Tarcoola Aged Care facility, Tara.
Tarcoola Aged Care facility, Tara.

‘Systemic safety and quality issues’ found at aged care home

Western Downs Regional Council has called in the aged care watchdog because of “significant concerns” at one of its own facilities.

In a letter to residents’ families, WDRC health services manager Catherine Ole said the council had recently identified “systemic safety and quality issues” at Tara’s Tarcoola Aged Care facility.

The letter said the council had to have “absolute confidence” its aged care facilities were operating safely and that standards of care were being met without exception.

A council spokeswoman said the council had asked for an immediate audit by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of both Tarcoola and its other council-owned aged care facility in Miles, Carinya, in response to the findings.

“Ensuring its aged care residents have access to safe, quality care is of the utmost priority and council must have absolute confidence our aged care facilities are operating safely both legislatively and ethically,” the spokeswoman said.

“Both facilities have long faced challenges attracting and retaining quality and accredited staff due to several external factors faced by the aged care and health industry more broadly.”

The council was asked whether it was considering or would consider selling off one or both aged care facilities.

The spokeswoman said the findings of the audit would be reported back to the council, “at which time it will assess its ability to continue operating the facilities in accordance with standards of aged care under the Aged Care Act”.

WDRC is one only a few local governments in Australia to own and operate residential aged care facilities.

Tarcoola is a 33 bed facility that was established by the community in 1996.

Originally published as ‘Systemic safety and quality issues’ found at aged care home