Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, has called for an urgent response to the appalling situation that has occurred at the Earle Haven aged care facility at Nerang, leaving around 70 residents abandoned.

“Our first concern is for the welfare of the residents and our thoughts are with them and their loved ones,” CEO Sean Rooney said.

“The whole aged care industry expresses its support for the work of the emergency services and particularly to the other local aged care providers who have swung into action to help accommodate the residents.”

Mr Rooney called on the Federal Government and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to move swiftly to uncover the causes of the situation and ensure it can never happen again.

“Media reports suggest that the immediate cause of the Earl Haven situation was a contractual dispute.

“It is unclear whether broader funding pressures were a direct contributor, but there is strong evidence of a steep decline in the viability of many residential care providers.

“Just last week the Government’s own official advisor on aged care finances warned that 44 per cent of residential aged care providers were operating at a loss in 2017-18, with conditions likely to worsen in 2018-19, and signs that an increasing number of smaller providers are seeking to leave the industry.

“While the Royal Commission will guide the long-term reform agenda, the Federal Government must take immediate action to mitigate the risk of service failure.

“An appropriate response to the risk of service failure should include addressing broader funding issues, as well as an investigation of the specific causes of the Earle Haven situation and options for early warning systems that allow for an orderly response that does not compromise care for residents.”

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About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

LASA is the national peak body representing and supporting providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living. Our purpose is to enable a high performing, respected, and sustainable age services industry delivering accessible, affordable, quality care and services for older Australians.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 57% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 33% are for-profit providers and 10% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

Media contact Gerard Delaney Ph 0413 274 176 gerardd@lasa.asn.au