Earle Haven claim: ‘Red flags dating back to 2007’

THE business controlling the Earle Haven Retirement Village which was the scene of a mass evacuation last month, leaving up to 70 elderly people being transported to hospitals and aged care homes by ambulance, had a poor management record dating back more than a decade, the Royal Commission into Aged Care has heard.

Senior Counsel Assisting, Peter Gray, QC, has told the Royal Commission Into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Brisbane today that Commonwealth bodies with responsibility for safety and care of Australia's elderly would be examined in today's hearings.

Arthur Miller, who is the owner of aged care provider People Care which owns the Earle Haven nursing home arrives at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Brisbane. Picture: Darren England/AAP
Arthur Miller, who is the owner of aged care provider People Care which owns the Earle Haven nursing home arrives at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Brisbane. Picture: Darren England/AAP

"We will inquire whether and to what extent the Commonwealth bodies that have statutory functions relating to regulation of safety and quality of aged care were adequately monitoring and appropriately responding over the months and years leading to the event,'' Mr Gray said.

"We anticipate that will occupy the entire day today.''

Mr Gray said two aged care facilities stopped operating on July 11, 2019, both located within the boundaries of Earle Haven Retirement Village on the Gold Coast.

The facilities were called Orchard and Hibiscus House and the approved provider of the facilities was "People Care Pty Ltd.''

Since at least March 2018, an entity called HelpStreet associated with a Kristopher Bunker had been managing the residential facilities and employing the staff delivering care under an arrangement with People Care.

"The cessation of services on July 11 appears to have been the result of a dispute between People Care and Help Street,'' Mr Gray said.

Mr Gray said the inquiry today would focus on the regulatory framework of aged care which should be "designed and administered to ensure the quality and safety for older Australians …''

Mr Gray said, from its approval in 2006 as a provider of residential care, People Care appeared to have had a poor compliance record, with potential red flags about governance and management capacity dating back to 2007.

The hearings continue.



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