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BREAKING NEWS: Head of frail care centre in Dunnottar suspended after evidence of neglect emerge

NIGEL - A patient sustaining severe burns to her backside and other allegations of staff misconduct and neglect of patients have prompted an investigation by HERAUT, which resulted in the head of Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre in Dunnottar being temporarily suspended by the Gauteng Department of Social Development on September 28.

READ THE FULL STORY IN HERAUT ON 5 OCTOBER

Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre is a government owned facility that provides residential care services for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, as well as older persons with physical disabilities. It currently accommodates 192 residents, 10 of which are children. The facility receives roughly around R13 000 per month per person from the state, which amounts to a monthly budget of over R2,4 million.
Yet with an annual budget of R29 795 814 from government, the centre struggles to provide nutritious meals to its residents. Staff shortages resulted in a patient sustaining severe burns to her body, after she was left unattended at a bathtub filled with boiling hot water on March 27.

 

Most meals consist of pap and cabbage, pap and beetroot with scrambled eggs or a watery soup with a dried slice of brown bread. Residents complain about a lack of fruit and fibre and say the kitchen often runs out of basics such as bread and milk. Essentials such as pocket money and toiletries are also not regularly provided.
In response to HERAUT’s enquiry, Gauteng Social Development Department MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza paid an intervention visit to the facility on September 30, where it was discovered that most of the allegations made by residents are true.

“I was saddened by the images of how the patient suffered burns in the bath tub. She and her family understood this as an accident, because ordinarily patients should not venture into bathrooms and other areas that can endanger them without supervision,” MEC Mayathula-Khoza said.

Immediate remedial action will include fully outsourcing the kitchen; the facility following up on all awaited deliveries and in the event of delivery challenges, it should request permission to procure out of contract and the fast tracking procurement of permanent nursing staff in consultation with Treasury.

A female patient of Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre in Dunnottar sustained severe burns to her body, after she was left unattended at a bathtub filled with boiling hot water on March 27. The head of the facility has since been temporarily suspended, pending further investigation.
A female patient of Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre in Dunnottar sustained severe burns to her body, after she was left unattended at a bathtub filled with boiling hot water on March 27. The head of the facility has since been temporarily suspended, pending further investigation.

 

Gauteng Social Development Department MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza paid an intervention visit to the facility on September 30, where it was discovered that most of the allegations such as staff shortages, malnutrition and patient neglect are true.
Gauteng Social Development Department MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza paid an intervention visit to the facility on September 30, where it was discovered that most of the allegations such as staff shortages, malnutrition and patient neglect are true.

 

Gauteng Social Development Department MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza with Valerie Gillomee, a resident of the Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre in Dunnottar.
Gauteng Social Development Department MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza with Valerie Gillomee, a resident of the Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre in Dunnottar.

 

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