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Stroke survivor 'had care cut after making complaint'

A TOOWOOMBA stroke survivor believes his home care services were cut by provider Churches of Christ Care after he and his wife made a complaint to the organisation about a breach of confidentiality.

It was August 9, the day after their nephew's funeral, and the house of Shane and Christine Matveyeff was in mourning.

Around lunch time, carers arrived and busied themselves with their regular duties for Mr Matveyeff- a stroke survivor who developed 'Locked-in Syndrome' six years ago - as they had done countless times, before leaving.

The next day a confidential and disparaging note written by a carer made its way back to Mrs Matveyeff from a source outside the organisation.

Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017.
Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017. Nev Madsen

After making a complaint about the breach of confidentiality, Churches of Christ Care found the Matveyeff's concerns were "unable to be substantiated".

Then came the real kick to the face, as Mrs Matveyeff put it.

Two weeks after Churches of Christ Care found there had been "no breach of confidentiality", the couple received another letter.

After six years of caring for Mr Matveyeff, Churches of Christ Care was cutting their services and would be transitioning him to another provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme from October 6.

Mr Matveyeff's care was setup so that his personal hygiene was looked after through a Level 4 Home Care Package with Churches of Christ, and the rest of his needs met by a NDIS package with several other providers.

Despite Mr Matveyeff successfully transitioning to an NDIS package on January 6, Churches of Christ Care was now arguing - nine months later - that Mr Matveyeff was ineligible to receive both streams of funding.

The Matveyeffs say they were dumfounded.

Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017.
Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017. Nev Madsen

They had made sure that all their providers were kept in the loop when Mr Matveyeff transitioned to the NDIS package earlier in the year, and Churches of Christ Care had billed Medicare almost $50,000 for services throughout the course of the year.

"There is no reason for them not to continue the services under the Medicare subsidy that Shane gets," Mrs Matveyeff said.

"The only thing that's changed in the last 10 months is the breach.

"In my mind it's black and white," she said, suggesting his care was cut because they had complained.

Churches of Christ Care has defended its handling of Shane Matveyeff's situation, saying "care and compassion is at the heart of everything we do".

While declining to comment on the specifics of Mr Matveyeff's case, Churches of Christ Care director of seniors and supported living Bryan Mason said his organisation had been offering to work with the client, family and other providers "to ensure that they receive the most appropriate care for their individual needs".

"Any reports of breaches in confidentiality by our staff are thoroughly investigated and detailed responses are provided to the complainant," Mr Mason said.

"Churches of Christ Care only claims subsidies it is entitled to for the services provided."

Despite being told by Churches of Christ Care Mr Matveyeff would have to move to a new service provider, the Matveyeffs confirmed with NDIS and Medicare that nothing had changed with the delivery of his packages.

"It was allowing Shane to maintain life in home and live with his hygienic care done with people that he knows," Shane's wife Christine said.

Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017.
Christine and Shane Matveyeff. Shane lives with Locked-in Syndrome. Wednesday, 1st Nov, 2017. Nev Madsen

The Matveyeffs decided what they saw as a breach of confidentiality, the way their complaint was handled and the way in which Churches of Christ Care had suddenly decided to cut their services was "so stressful and heart-breaking" they decided to leave the organisation.

The Matveyeffs said their decision was entirely based upon the actions of the organisation's management, not the care workers, who they describe as dedicated and who had looked after Mr Matveyeff over the previous six years.

Mr Matveyeff has since found another provider who is provides the services he needs under his Home Care Package.

Topics:  care churches of christ care editors picks ndis service stroke toowoomba business toowoomba list



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