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Questions over the Future of Wallsend Aged Care Facility

Media Releases

State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will this week use Parliament to raise questions about the future of the Wallsend Aged Care Facility after concerns were raised by unions, staff, patients and the community.

Ms Hornery will put a Question on Notice to the Minister for Health asking him to confirm that the facility will remain in public hands and continue to operate.

Concerns have been raised as a result of management letting bed and patient numbers run down from a peak of 98 to 55. Staff have reported that there have been no new patients since January 2020 and as a result there have been staff cuts on shifts because of fewer clients. The facility has also stopped taking on undergraduate Registered Nurses.

Ms Hornery fought the then NSW Labor Government to keep the facility open and in public hands in 2009.

“The Wallsend community are rightly very concerned about the future of the Wallsend Aged Care Facility,” said Ms Hornery.

“We have seen successive Governments attempt to close or privatise the facility in the past and the community have fought to keep it open.

“What I don’t want to see is this Government attempt to close or privatise it by stealth.

“In 2017, the facility failed an audit by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency because management didn’t provide a safe and comfortable environment for residents and cleaning and catering staff were found to be under-resourced.

“Now we are seeing bed and patient numbers falling to almost half of the numbers from 12 months ago.

“The Government has a history of not maintaining the facility as they should and the Wallsend community want assurances from the Minister and the Hunter New England Health that there are no plans to close or privatise the facility.

“I look forward to hearing from the Minister and I hope that the answer is what the community wants to hear because if it’s not, then he can expect another very public and vocal campaign, just like last time,” Ms Hornery said.