Staff stood down over Beechworth aged care allegations

OPEN AND TRANSPARENT: Albury Wodonga Health chief executive Leigh McJames says family members have been contacted about the allegations.

OPEN AND TRANSPARENT: Albury Wodonga Health chief executive Leigh McJames says family members have been contacted about the allegations.

INVESTIGATIONS have been launched into allegations of misconduct involving several staff members at a Beechworth mental health service. 

The claims surfaced at Blackwood Cottage this week and Albury Wodonga Health stood down several staff members.

Chief executive Leigh McJames assured the family members of the 15 residents there were no safety fears. 

Mr McJames did not say what the allegations were or how many staff members were involved, and stressed the investigation had only just begun. 

An independent Melbourne-based investigator will look at the claims with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. 

“Of course it is concerning whenever there is an issue, and my view is it’s important to take direct action that’s transparent, and the focus has to be on the patient,” Mr McJames said. 

“That’s what’s guiding us. 

“We’ve contacted the families of each of the residents to reassure them there were absolutely no concerns in relation to the safety or welfare of patients at Blackwood at this time.” 

He said none of the residents, who are aged over 65 and have mental health issues or dementia, had been injured. 

The staff will be paid while stood down.  

“These are allegations – there is no conclusions of whether the misconduct occurred or not,” Mr McJames said. 

“We’re keen for all parties to thorough and robustly investigate the allegations and address any outcomes that may result.” 

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