Warrigal Care’s audit shock

Catherine Davitt (left) with her mother Doris Lee, 88, and Warrigal Care’s chief executive Mark Sewell. Picture: GREG TOTMANA Warilla aged-care home has been hit with sanctions after authorities found serious problems, including the failure to keep the high-care facility clean and safe.

The findings against Warrigal Care’s 102-resident Warilla home came during a bad fortnight for the aged-care provider, after Wollongong City Council last week snubbed its proposed seniors’ living project in Corrimal Street.

The sanctions at Warilla are the first against Warrigal Care, and chief executive officer Mark Sewell said it had acted immediately in response.

‘‘We are really disappointed and shocked that the auditors found those things and came to that conclusion,’’ he said.

‘‘Regardless of whether we agree with what they’ve found or not, we’re immediately acting upon everything they recommend.’’

Warrigal Care Warilla will not be able to accept new residents for six months after a routine inspection by the national accreditation body triggered a full audit, in turn leading to the sanctions.

A report to the Department of Health and Ageing identified concerns, including that residents’ challenging behaviours were not being managed appropriately and that privacy and dignity were not being recognised and respected.

Some residents were also not able to exercise choice and control over their lifestyle, and Warrigal Care had failed to maintain a clean environment, including keeping the premises and equipment safe.

Sanctions included the threat to revoke the home’s ‘‘approved provider status’’ unless it appointed an approved clinical adviser and an administrator for six months, which had now been done.

Mr Sewell said Warrigal Care Warilla had passed accreditation last year, as well as inspections as recently as February.

He said maintenance of the 30-year-old building was a main concern, and Warrigal Care had brought forward renovations.

He also confirmed the manager’s position had been vacant for about six months but a new manager had now been hired.

‘‘We believe that the appointed advisers will realise that it is not nearly as bad as originally feared and that Warrigal Care is entirely competent and resourced well to resolve all the matters pretty quickly,’’ he said.

Catherine Davitt, whose mum has lived at the home for six years, said she had never encountered any problems.

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