Queenstown resthome wake-up call

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Queenstown’s only resthome has been ordered to pull its socks up – for the second time in two years.

A recent Ministry of Health audit summary of the Lake Wakatipu Home & Hospital reveals shortcomings in five out of six areas.

Two problem areas are graded “medium or high risk”.

In the home’s previous audit in mid-2011 – when under different management – the Ministry noted seven problem areas. One major is documenting of incidents and accidents, the Ministry reports.

Another medium-high risk area concerns “care plans” and “medication management”, the audit says.

“There’s an improvement required around aspects of care planning, documentation and timeframes.”

A “low risk” area requiring improvement is in preventative maintenance of “equipment and electrical checking”, auditors say.

Six resthome residents “require restraint” and documentation on this also needs improvement – although it’s low risk, the summary says, as is improvement in “cultural links and specific cultural needs”.

The resthome gets a top score for infection prevention and control and “residents and relatives spoke positively about the care provided”, auditors say.

“Food service” also gets a big tick.

The Lake Wakatipu Home & Hospital operation was taken over in June 2012 by Bupa, a giant British healthcare group operating in 190 countries, with 40 resthomes in New Zealand. The home adjoins Lakes District Hospital at Frankton and is owned by Southern District Health Board. Bupa has an operating contract with SDHB.

The facility provides geriatric or medical hospital-level care and resthome care for up to 35 residents.

Bupa quality and risk director Gina Langlands says they “value the Ministry certification audits and fully support the transparency and reporting”.

Langlands: “The team at Lake Wakatipu have been working to improve upon the areas highlighted in the audit.

“We’ve continued our focus of embedding the quality programme and Bupa’s robust incident and accident documentation process is in place, along with a new care plan.”

Before Bupa took over, the resthome was operated for nearly two years by Aucklanders John and Heather Rogers.

Resthomes have made national news recently, with a snap audit last month of a Ryman property in Wellington upholding a complaint about a patient being repeatedly found covered in her own faeces.

A NZ Herald Consumer NZ analysis last month found 10 per cent of homes fully met required healthcare criteria.