Audit failings at three central Victorian Bupa facilities prompt apology

BUPA has apologised for failings that have occurred in three of its central Victorian aged care homes.

The private provider's facilities in Bendigo, Echuca and Woodend fell short of a number of standards during audits by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission in the past 12 months.

The failure to meet those standards was deemed to place the health, safety or wellbeing of service recipients at both the Woodend and Bendigo facilities at serious risk at that point in time.

The situation at Bupa Woodend has since improved, with a February audit finding the service complied with all accreditation standards. The serious risk decision was made in October 2018.

Bupa Echuca has also become fully compliant with the accreditation standards, having met only 27 of the 44 expected outcomes in March.

A serious risk decision was made in relation to Bupa Bendigo in April, after the facility failed to meet three 'expected outcomes' during a March audit. The failed outcomes are not known.

Bupa Villages and Aged Care managing director Suzanne Dvorak said the organisation took seriously its responsibility to care for older Australians and was investing millions to make the changes needed.

"We apologise for the past failings that have occurred in some of our care homes, including at Echuca, Woodend and Bendigo," Ms Dvorak said. "We have focused on fixing these problems so no resident experiences unsatisfactory care. Some of this will take time but we are already starting to see genuine progress."

The three central Victorian facilities were among a number of Bupa care homes, nationwide, that failed to meet standards during audits.

"The vast majority of our homes are working well, passing external audits and providing the care residents should expect," Ms Dvorak said. "We are working to improve the quality of care in each and every home we operate, to help ensure that past mistakes don't happen again and to restore confidence in all of our homes."

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson said serious risk was not an ongoing state.

"It is a separate statutory decision based on evidence at a point in time," she said.

"Where non-compliance is identified, the aged care provider is placed on a timetable for improvement and is monitored closely by the Commission to ensure [a] return to compliance within a required timeframe."

This story Audit failings at central Victorian Bupa facilities prompt apology first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.