Where does the buck stop? Lyndoch nursing home fails again

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Lyndoch Living Chair Sue Cassidy and CEO Doreen Power pictured at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival in 2020. Image: Lyndoch Living Facebook page.

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

Where does this end? Lyndoch Living has failed another string of national standards, this time in the care of its most vulnerable.

The Lyndoch Nursing Home – the high-care section of Lyndoch – has failed five of the eight standards in the latest audit by the national watchdog.

Last September, the nursing home failed three of the eight measures.

Now the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission report released online last night (5/7) reveals it has failed five.

This cannot be dressed up as success.

While thankfully some of the more shocking failings from last year – around pain, wound management and restrictive practices – have been addressed, the nursing home has gone backwards.

The whole of Lyndoch is going backwards.

Last week, I reported the Hostel had also failed multiple standards; a first in its history. The May Noonan Hostel in Terang is also in breach.

And once again, staffing is the key problem, with the needs of high-care residents falling through the gaps.

As I read this latest report, I remind myself that behind every case study is a real person; a vulnerable person living in Lake Lodge or the Audrey Prider Centre.

It’s distressing to read of the resident who experienced a “choking episode” at lunch, with no follow up assessment by a Registered Nurse, as required.

The resident’s GP was also not notified until this failing was pointed out by the audit team.

And it’s distressing to read of the resident who lost 8.2 kg over 3 months, prompting a referral to specialists and a care plan, which was then not followed through.

There is simply not enough staff to do the work required.

It’s not just me saying this.

The report found “a majority of staff, (residents) and representatives expressed concerns” about the staff shortages and the impact this was having on managing risks such as weight loss, falls and swallowing difficulties.

Staff shortages also affected residents’ enjoyment of daily life.

“Overall, sampled (residents) did not consider that they get the services and supports for daily living that are important for their health and well-being and that enable them to do the things they want to do,” the report says.

You can’t say it any more plainly: Lyndoch is failing in its core business.

We know the hard-working staff do their best, but Lyndoch has lost truckloads of experienced staff these past four years, and it’s showing.

All three arms of Lyndoch are now in breach, including the May Noonan Hostel in Terang.

All of this makes my head hurt and my heart ache.

You must feel the same way, especially after watching the train wreck unfold for almost four years.

The facts are now there for all to see.

Yet the board remains silent and, together with the CEO, are leading Lyndoch Living further and further away from what we expect as a community.

Where is the line in the sand?

Where are the consequences for failing our elderly and vulnerable? Where does the buck stop and with who?

A month ago, we gathered as a community and asked the Lyndoch board for transparency, accountability and action.

We are still waiting. There is a Lyndoch board meeting next Tuesday. It needs to put an end to this sorry chapter.