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Bupa Aged Care was investigated by the Commission. and the case was closed in February.

Internal alerts warn of maggots and weight loss

Staff at Bupa Aged Care had been warned of "a few recent incidents" of maggots in wounds and "unintended weight loss" in residents earlier this year.

Documents obtained by The Sunday Telegraph reveal two internal "clinical safety alerts" sent from Bupa Aged Care's quality director to facility general managers, nurses, and chefs on January 31 that were categorised into the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) category of neglect.

The alert explained how hot and humid weather and people with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, neurological disorders, cognitive impairments, and poor personal hygiene or having open wounds were at risk from "myiasis", where a fly lays eggs near a wound.

"We want to bring your attention to a few recent incidents that have been reported as SIRS neglect," the alert said.

"These incidents involved fly larva wound infection – commonly called maggot infestation or myiasis."

Two weeks earlier, in mid-January, a separate alert was sent involving incidents related to "nutritional supplement stock shortages".

The alert said "a few recent incidents" of neglect were reported to SIRS about "unintended weight loss".

It also urged staff to conduct a "thorough stock check" to ensure sufficient supplements were available, with any shortages to be "escalated" to the dietitian "and Nestle representative" and for staff to ensure chefs were "fortifying meals" as per dietary requirements.

A Bupa spokesperson said specific information about the incidents could not be provided; however, Waratah Bupa was investigated.

"The health and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority," the spokesperson said.

"Clinical Safety Alerts are part of our clinical governance. If we have concerns about an incident, we will share an alert with our broader team to ensure everyone across our 7,000-strong team learns from these, and takes appropriate action where needed.

"In relation to the complaint about our home at Waratah, we investigated this and worked closely with the Commission, who closed this complaint in February 2024. Our culture encourages team members to raise any concerns at any time, and our alerts are just one way we highlight the importance of openness and transparency."

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