16 Mar 2017

West Coast rest home residents went hungry

5:54 pm on 16 March 2017

Residents from a West Coast rest home had gone hungry and lacked hot water, a Ministry of Health audit has found.

an elderly woman's hands

Photo: 123.rf

The West Coast District Health Board announced in February it would close Kowhai Manor, home to 24 residents, after the audit found over 20 corrective actions would be required to bring the rest home up to proper standards.

The audit, which has now been released, raised concerns about how food was handled, with residents complaining about the quality and diversity of the food on offer.

Read the full audit report (258KB).

It also found that staff policy and procedure manuals were handed out only the day before the auditors arrived.

Other problems included the handling of records and the testing of electrical appliances.

Ministry of Health HealthCert manager Emma Prestidge said the ministry worked with rest homes to try and fix any problems, and would not take away certification unless the situation was extreme.

Kowhai Manor would be closed by the end of March, with some residents going to nearby rest home Granger House.

West Coast DHB planning and funding manager Carolyn Gullery said all residents would be out of Kowhai Manor by 30 March.

Both Kowhai Manor and Granger house were owned by Kiwiannia Care Ltd.

The health board said in a letter to residents they were confident Granger House was up to the standards required for a rest home.

Ms Prestidge said there was no concern for the sector in general and the situation was an example of the audit system working.

There are four other rest homes on the West Coast.