Kelly in the Media

ABC News – Investigations into a mental health facility in Adelaide are intensifying after complaints about overdosing

Investigations into a mental health facility in Adelaide are intensifying after complaints about overdosing, under documented restraining and the poor treatment of patients.

Nicola Gage: The Commonwealth Government is auditing all operations at the Oakden home after it conducted an unannounced visit last week. Commonwealth officer visited the Makk and McLeay Nursing Home a week ago by surprise. That visit has sparked an investigation into the facility.

Carolanne Barkla, Aged Rights Advocacy Service: “They are very serious allegations; they’re breaching people’s human rights.”

Nicola Gage: The audit follows allegations by family members of the late Bob Spriggs. They claim he was overdosed and left with unexplained bruises thought to be caused by the use of restraints. The Health Department says there’ll be a complete review of the home’s systems against all 44 accreditation standards.

Carolanne Barkla, Aged Rights Advocacy Service: “We need to see transparency, transparency about any investigation.”

Nicola Gage: A state review is also underway led by the Health Department’s Chief Psychiatrist who the Government says is the most qualified person to do so.

Kelly Vincent, Dignity MLC: “I think there’s a very clear conflict of interest if we put the Chief Psychiatrist who has something to lose if it is found that the sector is not operating properly to be the one conducting this review.”

Nicola Gage: It’s not the first time the home has come to the attention of authorities. In 2007 it failed 26 out of 44 health standards. That led to federal funding being temporarily suspended for new patients. Two years later a patient was allegedly killed by another patient but the case was dropped when the accused died. There was a routine coronial inquest into a death in 2013. The man’s family raised concerns about his declining health, poor personal hygiene and their communication with staff. Police at the time were satisfied that the level of care was appropriate.

Kelly Vincent, Dignity MLC: “We’ve known for decades now that both mental health and aged care are under resourced and understaffed.”

Nicola Gage: The Federal Government says action will be taken if just one of the 44 accreditation standards isn’t met. It’s asking anyone with concerns about family members to contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.