Estia Health Media Statement
Estia Health (Estia) notes today’s decision by the Burwood Local Court to sentence former staff member Dana Gray to 17 months home detention, with a non-parole period of six months for assaulting a resident at its Epping home in NSW.
Gray pleaded guilty in April 2018 to one charge of common assault against a resident at Estia’s Epping home in 2017.
Estia CEO Norah Barlow expressed her deepest sympathy and ongoing support for the victim and her family, saying that Estia does not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind.
Mrs Barlow said Estia immediately notified NSW Police and the Department of Health as soon as it became aware of the allegations and terminated the employment of the staff member. Residents and family members at Epping were also supported and made aware of what happened.
“There is no single solution to stamping out elder abuse, but this case reinforces Estia’s call for a national register to identify people who should not be working in aged care.
“While aged care providers can take action against inappropriate behaviour, there is currently no way of knowing with any certainty whether a prospective employee has a history of behaving inappropriately.
“A national register of aged care workers will show exactly where someone has worked, for how long, whether they have been dismissed and the circumstances of their dismissal.
“Estia believes that any conviction for assault, with or without a prison sentence, should automatically prohibit a person from working in the aged care sector.”
Mrs Barlow said the register was also important for the vast majority of aged care workers who do the right thing.
Jo Collins 0423 029 932