Yaraandoo supply shortages

Posted on
September 14, 2022
Aged Care Sector

An underwhelming response.

We wrote to your facility manager recently and raised concerns about the lack of supplies of certain items that are needed to provide adequate care to residents.

Here are the issues we raised on behalf of Yaraandoo workers:

  • No hygiene wipes for a week or more. Whilst workers have been told to use face cloths in the interim, often there are none of those available over the weekend or at the start of the week due to the laundry not being fully operational at that time. Therefore, staff are often forced to use paper towel, which is extremely harsh on the skin, creating more issues for residents.
  • There have been no single “singlet” plastic bags to be found, which workers have always used to dispose of used and soiled pads.
  • For some time, there was no thickener for residents that required it, making it difficult to keep those particular residents rehydrated.

Brenda replied denying there had been a shortage of wipes and single plastic bags, and blamed staff for not checking the storeroom and cleaner’s room. She also said there was only a 24-hour period when they were “low on stock” of thickener.

We wrote to her again and pointed out that the thickener had been out of supply for over a week and a half, and also asked if carers and nurses are expected to check cleaners’ cupboards and storerooms and unpack boxes to look for the items they desperately need.

Brenda wrote back and, very disappointingly, it appears management believes staff working on the floor have got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to the thickener and that it’s up to workers to run around and check cleaners’ cupboards, stores and the linen room store when they run out of things.

Here’s Brenda’s full response:

"Unfortunately, your members are mistaken about the thickener. There was only a 24 hr period when there was none. There was a small amount in the kitchen to be used for those 5 residents who require thickened fluids. We were not out for over a week and a half, we sourced some from Launceston and then borrowed some from another facility.

The laundry work on a Saturday morning and I am in the process of ordering additional linen. This is again an issue when staff will not look in the linen room store for additional clean linen. Face cloths have been an issue but there are more being ordered. 

There is an adequate supply of plastic bags to put used pads in, they are restocked in the cupboards above the hand wash sinks every morning by the cleaners. There is a large supply in the cleaners room but most hand was sinks have 4-5 rolls of 50 in the cupboards above the sinks.

Our supplies all go into the one room and our admin staff usually unpack the stock. However, if the stores arrive late in the afternoon or on a Friday afternoon then there are no admin staff to unpack and if an item of stock runs out I would expect staff to check the boxes in the store for the item they are looking for.

If an item is on back order our admin will notify the nurses station and we will attempt to get an alternative via our suppliers ,which is what has happened with the thickener. When we need additional stock staff write it on the whiteboard in the store room and often send an email to myself and our admin staff at the same time. Stock is ordered every week or more frequently if something is in short supply."

We know it would be frustrating for you to try to look for supplies amongst the current workload and short staffing that is already seeing workers at breaking point. If you find certain items are short, email Brenda in the first instance notifying her of whatever is needed. Please keep doing it until that item has been replenished, even if you need to do this every day.

If supply shortages continue to be a problem at Yaraandoo, please contact HACSUassist to let us know.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email assist@hacsu.org.au or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector