Qld aged evacuation 'could happen again'

Nearly 70 people were forced to leave the high-care facilities of the Earle Haven nursing home.
Nearly 70 people were forced to leave the high-care facilities of the Earle Haven nursing home.

Queensland's health minister fears the state might have to step in and rescue residents of a collapsed nursing home again unless his the federal government improves aged care oversight.

The state government had "minutes" notice they would have to organise a mass evacuation from the high-care facilities at the Earle Haven retirement home on July 11, health minister Steven Miles said.

Eight of the 69 residents were sent to hospital after the evacuation forced by the closure of their home due to a dispute between the owner and a sub-contractor.

Three of the residents have since died, one after a fall during the evacuation.

A federal review into the incident, released on Monday, found federal aged care regulators had missed crucial warning signs of problems at Earle Haven.

"(it is) nothing short of damning", Mr Miles said.

"The report makes clear that there was a complete lack of care from the providers, who clearly weren't up to the job of looking after elderly and vulnerable Queenslanders.

"There were clearly warning signs that were missed but the federal government still cannot tell us if there are other nursing homes that could well collapse."

The review, conducted by former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell, found senior management of the owner, People Care, and service sub-contractor, Help Street, allowed personal animosity and financial considerations to override their responsibility for the people in their care.

The review made 23 recommendations to beef up federal oversight - including of subcontracting and commercial arrangements - all of which were supported by the federal government.

Since the events at Earle Haven, People Care has been subject to significant sanctions, including the revocation of all residential aged care places and home care packages.

Australian Associated Press