More than half of the nursing homes run by Australia’s largest private provider Bupa are failing basic standards of care and 30 per cent are putting the health and safety of the elderly at “serious risk”, according to accreditation reports analysed by the ABC.
Advocates are now asking whether Bupa — which receives almost half a billion dollars in government funding each year — is fit to be an aged care provider.
But with almost 6,500 residents and 72 homes, they also question whether the Government could revoke Bupa’s accreditation without “catastrophic” consequences for the residents.
The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said he and the Department of Health were “closely monitoring” Bupa’s performance, with the department meeting with company representatives weekly to check its progress.
He described “persistent failure” to meet the standards as “simply unacceptable”.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission conducts inspections and accredits nursing homes. The ABC has analysed the accreditation reports of Bupa’s Australian homes.
Over the past year, Bupa nursing homes have been taken to task by the aged care regulator for failures including understaffing, and physical and sexual assaults of residents.
Of Bupa’s 72 nursing homes:
45 have failed to meet all the health and safety standards
22 homes have been declared as putting the health and safety of residents at “serious risk”
13 Bupa homes have been sanctioned, which means they have lost government funding and are unable to take new residents
Five homes — NSW’s Seaforth, Berry and Eden; Victoria’s Traralgon and Tasmania’s South Hobart — have had their accreditation revoked. Four of them, not including Seaforth, were re-accredited.