Aged care services reduced despite desperate demand

STAFF cuts and a drop in bed numbers at a Noosa aged care facility has residents and their families confused and concerned.

Only weeks ago, Noosa News reported on a shortage of beds in the region, however Noosa Aged Care in Tewantin has cut the number of beds by a quarter, claiming the changes "enhance" the facility.

New Zealand resident Claudia McCulloch is concerned for the welfare of her mother who lives at Noosa Aged Care.

"During my visits (to my mother) I see how hard the staff work and can see how busy they are," Ms McCulloch said.

"There is certainly no room for staff cuts, if anything they need more staff."

In a statement to the Noosa News, Japara Health, who own Noosa Aged Care, said the reduction in beds available has resulted in "staffing changes", but could not confirm the number of staff members that will be losing jobs.

"Japara Healthcare acquired this facility in late 2015," the statement reads.

"The Japara organisation has embarked on a series of significant improvements including reducing shared rooms with up to four residents to single rooms with direct access to ensuites.

"As a result of these enhancements, the number of residents at this facility has reduced from 230 beds to 177 beds.

"Although this refurbishment is a much better outcome for the residents, it has meant that with less residents there has been some staffing changes."

Ms McCulloch said the changes have made her afraid for the future of the facility and its residents.

"When Japara is one of Australia's largest private sector enterprises in the aged care and retirement industry, is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, and makes huge profits, I fail to see why these cost cutting measures are necessary and fear for the residents of the facility."