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SA govt to shut down Adelaide nursing home

AAP logoAAP 4 days ago Tim Dornin

The South Australian government is to close a state-run nursing home after a damning review uncovered the rough handling of patients, excessive use of restraints and a concerning level of injuries

Incidents involving three staff at the Makk and McLeay nursing home at Oakden, a facility for dementia patients, have been reported to police with eight staff stood down from the home and 21 reported to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Mental Health Minister Leesa Vlahos says a culture of cover-up existed at the facility and has apologised for the treatment of patients.

She says residents will be transferred to alternative mental health or aged-care facilities over the coming months.

The minister says she was "revolted" by what chief psychiatrist Aaron Groves uncovered in his investigation.

"It is a reprehensible indictment on the facility," she said.

"We now understand, through the evidence of this report, that there was a culture of cover-up among some of the staff.

"We are moving to lance the boil that has occurred at Oakden today and move forward."

In his report, Dr Groves found failures in clinical governance, incidents of rough handling of patients, excessive use of restraints and a high level of injuries.

He also uncovered conflict between staff and a questionable use medication, including one instance where a patient was given 10 times the correct dose of an antipsychotic drug.

Dr Groves said the Oakden facility existed "in some parallel world" unable to embrace modern standards of care.

He said the failings uncovered at the facility should never happen again.

SA Health chief executive Vickie Kaminski said the report was one of the most disturbing she had come across during his time working in the health sector.

"This is completely unacceptable," she said.

"The safety and well-being of our residents must always be our first priority and in a number of instances at Oakden, this has not occurred."

The review of the Makk and McLeay home was sparked last year when a family alleged a relative had been overdosed and had also suffered severe bruising.

But the government has been accused of ignoring previous warnings, including some from the college of psychiatrists.

The South Australian opposition said the report showed the government had failed some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

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