Roy Fagan Centre inquiry findings

14 Jul 2021

Elderly care


AMA Tasmania Vice President Dr John Saul said today that the AMA welcomed the long-overdue release of the report into a patient's care at the Roy Fagan Centre.

"It is important that lessons are learnt by everyone at all levels of government from the circumstances surrounding the event that led to this report.

"The report makes it clear that there is a need for more nursing and allied health staff to keep the quality of care at the level every Tasmanian should expect for themselves or their family requiring the care of the Roy Fagan Centre.

"AMA Tasmania supports the six recommendations in the report, which offer a constructive way forward to strengthen services for older persons.

"We encourage the government to work with all staff, but particularly the Executive Clinical team, to implement the report's recommendations and further improve the services for older people.

"What is clear is that additional resources to employ more staff with specialist skills in caring for older people with mental health issues are required to meet increasing demand for these services and ensure quality care can be provided at all times."

Dr Saul said retaining existing doctors and nurses and recruiting more doctors and nurses must be at the top of the government's agenda.

"We know patients in the care of the Roy Fagan Centre can have challenging care needs.

"Nursing people with severe dementia symptoms, who may be violent or resistant to personal care, is very different from nursing someone recovering from surgery."

"The staff at Roy Fagan are dedicated to their patients and work tirelessly to deliver the best care they can in the circumstances.

"However, they need more nurses trained in geriatric mental health and specialist medical practitioners.

"The Centre has had trouble recruiting to Registered Nursing positions and has been forced to rely on too many casual staff.

"To attract people into dementia care, nurses need to be paid more than their counterparts in other nursing disciplines.

"And to retain and attract doctors with specialist skills in older persons mental health, we need to ensure that our wages are competitive with other jurisdictions." >>>ENDS.

Published: 14 Jul 2021