An elderly woman is believed to be in a critical condition after suffering a serious fall following the sudden evacuation from a retirement village.
The frail woman fell and hit her head on Friday morning after her and 70 other residents were removed from the Earle Haven Retirement in Nerang, on the Gold Coast, on Thursday.
The woman was rushed to hospital after the accident and remains in a critical condition, The Courier Mail reported.
The abrupt closure of the nursing home came as a result of a bitter feud between village owner People Care and medical contractor Help Street, as staff were told not to show up on Thursday, abandoning residents that require high levels of care.
Residents of the Earle Haven Retirement Village were forced out of their homes on Thursday after a dispute between the owner and contractor
Patient records, medication and even cleaning supplies were stripped from the facility in the shock walkout, which sparked a full-scale health emergency.
Emergency services were called to the village, taking distressed residents, some who suffer from dementia, to three hospitals and seven other nursing homes after being left with no food, medicine or beds.
People Care terminated its contract with HelpStreet and says it gave the contractor until August 9 to vacate the property, but HelpStreet ‘decided to leave earlier’.
Patient records, medication and cleaning supplies were stripped from the village after staff were told not to show up for work on Thursday
It said People Care failed to pay it for its services so staff were told not to show up for work on Thursday.
Queensland health minister Stephen Miles said both the owners of Earle Haven and the contractors were to blame for the ‘disgusting’ closure.
‘It should never have happened,’ Mr Miles told reporters on Friday.
‘The behaviour here, whoever is responsible, is just disgusting.’
He said patient records vanished, leaving paramedics and doctors scrambling to know how best to treat and care for residents.
Many of the residents required high levels of care as many suffered from dementia
Residents were left abandoned after the nursing home was rid of any supplies including food and bedding
‘As I understand it, storeroom after storeroom was cleared of anything that could be considered valuable.
‘Our health staff had to reconstruct health histories and medication requirements for the residents, in order to stabilise them and provide them with their healthcare needs.’
The nursing home’s owner Arthur Miller said he was not to blame for the mess and said he will re-open the village ‘once we make sure everything’s all right’, as reported by the Courier Mail.
Images from inside the nursing home show files dumped on the ground, cupboards cleared out, and necessary equipment including gloves sitting in boxes, ready to be taken.
Queensland health minister Stephen Miles said both the owners of Earle Haven and the contractors were to blame for the ‘disgusting’ closure
Staff members said they were forced to spend their own money on gloves and medical supplies because the village tried to ration them to cut costs
Cupboards were stripped bare after nearly everything was removed from the retirement village
Lorraine Cook, whose husband John Cook had lived in the facility for two years, said there were problems well before Thursday, and that she had lodged official complaints about the slipping state of his care.
‘They were getting chicken that wasn’t cooked properly, it was still pink, fish that wasn’t cooked properly, burnt bits of pizza, not enough to feed a cat,’ she said.
In the hours before residents were evacuated, Ms Cook says HelpStreet removed food, medication, patient records, computers, furniture and even pots and pans from the premises.
A former staff member Judi Loughnan told Channel 9 about her experience working at the Earle Haven Retirement Village.
She said she was forced to spend her own money to buy supplies as staff were forced to ration gloves and paper towels in attempts to cut costs.
‘I would actually spend my own money to ensure the staff had the equipment they needed,’ Ms Loughnan said.
The residents of Earle Haven were sent to three other hospitals and seven nursing homes to be cared for after the disastrous closure