The head of a Launceston aged care facility has been suspended, pending an investigation into harassment and misconduct allegations, with a full review of the home's operations also being undertaken.
The facility manager at Glenara Lakes, an 88-bed residential aged care home owned by Southern Cross Care - the state's biggest aged care provider - was stood down yesterday.
The move comes in the wake of "increasing claims of harassment" against the manager of the Youngtown facility, according to the Health and Community Services Union.
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On the day before the aged care royal commission's final report is handed down, Southern Cross Care chief executive Robyn Boyd said an interim facility manager had been appointed at Glenara Lakes "to ensure consistent delivery of high-quality care for our residents".
"Southern Cross Care takes any reported incident of workplace harassment or misconduct very seriously," she said in a statement. "A comprehensive independent investigation will be conducted, and additional support services have been implemented for all staff at Glenara Lakes Aged Care."
"A full review of the Glenara Lakes operations has commenced to ensure that any issues are identified and rectified."
HACSU acting state secretary Robbie Moore said his members were pleased that Southern Cross Care had taken the action it had. "We've already got feedback from staff that are very happy that this recent development has occurred," he said.
"We understand there'll now be an investigation, which we're hopeful will result in action being taken against this manager."
A comprehensive independent investigation will be conducted, and additional support services have been implemented for all staff at Glenara Lakes Aged Care.Robyn Boyd, Southern Cross Care chief executive
The suspension of the Glenara Lakes manager followed a union vote of no confidence in Southern Cross Care management, after the facility made the direction not to backfill staff vacancies.
According to HACSU, Glenara Lakes residents were deprived close to 100 hours of care last week alone as a result of the decision.
A Glenara Lakes worker - who preferred to remain anonymous - said staff felt "disrespected by our employer".
"As always, we're giving the best care we possibly can under difficult circumstances, but we're afraid for the safety of residents," the worker said.
Mr Moore said the "unjustifiable decision" not to backfill staff had put residents and staff "in danger".
He said more than 30 staff at the facility had quit since last February "due to the systemic short-staffing and other workplace issues".
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