11 Oct 2008

Aged Care providers question ministry oversight

8:26 pm on 11 October 2008

Aged care employers are questioning some of the changes the Government is making to the way rest homes are audited.

The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe, has announced a raft of changes he says are to improve quality of care and safety for those in aged care facilities.

He says there will now be spot audits of rest homes and the public will be able to see the results on the Health Ministry website. In addition, the agencies carrying out the audits will be accompanied by Ministry staff to ensure the quality of audits.

The chief executive of Healthcare Providers New Zealand, Martin Taylor welcomes the spot checks, but says Ministry oversight during audits is unnecessary duplication and the idea needs to be shelved.

"There's been no evidence to suggest that there's any problem with the auditors," he said.

"The irony is that the auditors who looked into the Belhaven case are also the auditors that look into the District Health Boards to ensure their quality."

The Belhaven Resthome in Auckland was closed earlier this year following the discovery after it was revealed that a resident had had her mouth taped shut.