Carol Altmann – The Terrier
Something nasty is brewing at Lyndoch Living, with senior care staff being lined up as scapegoats for its recent failings in aged care standards.
My understanding is that one of those is the Director of Nursing, who has been expected to absorb an almost indescribable amount of pressure.
Lyndoch has already gone through one Director of Nursing in the past six years.
If the current DON does not survive, then it will be two. Do you see something wrong here? I do.
At least one nurse unit manager has already resigned.
That individual was given an impossible task, managed to some how pull it off, but has been chucked over the cliff anyway.
Another two senior individuals who have been pulled into the gunsights have taken sick leave.
This is not where the blame must fall.
Staff have been crying out for more support, more resources, and more trained staff to help meet the needs of 240 residents.
These resources have not arrived.
The care staff at Lyndoch have been working under-resourced for too long and THIS is why it has failed the national standards.
The chickens are coming home to roost.
As I have written about so many times before, those working on the floor have been struggling to cover shifts.
New nursing staff and personal care workers have often found themselves completely overwhelmed.
Some newcomers have been thrown into situations where they are caring for an entire ward, on their own, overnight.
Similarly, just one single Registered Nurse is often in charge of the whole place overnight.
Add to this the unreliability of the nurse communication system and the failings of the resident call bell system and you have a pressure cooker full of stress, anxiety and downright fear.
This is what is happening at Lyndoch Living.
Residents cannot possibly receive the best of care in these conditions and they are conditions that the staff have been struggling under for years.
And the brewing storm is not confined to the nursing and care staff.
My sources tell me that other areas, including the catering and kitchen staff, are also now under the hammer with cuts.
At the same time, Lyndoch is spending millions – millions – on a medical clinic that nobody asked for, and nobody wants.
As a journalist, I am not supposed to “take sides”, but I refuse to stand on the false fence of impartiality when I see wrong-doing and people about to be hurt.
So what do we do?
Do we all just stand back and watch this unfold and leave these hard-working staff to take the rap?
No. No, we don’t.
What we do is once again call upon the board to stand up, to step in, and to speak up for these staff members who are a part of our community: they are us.
Silence and sitting back is no longer an option Ms Cassidy, Ms Nelson, Prof Wallis, Mr Grant, Ms Mielnik, Mr Paton and Mr Page.
Don’t look away.