Aged care saga goes national as TV crew visits Bundy
IT STARTED in Bundaberg but the story of staffing problems in Australia's aged care system is making waves across the country.
Producers from Channel Ten's popular current affairs show The Project were in town this week capturing Bundaberg locals on camera sharing their experiences in facilities including TriCare after the NewsMail broke the story last month.
The team spent two days interviewing four to five locals, and the episode is expected to air next week.
After Heather Mansell Brown told of her experience with the care of her husband Bill in TriCare Bundaberg, the NewsMail was inundated with similar stories from TriCare and other homes.
The story has been followed by local media including ABC and Channel Seven and published in the Courier-Mail, and the NewsMail understands at least two other national outlets are undertaking investigations into aged care around Australia.
A change.org petition started by Ms Mansell Brown, Safe Staffing in Aged Care Now, has reached 32,000 signatures.
The coverage has not gone unnoticed by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Federal Government's statutory body charged with monitoring the quality of care in aged care residences.
The agency paid a visit to TriCare Bundaberg unannounced on Thursday to perform an independent audit, the third in 12 weeks.
TriCare said it "yet again was assessed as delivering high standards of resident care".
"The unannounced day-long visit by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency followed previous unannounced assessment contacts on 23 February and 21 December," a statement from TriCare said.
"During the exit interview the assessors advised facility management they would be recommending that TriCare Bundaberg is meeting all of the assessed expected outcomes."
"The assessors reviewed 13 clinical charts and related documentation, all with no concerns, and spoke to 11 residents and their representatives as well as numerous staff.
"Nine residents advised the assessors they were satisfied with the service at TriCare Bundaberg."
The official report will be released in 2-3 weeks.