Filthy nursing home in Thursday Island – manager fired

The manager looking after an aged care facility in the Torres Strait Islands has been sacked after the nursing home was found filthy and unsuitable for patient care. According to Torres Strait Regional Mayor Fred Gela, the nursing home in question is Star of the Sea on Thursday Island and the incident occurred after the state of affairs was brought to notice by a nurse. He said, “The person that was responsible for the overall administration and overseeing all of that, their employment has been terminated as of Monday.”

The federal Department of Health and Ageing announced this Thursday that it was investigating claims made by nurse Jeremy Clark, who was sent to the facility by a nursing agency last month to fill a vacancy. Mr Clark was the one to reveal that the 20-bed nursing home was unsafe, understaffed and unhygienic. “The moment I stepped through the door I was assaulted by the filth - it was shocking,” he said. He added, “Foodstuffs lying [on] the ground everywhere, mess everywhere you looked, pads lying on the floor which had been left there a while, which is unhygienic.”

Mr. Clark said further that patients were not being properly cared for and diabetic patients were not given the right diet and many were left dehydrating in their beds. He revealed, “They are just not getting water because their water jugs weren't filled up…They were grasping onto my hand and guzzling down the water and after the fourth cup I realized we have got a serious problem.”

Mayor Fred Gela revealed that the president of the nursing home's board of directors Romina Fuji had admitted there were problems with how the nursing home was run. “She's also indicated to me that she strongly believes that not all of what is actually being said is true,” he said. In 2007 this non-for-profit nursing home had financial problems and was given $1.2 million in emergency funding by the federal government. June 2010 the Department of Ageing put the nursing home on a schedule for improvement after an audit found it did not comply with four key accreditation standards. The conditions were met and the nursing home had received accreditation last month.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. Jeremy Clarke Jeremy Clarke Australia says:

    Hi Dr.

    If you require any photographic material or have any questions please let me know.

    Thank you

    Jeremy Clarke RN

    • Jane South Jane South Australia says:

      Jeremy, that was a gutsy move going to the lengths you did to uncover nursing home neglect. I'm sure the group Aged Care Crisis would be very interested in your photographic material and love to chat with you.

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