"My Spouse's Respite Care"

About: Gosling Creek Aged Care

(as a carer),

My spouse, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), spent a period of time staying at Gosling Creek Aged Care Nursing Home.

First impressions were very nice. Nice new facility, friendly faces and lots of help. The room allocated to my spouse was lovely and had all that was required for their stay.

The management were made aware of the physical difficulties that my spouse suffered due to the MS, and we trusted in the nursing and care for my spouse’s safety and comfort.

Unfortunately things were not as we had hoped. Just the second day and a couple of other days during the stay my spouse was informed by the nursing staff that because they were understaffed and just didn't have the time; my spouse would not be getting a shower every day. My spouse promptly told them that they have a shower every day at home and that they would also be at Gosling Creek. Fortunately, my spouse did end up having a shower every day, albeit rather rushed and was not given the care and attention to certain details that every person needs and expects during their daily shower.

Consequently, towards the end of the stay, and after examination, my spouse was found to have blood on the underwear that they were wearing. An examination by one of the RN's was done and my spouse was found to have an ulcer on their genitals and was promptly informed that they had the ulcer when they came in. My spouse then proceeded to tell the RN; in no uncertain terms that they certainly did not have the ulcer before arriving at the Nursing Home - because my spouse helps me to shower and is very particular with cleanliness. No more was said about the matter by any of the staff.

When I got my spouse home after the stay I found that they also had a sore skin rash in between their legs, conducive to possibly being left in a wet pad or nappy for too long.

After being home for three days, the rash was washed carefully and a barrier cream was applied to both areas and the rash has almost gone. With proper care and attention it should not have happened.

We informed our GP regarding the ulcer, but because of my spouse’s disability they were unable to be examined by the GP. I had a look when we got home, after a couple of good showers and some good old care and attention it seemed to be getting better or at least there is no sign of blood now. Our GP will follow up.

As if all that wasn't enough; people with MS require a constant exercise routine to maintain as much of their mobility as possible. It started ok with the resident Occupational Therapist (OT) coming around to see my spouse and even getting my spouse up and walking with a support frame. But then the interest got lost somewhere. I was even told that the OT was also understaffed and too busy.

In my opinion, all that was needed to have avoided these problems was proper observation, care and hygiene, and the possibility of more staff, and the discomfort and embarrassment that was caused to my spouse, and this letter, could have been avoided. I was there to see my spouse nearly every day, and I found all nursing staff were wonderful and very professional. But if there is a staffing problem then the fault must be the responsibility of Management and owners of Gosling Creek Nursing Home to rectify. Maybe talk to the staff, find out what the problem is and listen and find a solution. The residents, aged or disabled, must not be made to suffer just because there is a staff shortage. These residents are your bread and butter; they are also your reputation.

Responses

Response from Gabriella Mills, Consumer Liaison and Investigations Officer, Allity Aged Care We are preparing to make a change

Dear caringzn57,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. We’re sorry to hear about your experience with Gosling Creek and we acknowledge that there appear to have been gaps in our processes with respect to the care your spouse was provided. We take our duty of care very seriously and can let you know that as a follow-up to this feedback, we have begun an investigation to determine the root cause of the some of the problems you describe. These will include specific reviews of our staffing levels and skills mix over the time period in question. No one, as you say, should feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in any care facility. We are very keen to speak with you further so that we can better understand what happened from your perspective and make any necessary changes. Would you be able to give us a call on 02 6369 9800 Thank you again for your feedback – it is vital to ensuring we continually review and improve the quality of care we provide.

Yours Truly,

Stephen Wiblin

Head of Clinical & Strategy Development

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