responded urgently to the situation and worked through the night to safely relocate residents,” he said.View the full terms of reference here . . The post Inquiry to look into unexpected closure of facility appeared first on Australian Ageing Agenda .'

Hidden homeless need attention, it isn’t always obvious who is and isn’t struggling, Vinnies warns

Community The Catholic Leader

HOMELESSNESS is on the rise in Australia and work is being done to fight it, but Vinnies warns there are factors that often remain hidden from public view.
'Homeless help: “While people sleeping rough are most visible, we cannot ignore the tens of thousands of people experiencing other forms of homelessness, including people who are couch-surfing, living in overcrowded dwellings, or living in other forms of unsafe and insecure housing.” HOMELESSNESS is on the rise in Australia and work is being done to fight it, but Vinnies warns there are factors that often remain hidden from public view.St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia chief executive officer Toby O’Connor welcomed the Federal Government’s focus on emergency accommodation for a growing number of Australians.But he said housing options for low-income people were seriously limited and the solution required the co-operation of not-for-profit providers, private developers and governments – federal, state and territory.Federal Assistant Minister for Community Housing and Homelessness Luke Howarth recently made comments on Sky News that focusing on the good work being done about homelessness was important.He cited a statistic that in the past 15 years rough sleepers, those sleeping on the street, had declined while the population had grown significantly.This sparked a moderate outcry about the Government trying to “put a positive spin” on homelessness.Mr O’Connor replied to these comments, saying emergency accommodation would hopefully capture people when they were beginning to fall.But he said stronger pathways were needed to get people out of crisis circumstances and into secure, long-term, affordable housing which required a massive increase in community and public housing stock.  “The (St Vincent de Paul) Society’s first-hand experience with assisting homeless people across Australia demonstrates that those options simply do not exist at the moment,” Mr O’Connor said.  “While people sleeping rough are most visible, we cannot ignore the tens of thousands of people experiencing other forms of homelessness, including people who are couch-surfing, living in overcrowded dwellings, or living in other forms of unsafe and insecure housing.  “There might be empty dwellings in our capital cities, but whether they’re full or not will really have very little impact on the folk we’re talking about who are at the very bottom end when it comes to housing affordability.” Rough sleepers account for about seven per cent of the homeless nationally, according to 2016 Census data.Overcrowded dwellings accounted for 44 per cent of the homeless, making this the most common form of homelessness.People on social welfare programs like Newstart, could not afford the rents in Australia’s big cities – where the majority of jobs are found.The Anglicare Australia 2019 rental affordability survey found only one out of 70,000 rental listings was affordable to people living on Newstart.  “I congratulate the Government on making this issue a priority and I invite the Assistant Minister to visit housing projects launched recently by the St Vincent de Paul Society in a number of states,” Mr O’Connor said.  “We’ve been working in this space for 40 or 50 years and have a lot to offer in terms of experience and advice.  “I have written to the Assistant Minister seeking a meeting with him in the weeks ahead to discuss how the St Vincent de Paul Society can assist develop new approaches to a complex problem.” . The post Hidden homeless need attention, it isn’t always obvious who is and isn’t struggling, Vinnies warns appeared first on The Catholic Leader .'

Man who went overseas while on sick leave unfairly sacked

Community The Advertiser


'A man who was sacked by an aged care home after spending 81 days in jail without telling his boss — and then went on holiday to India while on sick leave — was unfairly dismissed, the SA Employment Tribunal has found. The man, whom The Advertiser has chosen not to name, won his case on appeal after Alwyndor Aged Care was found to have dismissed him without adequate investigation. He was working on night shift for the Holdfast Bay Council-owned care home, at Hove, in February 2016, when he was imprisoned for 81 days for a traffic offence. The tribunal heard he had mental health issues, of which his employer was aware, and that he had sometimes adopted “inappropriate coping mechanisms” including “repeated driving of vehicles while unlicensed to do so”. But Alwyndor was not made aware of the prison sentence and wrote to him on March 1, 2016 to inquire about his absence. His wife subsequently told his employer what had happened — and an application for unpaid leave was lodged. The man met with his general manager after his release in May and entered into a written agreement to return to work on June 8 with day shifts. He was given a first and final warning. During the meeting, the man asked for leave without pay from June 18 to July 18 to attend a family wedding in India but the request was denied later that day. However, the man’s GP provided a sickness certificate to Alwyndor covering the period June 7-17 and then another for June 18-July 18, 2016. His employer discovered, through Facebook posts, he had travelled to India while on sick leave, and suspended him on his return, pending an investigation. He was then called to a meeting where he was questioned about his illness and refused to answer detailed questions because he felt he had been accused of lying. After being asked to leave the room, he returned to be told he had been sacked. An unfair dismissal claim was rejected by the Industrial Relations Commission in 2017 — despite Alwyndor Aged Care agreeing the man was genuinely mentally ill. The commission found he had not been forthcoming with his employer and that his employment had been terminated on the basis of the available evidence. But the Employment Tribunal has now found Alwyndor Aged Care’s investigations into the man’s conduct were “not as full and extensive as they should have been” and he was not given reasonable time to respond. It ruled that he should have been advised to seek confirmation from his doctor as to his illness and given “a day or two” to reflect before any action was taken The case is set to return for a resolution between the man and Alwyndor Aged Care. Twitter follow'