Last night over 44 paramedic staff were deployed to rescue over 70 aged care residents after an aged care institution suddenly closed its doors following a contract dispute.
The private provider closed suddenly yesterday which prompted a staff member to call Triple 0.
Mr Miles said the rescue operation was completed just after 1 am this morning.
“Our health teams have transferred around 70 residents to other accommodation, including 3 to hospitals who are in a stable condition.”
“This was effectively an emergency response, the kind you would see in a flood or a cyclone. The QLD paramedics and health staff worked swiftly to ensure the safety and well-being of these residents,” Mr Miles said.
“But the fact this happened, over what appears to be a contract dispute, is disgraceful. Families trust these private aged care providers to care for their loved ones and to see them put profits ahead of that care is disgusting.”
Mr Miles said the Commonwealth was responsible for regulating the aged care sector.
“The Federal Government must launch a full investigation into how this could have possibly happened and I have written to the Federal Aged Care Minister.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said she spent most of the evening on site helping residents and families and that the paramedics and health care workers did an incredible job.
It’ been reported that the majority of the residents were taken in by other neighboring age care homes overnight.
Health Minister Steven Miles has called for a full investigation into that matter.
“This was a terrible situation that unfolded here on the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon – a health emergency,” Mr Miles told Sunrise on Friday morning.
“These 71 residents many of them old and frail, many of them suffering from dementia, being told in the middle of the night that they have to move to a new place away from where they’ve lived for some time was very, very distressing.”
Staff walked out of the Nerang nursing home on Thursday afternoon following a drawn-out pay dispute.
“The first we (the government) knew about it was a call to triple-o at around two o’clock yesterday afternoon to say that the staff had all been sent home and that people were removing from the facility anything of value,” Mr Miles said.
Mr Miles said the facility was stripped of all valuables, including food, computers, medical equipment, medication, cleaning products and supplies.
“All of the equipment needed to take care of the residents,” Mr Miles said.
“A small number of staff did remain on site out of concern for the residents who they’ve taken care of, in many cases, for many years but from here we do need to investigate how this was allowed to happen.
“There is a federal government agency whose job it is to ensure quality and sustainability of privately run aged care facilities like this one but the situation really isn’t good enough and can’t be allowed to happen again.”
“Gold Coasters should be proud of how their public health system responded yesterday.”
“It’s incredible that of all the patients who were rescued, only 3 required hospitalisation.
“Within a couple of hours, the health teams coordinated alternative emergency aged care accommodation on the Gold Coast for all patients.
“By 10pm, next of kin for all but two patients had been contacted to assure them their loved ones were being well cared for and by the early hours of the morning, all patients had been transported to alternative aged care facilities on the Gold Coast,” Ms Scanlon said.
While the Commonwealth finds a long-term solution, staff are in touch with families to advise them where their loved ones will be residing in the short term.
QAS allocated 32 paramedics to the operation, while GCHHS deployed around 12 staff to site.
Thinking of becoming a Paramedic? We can show you how to get started.