A worker at an aged care facility in Sydney’s north west is facing charges after allegedly assaulting an 85-year-old resident.
NSW police allege a 58-year-old female employee at an Estia Health aged care facility in North Epping entered the elderly woman’s room and assaulted her on August 22.
The employee was arrested at Ryde Police Station on Thursday morning and charged with four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and five counts of common assault.
She was granted conditional bail and is scheduled to appear before Burwood Local Court on November 2.
Estia Health confirmed the woman’s arrest in a statement, saying the alleged assault was promptly reported to authorities.
“Estia does not tolerate behaviour of the kind that has been alleged under any circumstances and terminated the employment of the staff member,” Estia chief executive Norah Barlow said.
“Our response to the allegation was handled as it should be – quickly, sensitively, and within the legal framework.”
The aged care sector has been under the spotlight following a series of media expos??s about horrific abuse and neglect in residential facilities.
On Wednesday, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt told the National Press Club the current system has “let us down”.
He announced a stricter auditing regime, saying facilities would be subject to surprise spot-checks instead of the current system in which checks are advised well in advance.
The announcement comes after an investigation into how an aged care facility in South received full accreditation from the n Aged Care Quality Agency despite shocking mistreatment of residents, including a sexual assault by an employee and a murder by a resident.
Federal government figures show the Department of Health received 2,862 notifications of reportable assaults in aged care facilities in 2015-16.
Of these, 2,422 were recorded as alleged or suspected unreasonable use of force, 396 as alleged or suspected unlawful sexual contact and 44 as both.