An elderly and ill woman fled an Orange aged care facility and took a taxi home after not receiving full care, the Member for Orange Phil Donato has revealed.
Mr Donato said the facility did not have registered nurses providing care for the elderly at night.
“I have heard personally of a neglect case, which caused an elderly person to abscond from the aged care facility,” he said.
“I intervened to address the issue, but there is certain to be scores of horror stories that have previously gone unreported.”
He said the incident occurred about two years ago.
Mr Donato said he expected many more “horror stories” would be revealed with the start of hearings this week at the Royal Commission into Aged Care.
He renewed his call for it to be mandatory for registered nurses to work in nursing homes 24/7.
“High level care is people who need to fed through tubes, receive intravenous medication, basically aren’t capable of looking after themselves,” he said.
“Only a registered nurse can administer stronger medication, can feed through a tube, an enrolled nurse or an assistant in nursing they don’t have the training to allow them to do that.”
Mr Donato said the government had not supported a bill he introduced to state parliament in May 2017 calling for the nursing requirement.
He said government members cited costs as a factor but he said “money shouldn’t be an issue” in providing clinical care for the elderly.
“We had all the superannuat groups who were supportive of this, Nurses and Midwives Association, Country Womens Association, a whole raft of senior citizen groups who were really supportive of having this legislation put in place,” he said.
“Purely on a political basis only is the only reason it [the government] wasn’t supportive of this, because it wasn’t a government bill.”
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