• Older Persons Mental Health Service, a Government-run nursing home in Adelaide for elderly people with dementia has been sanctioned due to allegations of mistreatment of residents.
• Researchers found out that slice of bread can contain more salt than a single serving packet of chips, according to a study by the George Institute for Global Health.
• Julia Gillard was named as the new chair of the mental health advocacy organisation Beyond Blue, replacing former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd of March 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News
A controversial South Australian Government-run nursing home for elderly people with dementia has been sanctioned by the Commonwealth following allegations of mistreatment of residents.
The Federal Government has acted on concerns about medication management at the Older Persons Mental Health Service in Adelaide’s north-east.
A nursing adviser must be appointed to help bring the facility at Oakden up to standard.
Former independent advisers Carla and Neil Baron have blown the whistle on “shocking” failings at the facility, after being brought in as advisers when the facility was last sanctioned in 2008.
Mrs Baron said she was haunted by a memory from her time at the facility.
“It was shocking.
Carla and husband Neil Baron decided to speak out because of recent revelations about the alleged mistreatment of resident Bob Spriggs.
Mr Spriggs’ family claimed he was overmedicated and had bruises thought to be caused by inappropriate restraint.
“I wasn’t surprised [to hear about Mr Spriggs] and I thought here we go again,” Mr Baron said.
“We were sitting here watching it on TV and just felt so sad, but not the least bit surprised.”
Mrs and Mr Baron were appointed as consultants in 2008 to bring the Federally-funded facility at Oakden up to standard after it badly failed a Commonwealth audit.
Mrs Baron said many residents spent the whole day “parked” in a cramped lounge room that doubled as a dining room, leading to a lack of stimulation and movement, and creating wound and hygiene issues.
The Barons have not set foot in Oakden since they quit in frustration.
They said this was largely due to clashes with state and federal health bureaucrats.
They hope Oakden has improved but with the Bob Spriggs case now the focus of a chief psychiatrist review, the Barons have their doubts.
A slice of bread can contain more salt than a single serving packet of fancy sea salt chips, according to a study by the George Institute for Global Health.
Researchers looked at more than 1,400 bread products from 2010 to 2017 and found some had a large amount of sodium.
Lead researcher Clare Farrand said a typical single slice of bread contained more than 20 per cent of the recommended daily maximum of salt..
“That was double the amount of salt [compared to] a single serving packet of Kettle sea salt chips,” she said.
Ms Farrand said another concerning find was that some “healthy” breads were some of the worst offenders.
Products looked at by researchers included bread rolls, fruit bread, multigrain bread, other grain breads, rye bread, soy and linseed bread, white bread, wholemeal bread, bagels, crumpets and English muffins.
Ms Farrand said they also found there was a huge amount of variability of salt between bread products.
She said there were lower salt options available, and suggested consumers get in the habit of checking the label before buying a product and choosing the lower salt option.
The study recommends a reduction of sodium in bread products.
The study found that since 2010, salt levels in bread had dropped by about 10 per cent.
But Ms Farrand said while it proved that salt targets for breads did work, the number needed to fall further.
She said on average most Australian adults were consuming between eight and ten grams of salt each day.
That is nearly double the recommended minimum daily intake of about five grams, “or about a teaspoon a day.”
Former prime minister Julia Gillard has been named the new chair of mental health advocacy organisation Beyond Blue, replacing former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett.
Ms Gillard has served on the board of the depression and anxiety initiative since 2014.
The not-for-profit service offers counselling and support for people suffering mental illness, including a help line.
The prominent organisation was formed by Mr Kennett in 2000, and he has been its chairman since then.
When Ms Gillard joined the board, Mr Kennett praised her appointment and emphasised the need for the organisation to remain bipartisan.
Ms Gillard said she had a “lifetime passion” for mental health issues, formed growing up with her father, who worked as a psychiatric nurse.
Ms Gillard will take up the role on July 1.