Aged Care provider Blue Care is putting elderly lives at risk

Thursday 25th January, 2018

Letter to the Editor from the Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU).

To the Editor,

Shame on Blue Care.

This once reputable aged care provider recently cut more than 60 per cent of their aged care Enrolled Nurses in Bundaberg – and other nurses elsewhere.

Blue Care then advertised for largely untrained people to join aged care facilities where the cuts occurred.

It’s not surprising that during a recent Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) spot inspection, when an elderly resident was found hanging out of bed calling for help, Blue Care was found guilty of more than 19 breaches.

Additional AACQA reports are pending.

It’s believed Blue Care cuts have occurred in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Maleny, Mareeba, Kingaroy, Rothwell, Bli Bli and Ipswich. It’s feared they will continue state-wide.

Today Blue Care distributed a media release suggesting staff who survived the cuts were to blame for the breaches that followed.

This is as offensive as it is untrue.

Staff left in the wake of Blue Care’s ongoing nurse cull are desperately trying to care for their residents. They are going above and beyond to attempt to do more with less.

However, it is Blue Care management, who continue to axe nurse numbers state-wide, who are responsible for the quality of care and life Blue Care residents receive.

Blue Care are part of UnitingCare Queensland which recently reported a $40 million surplus.

They have 126 aged care facilities in almost every Queensland community between Cairns, Cloncurry and Coolangatta.

And they are putting elderly lives at risk.

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) again urge the media, relatives and the Queensland public to hold Blue Care accountable – and to check on the wellbeing of loved ones in their care.

We will continue to campaign for Federal legislative change to make safe aged care staff levels law and to protect our elders.

Yours Sincerely,

Sandra Eales
Acting Secretary

Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union
0439 841 283