National

Royal commission probes aged home closure

By AAP Newswire

The aged care royal commission will grill a retirement home owner over the Queensland facility's abrupt closure, which forced the emergency evacuation of about 70 "abandoned" residents.

Arthur Miller, who owns aged care provider People Care, will be questioned at a public hearing in Brisbane next week about the unprecedented events at the Earle Haven Retirement Village.

The royal commission will also examine the actions of subcontractor HelpStreet, although it is still confirming if the company's UK-based global CEO Kristofer Bunker will give evidence.

The July 11 shutdown was sparked by a financial dispute between People Care and HelpStreet, which managed the residential care facilities at Earle Haven.

Patient records and medication were removed from the Gold Coast retirement village, along with food and cleaning products.

Emergency services personnel evacuated 68 elderly and frail residents, some living with dementia, and moved them to temporary accommodation in other aged care facilities.

A Queensland Ambulance Service representative who attended the chaotic scene is expected to give evidence.

Representatives from the federal health department and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will also be questioned about Earle Haven.

The royal commission on Friday said it will be seeking to understand how the events of July 11 could have happened and how such events might be avoided in the future.

The commission said it will also examine the broader regulatory history of People Care, including as a provider of home care services.

Advocacy body the Council on the Ageing said it was important the royal commission looked at the systemic implications of the Earle Haven situation.

COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said nursing homes had closed before, but no one had ever "walked out".

"Even though it is an unprecedented thing, we need to make sure it remains the one and only," he told AAP.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union secretary Beth Mohle described Earle Haven as a case study for the failures of regulation in the aged care system.

The royal commission's hearing about regulation starts on Monday with the Earle Haven closure, which is also the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by the federal government.

The week-long hearing will also examine how the aged care system deals with reports of assaults against care recipients and other complaints about the quality and safety of care.

The daughter of an aged care resident will give evidence about her experience raising concerns her dad had been abused by a care worker.

"At the end of this time-consuming, overly bureaucratic and convoluted complaints process to every possible agency, I felt there had been no tangible results and no positive outcome for my dad," she said.

One woman living with dementia will tell the inquiry she tried to raise concerns about home care services through a number of different avenues, but felt like no one cared.