Toowoomba region's Blue Care cuts raise concerns

QUESTIONS have been raised over whether patients at two nursing homes in the Darling Downs region are receiving appropriate care.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union acting secretary Sandra Eales said staff cuts at the Blue Care facilities in Toowoomba and Kingaroy had lead to concerns about patient care.

"Every time we go into a facility or speak to staff we do get the same problems raised, that there are not enough people to attend to the needs of the elderly," Ms Eales said.

"That is hugely distressing for staff, let alone for the residents."

Nine enrolled nurses were cut from the Toowoomba facility in October last year, equating to about 480 hours cut from the weekly roster.

Ms Eales said this led to a deficit in the amount of care that was received with what the residents required.

"By about one and a half hours per resident per day," Ms Eales said.

The concerns were raised after the Blue Care Pioneer Lodge facility in Bundaberg failed an audit check by the Federal Government, following staff cuts last year.

Blue Care dismissed claims the issues at Pioneer Lodge were because of staffing levels.

"The situation at Pioneer is highly abnormal for Blue Care and inconsistent with the high standards of management and practice observed at our other facilities," Blue Care group executive Alan Wilson said.

"Previous claims that staffing levels at Pioneer had adversely impacted the quality of care at the facility, are false," he said.

Ms Eales said she urged family members to check on the wellbeing of relatives in Blue Care facilities.