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March 25, 2023

Commission hands down damning Feros report

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Residents at the Feros Village aged care facility in Byron Bay were subjected to substandard care across every aspect of the service, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has found (ACQSC).

In a disturbing Performance Report completed late last year, the federal Commission found that the service had failed to comply with each of the eight key assessment standards applying to aged care facilities in Australia.

Despite the findings, Feros management told The Echo they have been reaccredited by the Commission.

Residents interviewed as part of the assessment said they did not feel they were treated with dignity or respect, nor ‘encouraged to maintain their identity or supported to make informed decisions about their care and services’.

They provided examples of disrespectful treatment, including one incident in which a senior staff member allegedly yelled at a resident and another in which the same resident was admonished for asking to dine in their room.

The management of Feros Care said the actions of this staff member had not been representative of the attitude of other staff. However, the Commission noted that there had been ‘further examples of disrespectful treatment… indicating that inappropriate staff behaviour was more widespread’.

The Commission also found that residents had not received safe and effective care and services.

Two residents were returned by police officers after wandering away from the service on three separate occasions.

‘Staff were not aware the [residents] had left the service unescorted,’ the Commission found.

‘Behaviour support plans had not been completed for the two consumers [sic] to decrease the risk of further wandering.’

There were also several reported incidents in which residents experiencing serious health issues did not receive timely medical care. 

In one case, a resident returned from hospital with instructions for staff to restrict and monitor their fluid intake.

However, this was not implemented, and six weeks later the resident was noted to have ankle swelling. 

Another resident, who had a large amount of blood in their urine was not seen by a medical officer for a period of four days. 

These incidents were part of a broader pattern of substandard medical care that included the failure to notify medical officers about changes to residents’ health conditions, and widespread failure to complete updated care plans.

The Commission found referrals did not occur in a timely or appropriate manner.

The management of Feros Care told the Commission that they had taken significant steps to address these issues, including the completion and electronic filing of ‘all assessments and care plans’.

Similar failures were identified across a further six assessment standards, including services and supports for daily living, feedback and complaints, human resources and organisational governance.

The Commission identified ten areas in which ‘improvements must be made to ensure compliance with quality standards’.

This included that residents needed to be able to make informed choices about their care and services and live the life they choose. 

The workforce needed to be sufficient, skilled and qualified to provide safe, respectful and quality care and services, and the organisation’s governing body must be ‘accountable for the delivery of safe and quality care and services’.

Feros comment

Feros Care management was asked to comment, and they told The Echo, ‘Feros Care is disappointed in the result of last year’s audit, and has already remedied 38 of the 42 requirements’.

‘The home has been reaccredited by the Commission.

‘It is important to note the Commission was satisfied that the non-compliance posed no immediate or severe risk to the safety, health, and wellbeing of the residents.

‘Since the audit, we have sought feedback from our residents.

‘The data shows that residents appreciate the significant improvements to their care and wellbeing and that they now feel their concerns have been addressed’.

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  1. What a disgrace!
    Is this the way people are to be treated in their twilight years?
    Profits above all else?
    George Feros would be turning in his grave.

  2. Yes George would be turning in his grave for sure! You would think that in Byron where people have to pay ridiculous rents and prices for houses that the service at Feros would be just as high class. Just proves what the town has turned into since all the high rollers have come in. Like Mark says “profits before all else”! Inexcusable!

  3. This is a board issue, the chair and the CEO are from brisbane and has no idea the importance of George Feros was to the community in Byron bay. Feros has lost its spark.

    The residential staff are doing their best with the management they have.


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