Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    Aged Care

    Owner admits failures

    Millionaire Gold Coast aged-care boss Arthur Miller has admitted his Earle Haven facility was regularly found to have failed its residents — including by not feeding them enough — for more than a decade before it collapsed in July, The Australian reports.

    Nearly 70 elderly, high-needs residents had to be evacuated by health authorities in July after the home abruptly shut down during a bitter business dispute between Mr Miller’s PeopleCare and subcontractor HelpStreet.

    A combative Mr Miller gave evidence on Friday to a Queensland parliamentary inquiry investigating the collapse, which left staff unpaid and residents forced into hospitals or other nursing homes. He acknowledged it took more than a decade of critical ­audits by the federal regulator, which found Earle Haven was significantly failing its vulnerable residents, before he realised he was not “up to the task” of running it.

    Barrister Ruth O’Gorman, counsel assisting the inquiry, showed Mr Miller documents from a 2007 federal audit, which found “mechanisms are not in place to ensure residents receive adequate nourishment and ­hydration”.

    “The team observed six residents to have drinks placed on lockers and bedside tables that were not within their reach,” Ms O’Gorman read from the audit findings. “Five residents were ­observed to have dry, coated mouths.”

    Mr Miller agreed the federal regulator sanctioned Earle Haven after the 2007 audit, and he sacked a nurse manager as a result. In 2015, another review found “significant difficulties” at the ­facility, but Mr Miller said he could not recall receiving that ­report. “I have a big business that I run, I don’t just run aged care. That’s where the problem is,” Mr Miller said.


    Aged-care boss admits home failed residents (The Australian)


    The village, in Nerang, closed unexpectedly on July 11, leaving residents needing emergency housing. (ABC News: Steve Keen)