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Media response

Response to allegations in the Courier Mail on 23 February 2018

23 February, 2018

Wesley Mission Queensland rejects the list of complaints against John Wesley Gardens Aged Care Community published in today’s Courier Mail. While the article goes on to state that we have been thoroughly and independently investigated and have no further case to answer, the list of complaints in the article is misleading and based on a single unsubstantiated complaint.

Wesley Mission Queensland has been caring for the community for the past 100 years. The safety and wellbeing of those in our care has and always will be our highest priority. We stand by our quality of care and value our staff and the contribution they make to the lives of our residents.

An anonymous complaint, containing several serious and unsubstantiated allegations was made to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner (ACCC) on 1 December about John Wesley Gardens Aged Care Community. What followed was a very thorough and extensive audit of our care and services at this facility. We opened our doors and books to investigators and we have been advised that the Commissioner has investigated and is taking no further action in regard to this complaint.

In addition, the Aged Care Quality Agency also subsequently undertook a detailed audit of John Wesley Gardens and it was found that the community had met all care requirements. The Agency auditors conducted extensive interviews with staff, residents and residents’ family members and representatives and specifically focussed on expected outcomes relating to medication management, nutrition and hydration, privacy and dignity, living environment and infection control.

We take complaints very seriously and have cooperated fully with the relevant authorities to ensure every issue raised was thoroughly investigated.

We believe in transparency and want to provide you with all the facts related to these allegations (see below). 

Every one of our homes is directed by policies and procedures that guide and support our staff to provide the best possible compassionate and professional care for our residents.

We would encourage anyone with any concerns or questions to contact feedback.agedcare@wmq.org.au

We thank you for your understanding during this time.


1. Resident given a potato with maggots in it.

RESPONSE

At no time was any resident served maggots. On 24 November a staff member identified a grub in a whole potato when it was cut open.

The staff member who was assisting the resident with their meal had cut open a whole potato, identified the grub and withdrew the meal.

The potato was not consumed and there were no other instances of potato grubs identified in the remaining meals.

The supplier informed us the instance of potato grub is a rare and an unfortunate occurrence when growing potatoes. Despite a thorough grading and cleaning system, whole potatoes were removed from the menu and replaced with a different cut style potato.

2. A resident’s incontinence aid was found to have contained mouldy faeces, vaginal discharge and excess stale urine.

RESPONSE

This allegation was thoroughly examined and investigators failed to identify any factual matters that substantiate the complaint.

We have very detailed processes in place to manage individual residents’ continence needs.

3. A resident wasn’t showered for three weeks.

RESPONSE

Residents are treated on an individual basis and in line with their needs and care plan.  If a resident refuses care we assess individually and discuss with the resident’s family and care team and offer appropriate alternatives. 

There was a period of 4 days when a resident did refuse a shower however during that time all other personal care and hygiene care was attended.

In caring for our residents we strive to promote choice and respect, while ensuring safety and wellbeing.

4. Residents with dementia were malnourished after not being helped to eat.

RESPONSE

Residents who are unable to eat independently are always given assistance by staff.

The wellbeing and health of our residents is paramount.  Malnutrition is a complex condition in older Australians including people with dementia who have complex care needs.

Residents identified at risk of malnutrition are offered first line interventions including additional high energy food items and meal replacement drinks, under the guidance of our dietician, the resident’s GP and family members.

Each resident is cared for based on their individual needs, which includes supporting them with their food and hydration requirements

John Wesley Gardens is equipped with a full-time chef and every resident has access to a buffet style kitchen and the option of dining in a dining room or in the privacy of their room.  In line with our resident-centred model of care residents who need assistance with eating are still given the choice of where they’d like to eat, allowing them to still enjoy meals with their friends in a communal setting.

5. Mattress left covered in faecal matter for three months after a resident using the room had died and rubbish bins not emptied after a resident died.

RESPONSE

This allegation was thoroughly investigated and was found to be incorrect.

No resident in that room passed away, no mattress was left for 3 months.

John Wesley Gardens has a stringent process to ensure the cleaning of vacated rooms.

An audit of this process identified that all emptied rooms were cleaned within a short period of time, which includes the emptying of rubbish bins.

6. Resident not given medication as prescribed after discharge from hospital.

RESPONSE

A thorough review of our medication practices did reveal an isolated issue with the one resident not receiving one of their prescribed tablets on four occasions.

John Wesley Gardens implemented corrective actions including an education strategy and action plan to prevent this occurring again.

We work closely with our phamacuetical provider to ensure we have appropriate systems in place to manage the provision of medications. We comply with the Queensland Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulations.

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