Strife-torn nursing home hit with federal sanctions
A STRIFE-torn Gold Coast nursing home will be referred to the aged care royal commission and has been hit with federal sanctions banning it from taking new residents.
The revelations came as the former manager of the Earle Haven home broke down in tears defending his company's role in the debacle that forced the emergency evacuation of 70 frail residents, and left one elderly woman fighting for life in hospital.
A crisis meeting of residents of the retirement village attached to the nursing home yesterday was heard there were no guarantees that a similar disaster would not happen again.
Earle Haven's multi-millionaire owner, 77-year-old Arthur Miller, called the meeting yesterday to assure the 800-plus worried residents of the retirement village that 'we are OK'.
"Earle Haven's very good - we are not in administration, we are not in receivership, and beyond that we don't have any debt to anybody," he told residents.
"You don't have to worry about yourselves in your units - everything is all right. We are continuing business as usual, there's nothing wrong there."
Mr Miller said allegations that money had been taken from residents' accounts after the home closed suddenly last Thursday were being probed by police.
Aged care nurse Karen Heard, who has been appointed administrator of the nursing home, told the meeting that the facility had been hit with sanctions that banned it from accepting new residents until next January.
This included those living in the retirement village who might need high-care in the next six months, she said.
Ms Heard said the 'unprecedented' closure of the nursing home would be referred to the royal commission.
One woman whose father died in Earle Haven earlier this year, and whose mother was still a resident, asked for assurances that the debacle would never be repeated.
"I can't stand here today and say it will never happen again, here or in any other nursing home," Ms Heard replied.
"It's not in my power to do that. But I understand how fearful you would be of it ever occurring again."
Ms Heard said Mr Miller planned to reopen the nursing home 'but we don't know when that will be'.
Mr Bunker welcomed investigations into the closure because 'we have nothing to hide'.