EXCLUSIVE | COVID-19 patients in Sydney aged care home allegedly neglected
A nursing home in western Sydney is being accused of neglecting residents who have tested positive with coronavirus, as the death toll from the home rises to three.
42 residents and staff at Anglicare Newmarch House aged care facility near Penrith have tested positive with coronavirus after a worker came to work while infected.
The children of residents positive with COVID-19 have written to Ray Hadley with concerns for the welfare of their ill mothers.
One of Ray’s listeners alleges his elderly mother has been locked in her room and told she’s unable to shower, and is being served cold food each day.
Another man has told Ray his mother “pressed her distress button for over two hours without anyone coming to care for her.”
This woman is positive with coronavirus but is also a diabetic. Her son claims she usually has her blood sugar checked twice a day but has instead been having a reading taken just once a week.
Anglicare has admitted they have been struggling to find enough nurses to keep doing their rounds.
Anglicare CEO Grant Millard has said in a statement “there is no-one to blame for the situation aged care facilities, including Newmarch, are in. We are simply in a terrible situation.” (See full statement below)
“We are deeply sorry for the effect that it has had on some of the people we look after and that they have had to wait for the care they deserve during this crisis.”
Click PLAY below to hear the emails in full
Ray Hadley says the nursing home needs to receive government help to attend to their residents.
“I know we’re in crisis but by crikey, someone needs to take control of Newmarch today: not tomorrow, not the today after, today! Look after the poor people.”
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has told Ray the facility is short-staffed given the high rate of COVID-19 infections among the workers.
But he assures he is working on getting the situation resolved.
“It’s impossible to argue with the emails that you just read out. It isn’t acceptable.
“We’re all working together with the resources that we have to pull this together as quickly as possible. These people deserve high-quality care.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly warned it was still too early for grandchildren to visit their grandparents.
“People should make those decisions themselves, but in general terms we’re still saying, just hold off a little bit longer to protect those vulnerable people in their own home.
“Think about the digital connection, other connections that don’t entail very close contact for the time being.
“Let’s see how we are in a couple of weeks time.”
Full statement from Anglicare CEO Grant Millard:
“We are in the eye of a storm. Everyone is struggling to find staff for us, including the Commonwealth Government and eight agencies. On some days we struggle to have a full staff complement, and it’s no one’s fault.
“We are deeply sorry for the effect that it has had on some of the people we look after and that they have had to wait for the care they deserve during this crisis. Under normal circumstances Newmarch has had an excellent reputation for the care of our residents.
“There are still a number of people who are affected by the virus, and they are receiving first-class care through the hospital system and a specialist in infectious diseases, and I would like to thank the New South Wales Government for that.
“I’ve also personally spoken to the families of the three people who have unfortunately passed, and they have been fulsome in their praise for the care their loved-one received, despite the deeply unfortunate outcomes.
“I must stress that in my opinion, there is no-one to blame for the situation aged care facilities, including Newmarch, are in. We are simply in a terrible situation.”
Image: Nine News