New-resident ban on rest home

18:49, Aug 24 2012

A Rangiora rest home is not allowed to take on new residents until it can provide the "appropriate standards of care", Canterbury District Health Board says.

The board appointed a temporary manager to Wiltshire Lifecare last month after receiving nine formal complaints since 2010.

Since then staff members and relatives of residents have contacted The Press to raise concerns about Wiltshire. CDHB planning and funding manager Carolyn Gullery said yesterday the board was not allowing new admissions to Wiltshire.

"This is the CDHB's standard approach whenever a temporary manager is appointed so they are better able to focus on the issues that need to be resolved."

The "no admissions" policy would remain in place until the board was confident the facility had improved, she said. The dementia unit of the facility was not affected by the policy. The health board is also carrying out an audit of the rest home.

A registered nurse at Wiltshire, who did not wish to be named, said that before the audit began there were 28 residents and there were now 17.


The woman said staff turnover was "incredibly high", and that some families were seeking legal advice.

Staff have all wished to remain anonymous when speaking to The Press, for fear of losing their jobs.

Liz Robinson, from the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, said Canterbury-based union staff were "very aware of the issues" at Wiltshire.

"It's not a unionised workplace so we don't have any involvement on an individual level but, from what we've heard, maybe it could benefit from being unionised," she said. If all staff "stood up and joined the union", it would help create change.

Donald Stewart, whose father lives at Wiltshire, said he had "nothing but admiration for the staff" at the facility. Stories in the media were undermining their morale, he said.

A Parklands woman, whose father lived at Wiltshire until recently, claimed the care he received was "substandard".

"My brother and I kicked up a lot of fuss and we finally managed to get him transferred to a facility in Kaiapoi," she said.

The woman was among those who laid a formal complaint with the health board.

The Press