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South Australian politician Frank Pangallo. Picture: James Elsby

MP calls for dismissal of care facility’s senior management

An Australian politician is calling for the senior management of a South Australian aged care facility to be stood down following public outrage over its approach to a scabies outbreak at one of its hostels.

Frank Pangallo, a South Australian MP, told state parliament last week that Kindred Living's treatment of residents and staff was “contemptable”.

Pangallo said that care workers reported to management numerous times an outbreak of scabies in cottage 3 of the provider’s Annie Lockwood Court Hostel.

“Senior management’s reaction to these very serious concerns was appallingly inadequate… despite the outbreak spreading to more patients and a number of workers assigned to the cottage. A consulting doctor warned the rash would spread quickly.

“Management had the audacity to blame one of the resident’s husband, Peter Strawbridge, for his wife Heather’s infection, saying it was probably caused by mosquitos during one of the daily walks he took his wife on.”

After he was contacted by Strawbridge, Pangallo reached out to A Current Affair, which then covered the story.

“The media exposure prompted the federal government’s somewhat toothless watchdog, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, into action despite previous complaints falling on deaf ears," Pangallo said.

A non-compliance notice was issued in November to the approved provider for failure to comply with the standards relating to personal care and clinical care, and the organisation’s service environment.

The facility also received notices in 2019 and 2018.

Late last year, a Notice to Agree was imposed on the facility due to “an immediate and severe risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of care recipients”, and related to all eight standards.

Pangallo said: “I am now writing to its board, asking it to dismiss its senior management.

“I’m also asking the federal aged care minister Greg Hunt how an aged care facility with such an appalling track record can continue to operate with current management in place and who actually controls the facility which take millions of dollar in commonwealth funding.

“What is it going to take before a facility like Kindred is taken to account?”

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