Dear members and supporters of the Anglican Care community,
Apology for Public Statements about Mrs Pam Passlow
Our commitment to hearing people’s voices and being open when we make mistakes
Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to meet with Mrs Deanne Morris, the daughter of Mrs Pam Passlow. Deanne, and her brother Steven, have shared with me their profound disappointment at their experience of Anglican Care services for their mother, Mrs Pam Passlow, who was a resident between October and December 2016. They were very troubled by their experience of care and our subsequent responses when they aired their concerns. Mrs Passlow’s story formed part of the 4 Corners report into Aged Care.
Following the airing of the report, Anglican Care made a public response which it communicated as widely as it could. This response further upset the Passlow family making statements and inferences about Mrs Passlow’s medical condition and treatment. The family have consistently challenged Anglican Care’s actions and portrayal of events. For a long time they did not believe that we were open to listening to their concerns.
The family complained to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) which referred part of the complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commission. The ACQSC were very disappointed in Anglican Care’s conduct and approach.
I have written privately to Deanne and Steven to apologise. I have also advised the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of our commitment to change.
Anglican Care leadership and staff are working tirelessly to ensure that our care and support is consistently compliant with the Aged Care Standards. They are addressing our shortcomings.
I want to assure you that Anglican Care is committed to the privacy of its residents and clients. We have reviewed our policies and procedures. We will not be talking to the media about specific personal, private, and sensitive matters of our residents and clients.
Alongside this, we affirm our full commitment to the process of Open Disclosure. We know how important it is for the residents, clients, family, relatives and next of kin to have confidence in the care we provide. We are committed to sharing with them information about incidents or events that have an impact on them. We will be open and transparent in our operations and service delivery.
There have been many changes at Anglican Care. We are continuing to improve our engagement with the people we have the privilege to support, and their families. We will make apologies when we make mistakes.
Anglican Care is committed to listening to the wisdom and advice of experts. In this context it means the staff of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, but it also represents our ongoing commitment as an organisation in every aspect of our work.
When I last met with Deanne her passion was that no one in aged care should feel unable to voice their concerns. She remained troubled that Anglican Care may not listen to its residents and clients, and their families. I stressed to her, and I stress to you, our strong desire to place the people we support and serve at the centre of our work. We want to hear from you. We are regularly improving our processes to hear and engage with the feedback, advice and concerns of our residents, clients, and their relatives. This includes receiving suggestions and input to shape our work. Our Residential Care Managers are at the front line of this work and welcome your engagement.
On behalf of Anglican Care, I apologise again to the family of Mrs Pam Passlow. You have been sent this letter because it is important to her family that you know of our apology, our commitment to hear from you, and our journey of continued change.
The Rt Rev Dr Peter Stuart Bishop of Newcastle