Tas aged care resident 'a slab of meat'

The aged care royal commission will examine Southern Cross Care and Bupa facilities in Tasmania.
The aged care royal commission will examine Southern Cross Care and Bupa facilities in Tasmania.

Two major Tasmanian aged care facilities placed "budgetary outcomes" above ensuring quality and resident safety and well-being, a royal commission has heard.

Operations at Southern Cross Care's Yaraandoo Hostel and Glenara Lakes are under the microscope as part of the aged care inquiry.

Former Yaraandoo resident Brian Harvey, who died in August, wrote in a submission he was often left on a mobile toilet for up to 90 minutes.

"I've been left like that for a long time on so many occasions I've lost count," he said in April.

"When neglected like that, I feel I have been dehumanised, left as a carcass in an aged care abattoir ready to be processed like a slab of meat in a sausage processing factory.

"Pain dominates my whole existence. Every second of every minute seems like an eternity. No one seems to get this."

In opening submissions on Monday, counsel assisting the commission Paul Bolster said the two Southern Cross Care facilities were given a directive to break even financially each year.

"Sadly, for Mr Harvey and a number of residents just like him, the documentary record at each of Yaraandoo and Glenara Lakes points to an organisation that allowed budgetary outcomes to take precedence over ensuring that quality and safe care was provided to the residents," he said.

Yaraandoo home was last year found by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency to have not met 18 of 44 expected quality outcomes.

Staffing numbers and training were also found to be not up to standard.

Glenara Lakes was in January found by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to have placed certain residents' safety, health or wellbeing at serious risk.

Southern Cross Care executive management defects and lack of clarity in decision making will be probed, Mr Bolster said.

Family members of residents, current and former staff and executive managers are among the hearing's witnesses.

Australian Associated Press