COVID-ravaged aged homes 'should be shut'

·2-min read

A man whose mother died at a Melbourne aged care home previously ravaged by COVID-19 wants the facility shut down.

A federal review into St Basil's Home for the Aged and Epping Gardens Aged Care found both had limited staff training, a lack of infection control and an under-preparedness for a major outbreak.

The situation at the private homes, answerable to the federal government, was exacerbated when staff with little experience were brought in to replace the regular workforce furloughed with COVID-19.

Ivan Rukavina's mum, Maria, was one of the 45 residents who died at St Basil's.

Another 38 residents died at Epping Gardens.

"You've just shown us it's all about the money and not about the care," Mr Rukavina told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"It's caused a lot of deaths, it's caused a lot of families to suffer, which was unnecessary. People didn't deserve to die.

"They (the operators) deserve to be closed, and I mean now. The worst thing that we're suffering is to know that they're operating as a business."

More than 7000 staff across Victoria's aged care system were furloughed during the state's second wave.

More than 36,000 shifts were filled by replacement staff.

But they were generally young, inexperienced and many spoke only basic English, according to the review released on Monday.

It found leadership and management faltered at both facilities, and preparations for major outbreaks were significantly underestimated

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the report didn't go far enough.

He said state health networks were working closely with the homes to make sure infection prevention and control was up to scratch, and that staff were trained and had personal protective equipment.

"It's not technically my responsibility, but those people in those homes are Victorians. Their family members are Victorians. When no one else is doing it, then we have to step in and fill that gap," Mr Foley said.

When contacted for comment, a man who picked up the phone at St Basil's told AAP: "I'm sorry, not interested" and hung up.

Heritage Care, which runs Epping Gardens, was also contacted for comment.

Separate class actions were earlier this year launched against both aged care homes over their respective responses to the coronavirus.