Earle Haven hit with sanctions, referred to royal commission

Earle Haven residents at the meeting this morning. Courtesy: Greg Stolz

A STRIFE-torn Gold Coast nursing home will be referred to the royal commission into aged care, and has been hit with federal sanctions and banned from taking any new residents for six months.

The revelation came today at a crisis meeting of worried residents of the retirement village which adjoins the Earle Haven nursing home.

The nursing home closed abruptly last Thursday, forcing the emergency disaster-style evacuation of more than 70 high-care residents to local hospitals and other nursing homes.

One frail, elderly woman who had been moved to another home later suffered a fall and is in a critical condition in Gold Coast University Hospital.

The closure followed a contractual dispute between Earle Haven’s 77-year-old multi-millionaire owner Arthur Miller and HelpStreet Villages, a company he brought in last year to run the facility and whose services he had terminated.

Mr Miller called a meeting of the retirement village’s 800-plus residents today to assure them their homes and bonds were safe and that he intended to reopen the nursing home as soon as possible.

He told residents the police were investigating the alleged taking of funds after the home closed.

But the meeting heard the aged care wing of Earle Haven had been hit with federal sanctions and banned from taking new residents – including those from the retirement village – until at least January next year.

One woman whose father died at Earle Haven earlier this year – and whose mother is still a resident – asked for reassurances that ‘this will never happen again’.

Aged care expert Karen Heard, who has been appointed an administrator of the nursing home, said she could not give that guarantee but said the ‘unprecedented’ situation would be referred to the royal commission into aged care.

Source: https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/earle-haven-hit-with-sanctions-referred-to-royal-commission/news-story/52c7db05add76db48c7af12f4fcadb0d