Eventide Brighton closure update: figures worse than first published
Published: 20 October 2012
It appears the State might have misled the community about the initial extent of aged care bed closures and staff cuts at the Brighton Eventide facility, the Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) said today.
In announcing the decision to close residential aged care services on Brisbane’s north, by press release on Thursday afternoon, the State Government’s Metro North Hospital and Health Board said 80 beds and 69 staff, including 58 nursing positions, would initially be cut. However, at meetings between QNU and Metro North Hospital and Health Board officials yesterday afternoon, it was disclosed that 140 beds and 120 staff would be cut at the Brighton facility.
The closure of two other State Government-owned aged care facilities, Ashworth House at Zillmere and Cabool at Kippa-Ring, was also flagged.
Published data indicates Eventide Brighton has 224 licensed high-care beds, while Ashworth House and Cabool have 60 high-care beds each.
QNU secretary, Beth Mohle, said the whole thing is a shemozzle, extremely ham-fisted and a clear example of just how much this State Government, with new legislative powers abolishing consultation, thinks it can ride roughshod over the community.
“Firstly, the community is told 80 beds are going initially. Less than 24 hours later we are told it is 120 beds, and all this against a possible total of 344 State Government high-care beds in the region. This is very distressing for residents, their families and staff. It is time for the State Government to come clean on the Brisbane North plans and then also on its plans for every other State Government-owned aged care facility across the State. After all, it has to be remembered these are people’s homes.
“It is also a disgrace that the State Government is trying to hide behind an unelected board on policy matters such as this and that there was no consultation with stakeholders and the community prior to the decision being made. The LNP State Government has actually legislated recently to remove the need for such consultation with staff and their unions prior to such significant decisions.
“Liberal National Party politicians are always going on about faceless men. Yet here we have major decisions being made about the future of long-running State Government services and the future of care of very vulnerable people and LNP politicians are hiding behind these unelected boards,” Ms Mohle said.
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