Vulnerable seniors safe most of time, says DHB

Last updated 05:00 14/02/2014

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Residential care of Waikato's "most vulnerable old people" is safe and effective, the Waikato District Health Board says.

The comments follow a Waikato Times story yesterday which reported 12 Waikato and Coromandel rest homes had received complaints against them in the year to September 2013, with shortfalls found in seven cases.

The information, released to the Times under the Official Information Act, showed there were four complaints lodged against Radius Maeroa Lodge, two of them substantiated; two substantiated complaints about Oceania Raeburn; and one substantiated complaint each for Kintala Lodge Rest Home, Radius St Joan's Care Centre and Hillview Rest Home.

Complaints against Kenwyn Rest Home, Oceania Tokoroa, and Kingswood Rest Home were not substantiated.

Waikato DHB portfolio manager Fiona Murdoch said the the board held agreements for the provision of long-term age-related residential care services with 55 facilities in the region.

They provided care to "our most vulnerable older people" - around 7 per cent of all people over the age of 65 years.

"The care provided is safe and effective most of the time for the approximately 2400 residents receiving long-term residential care in the Waikato DHB region," she said.

"From time-to-time there are opportunities for providers to review their systems and practices in response to specific issues that arise.

"In these instances the DHB provides additional support to the facility in the form of clinical specialist review and advice to ensure there are no repeats."

She said all facilities were required to be compliant with both the Health and Disability Sector Standards and the Age-related Residential Care Agreement and they were regularly monitored by the DHB and audited by the Ministry of Health.

"Certification data shows that Waikato DHB's facilities are improving in their rates of compliance all the time with increasing numbers of facilities being certified for longer periods of time," she said.

Engagement with the sector was ongoing, with quality groups, forums and seminars hosted by the district health board to provide open discussion on matters of concern around delivery of safe care.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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