Aged care provider defends industry after major audit
A CAIRNS aged care provider says those who think the industry is a rort should try working in it themselves after coming off the back of an audit to bring their services up to standards.
Pyramid Residential Care Centre chairman Paul Gregory said the Gordonvale centre had been brought up to nearly 100 per cent compliant with new aged care regulations after previously failing a government audit.
News Corp Australia today launches Aged Care 360, an investigation into the level of care provided and the money spent in the industry.
Mr Gregory said it had taken a significant amount of work and money to become compliant, but believed their level of care had been vastly improved under the new quality standards.
"I believe there will be a struggle for most of the aged-care facilities up here to come to terms with what's required to change ... but I think it will lead to an overall improvement."
Mr Gregory said he believed there needed to be a major rethink regarding government spending in aged care, suggesting integrating it with Medicare or federal health spending as a possible option.
He added that anyone who had a problem with taxpayer spending on aged care or considered it a "rort" should try and run it themselves.
"Managing aged care is an extremely difficult gig, especially non-profit community care," he said.
"It stems all the way from the nature of the clients - they're at the end of their lives and have special requirements such as diet, health care and dementia.
"It's a calling, not a job and requires a lot of compassion and patience to do.
"When everything went pear-shaped for us, our board of directors, volunteers and business people around Gordonvale decided that we would do whatever it takes to make us compliant and that united effort has taken us a long way from where we began."
Mr Gregory said the Aged Care Quality Standards were rooted in giving clients and family members more of a say in how they are cared for.
"Training staff, management and the board around the new standards and how to apply them on a daily basis has been the most difficult thing we've done through this period, which has been a perfect storm with COVID thrown in," he said.
"There are some major issues around meeting the new standards at all facilities, as there has been a major shift in thinking around aged care.
"Expectations have been raised due to some really poor outcomes for residents at some facilities around Australia, and I think all reasonable people support the new expectations."
Originally published as Aged care provider defends industry after major audit