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Fair Work Act 2009                                                    






s.158 - Application to vary or revoke a modern award


AM2020/99 – Aged Care Award 2010 – Application by Ellis & Castieau and Others


AM2021/63 – Nurses Award 2020 – Application by  Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation-Victorian Branch


AM2021/65 – Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 – Application by Health Services Union




9.30 AM, THURSDAY, 5 MAY 2022


Continued from 04/05/2022



COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Good morning.  Are there any preliminary matters or are we ready for your first witness, Mr Gibian?


MR GIBIAN:  I think we're ready for our first witness and we're proposing to proceed as scheduled so far as the witnesses are concerned.




MR GIBIAN:  The first witness is Ms Flegg who I understand is logging in or has been logging in for a moment.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I've got a screen with Ms Barry's name.  Is that you, Ms Flegg?  No.


MR GIBIAN:  I understand that Ms Flegg is with an organiser from the union, Ben (indistinct), so it may come up as his name but I'm not sure.  But they are trying to log in now as I understand it.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms Flegg, can you hear me all right?




COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I'm O'Neill C and my Associate's just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Flegg, can you please state your full name and work address?


MS FLEGG:  Lynette Flegg, Marian Nursing Home - Southern Cross Care, Marian Nursing Home, North Parramatta.

<LYNETTE FLEGG, AFFIRMED                                                       [9.33 AM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR GIBIAN                                    [9.33 AM]



***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                           XN MR GIBIAN


MR GIBIAN:  Thank you.  Ms Flegg, can you hear me?‑‑‑Yes.


This is Mark Gibian.  I just need to ask you a few questions about your statement.  Can you just repeat your full name for the record?‑‑‑Lynette Flegg.


You're a senior administration officer employed by Southern Cross Care, working at the Marian Nursing Home in North Parramatta as you've just said?‑‑‑Yes, that's right.


Now, you made two statements for the purpose of these proceedings.  Do you have copies of those with you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


The first of them is dated 30 March 2021 and runs to some 31 paragraphs over seven pages.  Do you have a copy of that one?‑‑‑Yes.


Have you had an opportunity to read that statement through?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Is it true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑It is.


That's the first statement of Ms Flegg that we wish to have as part of the evidence.  It's document 185 in the digital court book commencing at page 10837.  You should also have, I think, Ms Flegg a statement headed 'Reply witness statement of Lynette Flegg', dated 14 April of this year, 2022, which runs to some 33 paragraphs over five pages.  Do you have a copy of that also?‑‑‑Yes.


Have you also had the opportunity to read that statement through?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Is it true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


Thank you, Ms Flegg.  That's the second statement of Ms Flegg we wish to have as part of the evidence in the proceedings.  It's document 186 in the digital court book, commencing at page 10860.  Ms Flegg, I think on the screen in front of you, you should be able to see one of the boxes contains Mr Ward.  He's going to ask you some questions now.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                           [9.35 AM]


MR WARD:  Ms Flegg, can you hear me okay?‑‑‑Yes, I can, Mr Ward.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Thank you very much.  Ms Flegg, my name's Nigel Ward.  I appear in these proceedings for the employer interest and I'm going to just ask you a few questions if I can.  Do you have your first statement in front of you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Can I just start, physically where are you situated physically in the facility?  Are you in an administration office or do you sit at the reception?  Where do you sit?‑‑‑We've got an administration office.  I sit at the reception desk.


Is that reception desk effectively at the front door of the facility or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, it's right - it's adjacent to the front door, the entrance door.  It is a temporary area at the moment because we're undergoing renovations.


When you say it's a temporary area, you would normally sit in that area but it's being updated or - - -?‑‑‑No, the whole of the facility is being updated - being renovated.  We've been in the temporary area for three or four months.


After the renovations are finished, where will you sit?‑‑‑There will be a permanent admin area, which (indistinct) - - -


So, you'll be moved in - you'll be moved into an office or - - -?‑‑‑Sorry?


You'll move into an office or - - -?‑‑‑No, I'll be on the front desk.  There'll be a front desk area.


Right, okay.  I take it being on the front desk you meet and greet whoever comes through the door?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


Was that a yes?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Can I take you to paragraph 11, please, of your statement.  Paragraph 11 you list what you describe as your main duties.  If I could ask you to go to (b), you say that you maintain databases - in (b).  Can you explain to us what you mean by databases?‑‑‑Are you talking about when we - when I first started or the present?

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Well, I'm just referring to what you say in your evidence.  You say in (b) maintaining databases.  What did you mean when you said maintaining databases?‑‑‑Okay.  Well, back in 2010 we had an Access database that was updated whenever a resident was admitted or was discharged.  There was several databases actually.  There was Access based databases, there was Excel databases that we also entered information into.  Excuse me.


So with the Access - I understand what you mean by an Access database but the Commissioner might not.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  No, I remember them.


MR WARD:  Yes, I think they were outlawed in corporate Australia after a while.  In terms of the access database, is that the database that keeps the residents' records in?‑‑‑We had a care plan database with all the medical information in.


What was - - -?‑‑‑I didn't actually use the care plan.  That was completed by someone else.


That's fine.  So in the access database you were just referring to, is that the database that the residents' details were kept in?‑‑‑Yes, there were resident details kept in there, what they were admitted for, their date of birth, their next of kin, their admission date, their doctor, you know - a lot of information about the resident was kept in there; their walking situation.  There was a lot of information in there about the actual resident.


You talked about the Excel databases.  Were they large Excel files that kept lists of things?‑‑‑Yes, they were mainly used for things like billing.  Again, they had a lot of the details of the residents in them, like their date of birth, their doctor - not so much their condition or their medical needs but they were mainly used for things like printing labels, doing the billing, the monthly billing for the residents.  They were even used for printing a newsletter that we produced.


Right - when you say you maintained them, is that your way of saying you had to enter information into them to keep it up to date?‑‑‑Yes.


You say - do you need some water?‑‑‑I don't have any, sorry - it's okay.


Do you need to get some?‑‑‑I don't have any available.  It's okay, I'll just - - -



***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


If you need to take a break and get some, please do so, okay?‑‑‑Okay.


In paragraph 12 you talk about the fact that you designed their website.  Not an easy job to do - were you previously in website design?‑‑‑No, no - I used to be in information technology in the Commonwealth Bank.


What role did you play in information technology in the Commonwealth Bank?‑‑‑I was a programmer analyst.


Right?‑‑‑And along the way I picked up some coding skills for web design.


Right?‑‑‑It was only a very simple website that I put together but it was one that certainly didn't exist when I got there.


Was it written in (Indistinct)?  What was it written in?‑‑‑It was written in HTML.


Third line in paragraph 12 you say:  'I also changed some of the old paper-based processes that were used at the facility and introduced electronic automated processes for such things as label printing and mail merge'.  I take it that was consolidating those lists in Excel and using the Excel function to do the mail merges and the like?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct.


When you got rid of the old paper-based processes, I take it you were doing that to improve the operation?‑‑‑Absolutely - it made it a lot quicker to do that sort of thing.  Instead of sitting there lining up labels on a printer, it just did it all automatically.


Can I take you to paragraph 17?‑‑‑17?


17, 1-7?‑‑‑Yes.


You say in paragraph 17, you say this:  'I still perform the duties detailed above at 11.  However, my role has grown over time to include responsibility for more and more complex record-keeping and administrative processes'.  Then you say this:  'This includes' - am I right in saying that when you're referring to complex record-keeping and administrative processes, those are then set out in (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) below or is there something missing?‑‑‑No, there's nothing missing.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


That's fine, I just wanted to be fair before I ask the questions.  In 17(a), after you've listed six, there is a paragraph there and it says this:  'These records are created electronically in a database called AutumnCare using information that is filled out in the paper-based admission forms that is completed for the residents.  AutumnCare is an electronic database that is used at Marion for residents' care plans, reporting and analysis.  I need to ensure that information entered into AutumnCare is accurate as if I get it wrong and go on'.  How is the information entered into AutumnCare?  How physically - is it scanned in or how is the information - - -?‑‑‑It's typed in.


It's typed in, and that's something you do?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Just before I keep going, is AutumnCare an off-the-shelf system or is it something that your business has built itself?‑‑‑As far as I know it's an off-the-shelf system.


You then in (b) say, talking about moving files.  Is that you move them in a file system on an intranet or - what do you mean by moving files?‑‑‑It's all done through AutumnCare.


Right - so can you just describe for me where the file is in AutumnCare and how you move it?‑‑‑Okay - for residents that we've still got at the facility, they come under just a general heading.  Any deceased or discharged, there's a separate discharged and deceased heading for them.  So when someone, say, passes away we move them out of the general heading list of residents into the deceased folder.


Is that a sort of - using the computer, is that just picking the file up and dropping into a different file or how do - - -?‑‑‑Pretty much, yes, yes - it's just called a transfer.


Okay.  You then say in (c) that you run reports in AutumnCare.  But are those reports pre-created and you're just asking the system to run the - sort of this report or that report, or are those reports built from scratch?‑‑‑No, they're already there.  It just picks up the information from AutumnCare and creates the report.


Can you give me an example of a report you've run?‑‑‑The evacuation summary report is probably the main one that we do in admin.


I take it that that report, as you've just said, is pre-created so when you say you run it, you will ask the system to get the data out of the system and then it prints itself out, does it?‑‑‑Yes, that's right, yes.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


You then say in (d) that playing a role in billing for residents by arranging bills - could you just help me; what did you mean by arranging bills?‑‑‑Okay - that's pretty much things like, you know, clothing - when a resident runs short of clothing, our facility manager has got a petty cash card.  One of the staff members will go out, buy what's needed for the resident and then once that's all done we receive the receipt, which we then pass away to our billing section who does the monthly billing for the resident and that receipt is added on to their account for the month.


Yes.  When you say, 'arranging the bill', you're providing the receipt from whoever made the purchase to your billing department?‑‑‑Yes, to go to our billing department to put on the monthly account.


Is your billing department - do you do that electronically, provide the receipt?‑‑‑The actual receipt itself is in paper form.


Right?‑‑‑It's a photocopy of the receipt, pretty much.


Okay, so you would photocopy it and, what, send it as a - - -?‑‑‑Then we scan it to our billing section, yes.


I mean, it is emailed to them?‑‑‑It's emailed, yes, yes.


Can I then take you to (e) and (f)?  You're talking in (e) and (f) about the roster.  You say in there, in the second sentence, 'I am then required to try to fill the issue by calling around to find a staff member who can come in, and updating the roster and diary.'  Is the roster itself – does it operate through roster software?‑‑‑It does, yes.


Do you know the name of that software?‑‑‑RosterOn.


I think later on in your statement there's a suggestion that somebody else does the main part of the roster.  Is that still the case?‑‑‑Somebody else is the main part of the roster?


Sorry.  Who actually sets up the rostering to begin with?‑‑‑I do that.


So you do all the rosters?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Does the roster software pre‑populate regular shifts to start with, or do you have to start from scratch every week?‑‑‑The way it works is that our permanent staff have got permanent shifts, and there's a section that runs behind that tells the roster system what our requirements are for every day.


Yes?‑‑‑And then when I start a roster, it goes from the permanent shifts that are actually given to permanent staff – it checks – it goes backwards and forwards between these requirements and the roster itself, the permanent shifts on the roster, and then it'll spit out a number of vacancies, depending on, you know, if the requirements say it needs, you know, three AINs in the morning, we've only got two on the permanent roster, it'll spit out a vacancy.


Yes?‑‑‑And then to fill those vacancies.


So the machine's brain has got a list of what you need and a list of what's available, and - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


- - - it's juggling that to get a list?‑‑‑Yes.


That then comes to you, but it can't always fill everything so there's going to be some vacancy and holds, is that - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct.  Yes.


How many holds does the machine normally give you?‑‑‑It depends on the amount of leave taken at any one time.  Sometimes - - -


(Indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑ - - - we have permanent vacancies quite regularly as well.


How many vacancies did you fill last week on the roster?‑‑‑As far as care staff are concerned, probably about 20.


And your process for that, as I understand it, is - I think you say you start ringing around, is that correct?‑‑‑Once I've filled any vacancies that I know people can do, depending on their availability or what they do regularly, as far as casual staff are concerned, I'll then start ringing around and seeing if someone can pick up a vacant shift.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Yes?‑‑‑Sometimes I'll even put a roster out that's still got vacancies on it, depending on the time constraints; I'll put out a roster that has still got some vacancies on it, because I just haven't been able to fill them while I'm processing the roster.  We do our rosters two weeks in advance, so that I've then got time to, you know, go back to the vacancies and see if I can again try and find people to fill the vacancies.


Can I just see if I've understood that?  So the machine does its first bit, and you get that.  I think what you've just indicated is that you have some prior knowledge of who might be available for some of the gaps.  You kind of roster them in, is that right?‑‑‑Yes.


You still might have some gaps after that, and you'll make a decision at that stage as to whether or not you start ringing around to see who can fill those gaps, or whether or not you leave them open and people will see they're open, and I suspect that they see them open and if they want them they come to you and say can I have that shift, do they?‑‑‑Yes, people don't actually see them open.  We've come up against problems in relation to that before, you know, people fighting about it, especially weekend shifts.  So we don't actually publish the vacancies.


I take it if you publish them, a lot of people might put you under pressure to say can I have that one rather than John having it or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, can I take that Sunday instead of, you know, doing my regular Wednesday or something, which creates another vacancy.


I take it that's because that's an overtime shift, is it, on a Sunday?‑‑‑It's double, double‑time, or time‑and‑three‑quarters I think it is on Sunday.


Then you say you update the diary.  Can you just help me with what the diary is?‑‑‑Okay.  The diary is just an aside to the roster.  We also put out a paper‑based roster, just so that the registered nurses have got something to look at overnight, you know, outside of hours.


So when you say, 'we put it out', are you saying you put it out or somebody else?‑‑‑I put it out, yes.


That's okay.  When you say you put out a paper‑based – is that you print it out and put it in the nurses station?‑‑‑Yes, it's pretty much straight from RosterOn.  It's just reconfigured a little bit to make it a bit easier to read, because RosterOn is not the easiest thing - - -

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


The RosterOn you can say just prints out the roster?‑‑‑Yes.


And RosterOn actually prints out a slightly re‑formatted paper‑based to what the (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑Yes, I re‑format it so it's a little bit easier to look at than what RosterOn will actually give you.


Okay?‑‑‑So that's just kept in a separate roster book.


Yes?‑‑‑And then the diary is a little bit of an aside to the actual paper‑based roster.  We don't get the registered nurses to make any changes on the actual printed roster.  Say, for example, someone rings in sick and the registered nurse rings around and someone picks up that shift that someone's rung in sick for, I'll then write that information in the diary, and then the next day the admin staff have a look at the diary, transfer it to the paper‑based roster, and then transfer it to the RosterOn program.


When you describe there 'the admin staff', who are they?‑‑‑There's two other girls in the office at the moment that just do one day a week; one day each – I do four days, one girl does one Wednesday of the fortnight, and the other girl does the other Wednesday.


Are they there just to support you in your job, or do they do something else?‑‑‑No, just to support me, on the Wednesdays.  On the Wednesdays they're there to support me.  They're also lifestyle and care staff otherwise.


Is there something particular about Wednesdays, something that happens on Wednesdays that requires extra support?  Is that the day you do your rosters?‑‑‑I don't work on Wednesdays.


Okay, so (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑Yes, they fill in for me on Wednesdays.  I don't work on Wednesdays.


When they fill in for you, do they just do a bit of your job or do they cover for everything?‑‑‑Pretty much cover for everything.  They don't have any experience in processing the roster.  They know how to enter the changes into the roster, but they don't know how to create a roster.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Can I take you back to the statement?  If I can take you back to 17(h), which is on page 4, you talk there about closing off the roster, and you say, 'This process is now undertaken using an online system from which I check things like shift swaps, mis‑shifts, overtime and clock‑on, clock‑off.'  Can you just explain to me what that online system is?  That sounds like a payroll function to me.  Am I getting that wrong?‑‑‑No.  It does eventually end up with payroll.  It's all through RosterOn.  It's still through RosterOn.  We make all the changes for the fortnight on a day‑to‑day basis, and then every second Monday I have to close off Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the actual Monday that I close the roster off.  That's just a typical day‑to‑day close‑off, and then after that's all done for the whole fortnight, every day's been closed off for the fortnight, I then have to look at whether or not anyone's worked any overtime and calculate the overtime, you know, make sure that they're not being paid overtime rather than their penalties on the weekend.


Yes?‑‑‑And then – the clock-on and clock-off times, we have fingerprint scanners that everyone scans their fingerprint when they arrive to work.


Is that a Kronos or a Time Target scanner?‑‑‑Similar sort of thing, yes.  I can't remember the name of the actual brand.  We just call it the time clock.  It's just a fingerprint scanner so that we know when people arrive at work and when they leave.  That - - -


That's how they clock on and clock off?‑‑‑Yes.  It's not a - it's not a paper based clock on system.  It's just a fingerprint scanner.  And then that - those scans can be accessed through RosterOn, and every day we have a look at those clock on and clock off to see - just to make sure that no one has clocked on that's not on the roster.


Yes?‑‑‑Or, you know, people that are on the roster haven't clocked on, that sort of thing.  And that's just the way that we make sure that the roster's correct.  That people who are on the roster have actually shown up for work, or people who aren't on the roster are put on the roster if they need to be.


Bear with me.  You fire up RosterOn and get it on your computer screen.  You'd have a list of people who are meant to be working today and you would check that against the roster to make sure that they're actually in the system?‑‑‑Yes, yes.  Using the clock on and clock off times.


I take it that the clock on and clock off system talks to RosterOn?‑‑‑Yes, yes, it does, yes.  There's a report that we run every day that we just tick off the clock on and clock off times to what the actual roster says.  If someone's arrived, you know, 15 minutes late we've got to dock them their 15 minutes, that sort of thing.  Or if they've clocked off early for some reason, or if they've clocked off late for some reason, we have to change their actual shift times.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Just bear with me.  So, let's say that you're in RosterOn, you're looking at the roster.  If I was meant to start at 6.30 this morning but the fingerprint thing says I started at 6.45, do you have to type in a manual adjustment for the lost - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay, that's what you - okay, I understand now, yes?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes.


And then I take it that once you've done that and you've closed it off, that's what then goes to payroll?‑‑‑Yes, that's every Monday.  After I've worked out all the overtime, I then lock the whole roster, the facility manager then does her little bit.  She actually locks the roster as well and then it goes to payroll to do the rest.


I'm just interested, is there some reason why you work out who's worked overtime rather than the payroll department?‑‑‑It's just the way it's always been.


Just the way it's always been?‑‑‑Well, I wouldn't say the way it's always been but it's just one of those things that's come back to the admin staff.


Okay?‑‑‑When we first started in RosterOn we used to just send it away to payroll without worrying about working out overtime but over time it's one of those things that have come back to the admin staff to have to do before it actually goes to payroll.


But is that because of your seniority in the business or they wanted somebody with your - - -?‑‑‑I wouldn't say that.  I think it's just one of those things that all the admin staff now do.


You say in (i) you, 'maintain my own list of email addresses'?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it, is that - is that an Excel list?‑‑‑No, it's just in Outlook.


That's in Outlook.  Then if I can take you to 18, you say:


On a typical day I perform all the following duties; providing formal notification to Southern Cross Care health office of the details of any residents who've changed beds, gone to hospital or passed away.


When you say formal notification, is that - is that with you emailing them or using some other software for that?‑‑‑We've got a form that we - a paper-based form that we fill out.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Yes?‑‑‑And then that just gets scanned and sent to the billing department.  They need to know for Medicare purposes.


You fill the form out?‑‑‑Yes, we fill the form out.


Sorry, by 'we'?‑‑‑The admin staff, yes.


That's fine?‑‑‑Depending on who's working on the day.


Yes, all right.  And then you scan it and you email it to the billing department?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


Yes.  In 18(f) you describe there you take deliveries.  Is that because you're at the front of the facility, if a delivery person turns up you're the first point of call for the delivery person?‑‑‑Yes, pretty much, yes.


What do you take delivery of?‑‑‑As far as the office is concerned it's more stationery orders that we have to check.  The medical supplies, things like that, is the maintenance man's duty to check to make sure the correct things have arrived.


Right?‑‑‑But we still take delivery of that thing, it just gets then passed onto the maintenance man.  It depends on who it's addressed to as well.  We can't open boxes that, like, are addressed to the facility manager, that sort of thing.  It's - - -




Go on.  No, you keep talking?‑‑‑As far as the admin staff are concerned it's actually receiving any orders and checking them, it's more to do with the stationery items.


So, if a delivery person turns up with medical stuff, I take it they come to the front desk, I imagine you'd have to sign to acknowledge receipt?‑‑‑Yes.


And then you would contact whoever is meant to get it and say this - these parcels are here for you?‑‑‑Yes, yes, that's correct.


Can I take you down to 19 if I could.  You say:

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


When an invoice from a supplier or a contractor is received at Marian, I'm required to mark it with the applicable code.


I take it each department in Marian's got a code for accounting purposes, has it?‑‑‑Yes.


Would you be able to give me an example of that?‑‑‑Okay.  These are all general ledger codes.


Yes?‑‑‑So, as far as Marian's concerned we're 1032.  Another facility might be 1035.  And then when we get an invoice - when we get an invoice - - -


Sorry, I just heard something going - hang on.  Did anybody else hear that strange thing?  No, okay.  Keep going.  I just heard a very strange noise?‑‑‑It was just a noise where I'm sitting.  It's just a noise where I'm sitting, sorry.


Okay.  It was like a child?‑‑‑That's okay, yes.  I'm in a park.


I wondered what it was.  That's okay, that's fine.  So, it's a general ledger code for your actual facility is it?‑‑‑Yes.  The actual facility number for our - for Marian is 1032.  Another facility might be 1035.  That's all part of a stamp that we have to put on invoices.


Yes?‑‑‑And then depending on what the item is that we're coding for, we've got a list of general ledger accounts.  So, it's pretty much a 12 digit number.  It'll start with 1032 and then whatever the item is, and then pretty much most of the time it's 0000 at the end of it, so there's a facility code 1032, item code whatever the item is and then 0000, and we - - -


Go on?‑‑‑So, we just stamp the invoices and put that - those codes on the invoices and then send them away to our accounts payable.  But we need to know what the items are to be able to code the invoice correctly.


So there's a general ledger code for the facility itself?‑‑‑Yes.


And then I take it there's a second code if it's stationery, medical supplies or something like that?‑‑‑Yes.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


You have a list of those codes and you make sure that the right code is placed on the invoice?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct.


If I can take you then to paragraph 20(a), you talk there about:


Providing documentation to accreditors and regulators as requested.


Can you start with - could you describe for me what the documentation is?‑‑‑The accreditors don't - well, in my experience anyway, the accreditors don't typically ask the admin staff a lot.  It's more to do with care.  So, when they have been in it's only to do with the roster and the number of staff that are rostered on any one day.


So, when you say 'providing documentation to accreditors and regulators', from your perspective they could say something like, 'Can we have the roster for last week'?‑‑‑Pretty much, yes.


I take it that you would file a roster on and print that roster out?‑‑‑Yes, we could either do that or we could provide them - that's why we keep the paper-based roster as well.  We would just put the paper-based roster in front of them.


Okay, so rather than filing that roster on and starting from scratch, you can just say, 'Here's the physical, paper-based roster from last week'?‑‑‑Yes.


I think your evidence is you hold on to those paper-based rosters?‑‑‑We do, yes, yes.


Is that because it's easier to give that to them if they come in?‑‑‑Yes, it is, yes, yes - it's easier for them to understand as well because rostering is not exactly the most readable application.


When you - how often do they come in and how often do you have to do that?‑‑‑We're actually expecting them any time now.  We haven't had them for three year now.


Okay, so - - -?‑‑‑Two years - three years, I think.  We're expecting them any time.


Do they normally come every three years for you?‑‑‑Yes.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Okay, so the clock's ticking?‑‑‑It is, yes, yes - we know that they're going around at the moment in the local area.


Okay, so you've been given advance warning from local friends?‑‑‑Yes, from other facilities, yes.  We are overdue.  We actually - we should have probably - I think it was September last year they were actually supposed to come but because of COVID everything's been delayed.


You say in (b) you take the minutes of various staff meetings, including meetings of nursing and care staff and lifestyle staff?‑‑‑Yes.


Just start with the staff meetings:  what staff meetings are you talking about there?‑‑‑We have a monthly staff meeting.  Then occasionally, especially during COVID, we had like several ad hoc sort of staff meetings as well that I took the minutes for.


Are the minutes - I don't want to sound rude but minute-taking is an interesting exercise.  You take verbatim minutes or are you taking sort of general notes as to what is discussed?‑‑‑General notes.


You also attend meetings of nursing and care staff.  How often are they held?‑‑‑They're all monthly.


They're all monthly - and is the lifestyle staff - they're involved in that monthly meeting as well?‑‑‑Yes, they are, yes.


You then say in (c) you update registers.  Are those registers held in Excel or what are they held in?‑‑‑Yes, most of them are held in Excel.


Go on?‑‑‑There's several of them.  We've even got one that's got staff birthdays on it.  You know, there's a key register.  There's just an alphabetical list of staff.  There's several of them.


Right, and what are they used - obviously I suspect the birthday one is used for wishing people a happy birthday.  But what are they generally used for?‑‑‑The staff - the key list is used when we get new staff in or staff leave.  It's just a way of allocating our facility keys and locker keys to staff.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


To let you know who's got what key?‑‑‑Yes, yes, and how much they've paid for them because they have to pay for their keys.  Our vehicle staff lists can be used for a whole lot of things; even ticking off the fact that people have signed meeting minutes or policies.  The facility manager will quite often ask for a list of staff for things like if there happen to be Christmas gifts given out, that sort of thing.


You then go on and talk about supervision and decision-making.  You say you report to the facility manager.  Who else reports to the facility manager?‑‑‑The deputy.


That is the deputy of the building manager?‑‑‑Deputy facility manager - pretty much all the other staff as well.  We've got two diversional therapists, the lifestyle staff, the cleaning staff - not so much the cooking staff because they're - they were outsourced but yes, the care staff.


The two admin staff who work on the Wednesdays, do they work for you or who do they report to?‑‑‑They report to the facility manager as well, although they do give me a handover the next day if it's needed but generally it's not.


In terms of your authority in the facility, do you have any limits or rules about what amounts of money or budget you can spend?‑‑‑No, that's not my area.


That's not your area, so if we were purchasing something, that expenditure decision is going to be made by somebody else?‑‑‑That would be made by the facility manager, who would probably have to run it by someone in head office.


Okay.  I appreciate that you indicate that you generally work without supervision.  What are the sorts of things you would take to the facility manager?‑‑‑Rostering problems - - -


Would that be where you're struggling to perhaps find somebody to fill a roster or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, if I know that there's a lot of vacancies still that need to be filled on a roster, I'll alert her ahead of time so that she knows, because sometimes she can be a bit more convincing than I am to get people to fill some shifts, sorry.


She can be persuasive, can she?‑‑‑She can be a lot more persuasive than what I can sometimes, yes.  It's pretty much - there's not a lot that I refer to the facility manager.  It's more to do with the roster.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Okay, that's okay.  Then at 25 you talk about training staff on the roster and other office processes.  Can we just start with who you're referring to there when you say you train people?‑‑‑They're the ones that do the Wednesday shifts.


Right - have they been there very long, the Wednesday shift people?‑‑‑No, it's been a bit of a revolving door as far as the Wednesday shift people are concerned.  The ones that I've currently got, one's only been there a couple of months.


Yes?‑‑‑The other one's only been there since November last year.


How long does it take you to get them up to speed?‑‑‑Depends on the employee - some of them pick it up quite quickly.  Some of them need a little bit more time.


I won't ask you how you're going with the two at the moment.  We'll leave that alone.  When you say you train them on the roster, that's - you train them on what you discussed with me this morning about how you use roster on and how you fill the roster?  Is that what you mean by train them on the roster?‑‑‑It's more the day-to-day tasks that have to be done on roster on, just the checking the clock-ons, the clock-offs; checking any differences that are in the roster, that sort of thing.  They are starting to learn how to create a roster but that's going very slowly at the moment.


Then you talk about other office processes.  By other office processes I take it you're talking about things you and I have discussed this morning other than rosters?‑‑‑Yes, yes, pretty much, yes - maintaining lists, greeting customers, answering phones, you know; giving staff keys, staff inquiries, all that sort of thing, yes.


You then talk in 26 about being grabbed by a resident.  Am I right to say that there were personal care workers in that area when that happened?‑‑‑Yes, there would have been, yes.


Did they come - did you need their assistance?‑‑‑No, no, I didn't - the resident eventually let go anyway.


I'm not trying to (indistinct) but were you under any concern for your personal safety or - - -?‑‑‑No, not - - -

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


Was it just off-putting?‑‑‑It was a bit off-putting but I wouldn't have said that I was worried about them breaking my wrist or anything like that.  It was just they grabbed it and I wasn't able to easily pull away, but they did eventually let go on their own.  But there have been cases of – only recently we had a case of not being able to leave the office area because one of the residents was behind the door throwing a chair around.  So, you know, we have a lot of incidents.


Where were you when that happened?‑‑‑I was in the office.


And were you safe?‑‑‑We were safe.  We were behind a door, but if you went out the door you wouldn't have been safe at all.


You wouldn't have done that?‑‑‑No.  Not with him throwing chairs around, no.


Who came to resolve that problem?‑‑‑One of the lifestyle staff is very good with the residents that way.  He eventually calmed him down.  It did take a little while, but one of the lifestyle staff did eventually calm him down.


So that was diffused and everybody was safe?‑‑‑Yes.


Could I ask you to go to the second statement?  Could I ask you to go to paragraph 16, if you could?‑‑‑Yes.


Same paragraph, 16:  '(Indistinct) the managers not to (indistinct) complaints; however, I still receive complaints, which I then forward.'  What do you mean by 'forward'?‑‑‑We've got a paper‑based complaint system.  There's a form that anyone can fill out, even staff can fill out, and I just check to see if there's any – we've got a box that you can your complaints in, or they can hand it directly to the office staff or the facility manager.  We've got a box that they can also just post it into if they want to remain anonymous that I check just to make sure that there's any – you know, if there's anything in there, and then I forward that on to the – I hand that over to the facility manager, or if something comes in via email as well, I'll also forward that to her.


Is that box at the reception, is it?‑‑‑It is, yes.


If I could then take you on to 25 and following?  You then talk about 'MyHub.'  You don't seem to be happy with 'MyHub.'  Can you tell me first of all what 'MyHub' is?‑‑‑It's a new HR system that has been implemented recently.


Could you help me out, what does the new HR system do?‑‑‑It contains everyone's details, like all the staff members' details.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


This will be my name, my job position, tax file number - - -?‑‑‑Yes, that sort of thing – your home address, your phone number.  It's pretty much a staff database.  There's not a lot of forms that staff can fill out, but there's things like pay queries; if any of their personal details change they can fill that out via MyHub rather than using a paper‑based system; they can check their pay slip.  That's pretty much as far as it goes for just regular staff members.  I know the facility manager's got a lot more access than what general staff do.


So the facility manager can access (indistinct), run metric reports and things like that, can they?‑‑‑I'm not real sure whether they can actually run reports, but I know that they – the facility manager uploads details of training that's been done, that sort of thing; their COVID - - -


What did MyHub replace?‑‑‑It was pretty much a paper‑based system.  There was a lot of forms that used to be filled out for anything that needed to be changed for staff details.  Yes, it was all – it pretty much replaces a paper‑based system.


I take it that the business is just trying to become more efficient?‑‑‑I assume so, yes.


I take it that, assuming MyHub works properly, employees can now access things digitally, whereas before they had to fill out forms?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes, pretty much, yes.


Is your criticism of MyHub that it's not working well or - - -?‑‑‑It seems to be working better now, but initially it created all sorts of dramas with payroll in particular, because a lot of the stuff that gets put into MyHub has to flow through to payroll, which then, as far as RosterOn is concerned, flows through to us as well.


Given that you've got an IT background, have you ever implemented a business system before that worked well straightaway?‑‑‑Having worked for the Commonwealth Bank, you don't implement anything without ironing out all the bugs, or most of the bugs.


They make $4 billion profit a year.  I'm sure they've got resources?‑‑‑Yes.  So everything is tested to nth degree as far as the Commonwealth Bank is concerned.  You know, problems that I would have thought should have been ironed out in MyHub should have been ironed out before it was actually presented to staff.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


But it's working its way out in terms of implementation now?‑‑‑It seems to be, yes.


In terms of your role, you actually use MyHub yourself?‑‑‑I don't use it a lot.  I'd use it for learning more than anything, or checking my pay slip.  I use it more for the learning side of things.  There's a side of it called MyHub Learning.  I don't have any more access to MyHub than what any other staff member does, apart from the facility manager.


So your personal interaction is as an employee, not as the administration function?‑‑‑Yes.  Pretty much, yes.


Your primary – putting aside Excel and things like that, your primary software is the RosterOn system?‑‑‑It is, yes.


I think you can't get your doorbell intercom to work, is that right?‑‑‑Yes, it has its moments.


What's it meant to do?‑‑‑It's only a temporary thing while we're in the renovation stage.


So because you've moved into temporary accommodation, you've got something rigged up for the doorbell, have you, and it's not working?‑‑‑It works sometimes.  Sometimes it doesn't.


By not working, do you mean the bell doesn't ring, or what do you mean?‑‑‑The bell rings all right.  It's whether or not the person ringing the bell can hear you.


Okay?‑‑‑It's like an intercom system.  Quite often the person on the outside can't hear what you're saying.


Are you optimistic when you finish the refurbishments you'll get that sorted out?‑‑‑Well, I'm hoping, because it quite often means that, you know, if you can't – if they can't understand what you're saying, you then have to, you know, get up from your desk, walk out to the front door and meet them that way, whereas if they could hear – although we have to do that anyway due to COVID; we do eventually have to get up off our seat and do the rapid testing, but in an ideal world with no COVID, we should be able to just see who they are, what they were there for, and then open the door automatically.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                          XXN MR WARD


So this is like somebody pressing the intercom saying, 'Hi, I'm Nigel, I'm delivering some supplies', and you then would then automatically open the door, would you?‑‑‑Yes.  There's a button that's supposed to open the door on the little screen that we've got in the office area.


At the moment occasionally you have to actually get up and physically open the door, do you?‑‑‑Yes, pretty much, because they can't hear what we're saying.


And you're not allowed to just let them in, I take it?‑‑‑No.  Absolutely not, no.


Ms Flegg, thank you very much for your evidence.  No further questions, Commissioner?‑‑‑Thank you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Any re-examination, Mr Gibian?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR GIBIAN                                               [10.28 AM]


MR GIBIAN:  Yes, just a few matters.  Ms Flegg, can you hear me again?‑‑‑Yes.


Just a couple of questions.  You were asked some questions about - and this is by reference to your first statement at paragraph 17(e) and (f), I think about the rostering arrangements, and you describe the operation of the RosterOn system.  I just want to ask, when was the RosterOn system introduced?‑‑‑Southern Cross Care bought out Marian Nursing Home from the Catholic Diocese in 2016.  We would have gone onto RosterOn in November 2017, I think it was.


You were then asked some questions about your role in filling in vacancies in the roster, and you were asked specifically about how many gaps there were last week, I think, and you said around 20.  Are you able to say whether that's a typical number or higher than/lower than normal?‑‑‑It's pretty much average.  Obviously over the Christmas time when more people are taking leave it would increase.


Was that affected by COVID over the period as well?‑‑‑Absolutely, yes.  We were working on a 12 hour shift roster during our lockdowns.


You were then asked about what steps you do to fill those gaps in the roster, and as I recall your evidence it was that firstly you fill in some based upon what you know people can do, and then start calling around.  How do you know what people can - people can do?‑‑‑When they first start we add them to our phone list, and next to their phone number we'll just put around about what they say they're available for.  A lot of people have second and third jobs so they can only be available on certain days.  So, when they first start we'll just put to the side of their phone number what they say they're available for.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                        RXN MR GIBIAN


All right.  And are those - - -?‑‑‑And then we refer to that when we're filling - - -


Sorry?‑‑‑We refer to that list when we're filling the vacancies.


There, are you referring to casual staff or to permanent staff as well?‑‑‑Casual staff mainly.


Yes.  With the permanent staff, are they full-time staff or are they mainly part-time?‑‑‑They're mainly part-time.


When you are calling around at least, are you also asking - contacting part-timers to see whether they can - - -?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Wish to work additional shifts?‑‑‑Yes, yes.  When we run out of casuals we'll then start looking at the permanents.


You were then asked some questions, and this was by reference to paragraph 17(h) of your first statement, about closing off the rosters and you described how you would check the fingerprint entries against the roster to ascertain that people had actually attended at the appropriate times on the roster.  What do you do if there are any discrepancies discovered in that process?  That is, in the event that someone hasn't attended or someone's attended who wasn't rostered on?‑‑‑Sometimes I have to check with the registered nurse that was on duty to make sure - say someone hasn't clocked on, I'd have to check with the registered nurse to see whether they actually did come to work, which would, you know, mean often that I have to ring them to see if that staff member actually came to work.  If I find that someone's clocked off late, for example, I generally just check the diary to see if anything's been written in there, or ask the facility  manager because the facility manager's the only person that can actually authorise a person working late for some reason, or coming in late for some reason.  Or if someone - - -


I understand?‑‑‑Yes.  So, it's generally just check the diary that we keep records in or checking with the facility manager or checking with the registered nurse on duty.


You then indicated that that information is sent to payroll.  Is that Southern Cross Care payroll that is across the whole of their organisations, rather than specific to the Marian Nursing Home?‑‑‑No, it's across the board.

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                        RXN MR GIBIAN


Then you were asked some questions, and this was by reference to - I think to paragraph 20(c) in your first statement about registers, and one example you referred to was maintain a register of keys.  And I think you said because staff have to pay for the keys.  What keys do staff have to pay for?‑‑‑Okay.  When someone starts work at Marian, we give them - we've got two keys that are needed, one to access the facility, one for external keys, like the external door and then there's a number of locked internal doors as well.  So we also give them one of them.  And they generally also receive a locker key and a resident wardrobe key if they're care staff.


Sorry, what do they have to pay for?‑‑‑Okay.  The external key, the internal key and a locker key.


You were then asked some questions about how you're supervised and you're reporting to the facility manager.  At paragraph 21 of your first statement you describe how there used to be an office manager position who you reported to.  When did that position cease?‑‑‑That would have been July 2017.


Was there any change to your pay at that time?‑‑‑No.


Yes, thank you.  That's the re-examination.  Thank you very much, Ms Flegg.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms Flegg, thank you very much for your evidence this morning.  You're now excused and free to go?‑‑‑Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [10.35 AM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Right.  I think we've got Mr Doherty next.


MS DOUST:  Yes, Commissioner, before - it's Ms Doust.  Before we start with Mr Doherty, can I just indicate we've got some limitations this morning with our witnesses being that Ms Evans who was scheduled to be called at 11, really only has the window between 11 and 11.45 to give her evidence.  So I just wonder whether I can get an indication as to how long Mr Doherty is expected for cross-examination.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Mr Ward, can you answer that?

***        LYNETTE FLEGG                                                                                                                        RXN MR GIBIAN


MR WARD:  I'll do my best to answer that.  I do actually think Mr Doherty is going to be around the half hour mark but I expected the witness this morning was going to go longer because we simply haven't had many administration witnesses.  So, I'm reasonably optimistic for half an hour.  I'm quite happy though if we start with Mr Doherty and we don't finish him, I'm happy to jump to the other witness.  Ms Rafter's doing that witness anyway, but I should be half an hour.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  And an indication of how long Ms Rafter would be with Ms Evans.


MR WARD:  I'll just ask if it be known.  I think at least half an hour.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Okay, so if we start with Mr Doherty but stop at 11 and have Ms Evans right on 11 am.


MR WARD:  That's fine.


MS DOUST:  Yes, Commissioner.  We'll then perhaps move Ms Payton back until after that period.  She was the witness scheduled to go between.




MS DOUST:  All right.  I think Mr Doherty is trying to connect as we speak, Commissioner, so we'll proceed to him.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Mr Doherty, an you hear me all right?


MR DOHERTY:  I can.  Can you hear me okay?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I can.  We have just had a discussion which - the upshot of which is that with your evidence we may need or we are going to need to take a break from your evidence just on 11 am, to deal with another witness and so we will have you back after that witness, which will be probably around 11.45, all right?  So, just to give you the heads up on that.  My Associate's now just going to have you take the affirmation.




THE ASSOCIATE:  Mr Doherty, can you please state your full name and work address?


MR DOHERTY:  Yes, it's Peter John Doherty, St Andrews Community Care, 59 Benedict Street, Ballina, New South Wales.

<PETER DOHERTY, AFFIRMED                                                     [10.38 AM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS DOUST                                   [10.38 AM]




MS DOUST:  Yes.  Thank you.  Is your name Peter - you pronounce it Doherty?‑‑‑It's Doherty, is the Irish pronunciation, but it's normally pronounced in Australia as Doherty so I accept either or.


All right.  Are you employed as a coordinator by St Andrews Community Care at Ballina?‑‑‑I am indeed, yes.


Have you prepared a statement for the purpose of the proceeding before the Commission, which is dated 28 October 2021?‑‑‑I have.


Can I just take you briefly through that statement, just to update a couple of matters:  at paragraph 2 you say you've worked in your position for four years.  Has that now clocked over to five years?‑‑‑It has indeed, yes.


Am I right in understanding - and this is at paragraph 18 of your statement - that your workplace is about to move from the current location?‑‑‑It is indeed - it's been now delayed due to the removalist getting COVID.


Right?‑‑‑(Indistinct reply)


But you're moving off to another location, are you?‑‑‑We are, yes, yes.  If all goes according to plan we'll be there next week-ish, yes.


Just as to paragraph 34, you address the cohort of staff in your facility, if you have that - that's at the bottom of page 5 of your statement?‑‑‑Yes.


Has that cohort of staffing changed now?  Are there some changes to those numbers there?‑‑‑Yes, we've got an additional home care package coordinator, yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                         XN MS DOUST


All right, okay?‑‑‑Since the statement was made, yes.


At paragraph 142, you refer to the number of coordinators dealing with the staff.  Has that now changed?‑‑‑Yes, we know have - yes, it's three, but it's probably equivalent to two-and-a-half because one of them is part-time, yes.


Right, I see.  All right, now, subject to those changes to update the position, is your statement true and correct to the best of your belief and knowledge?‑‑‑It is indeed.


I read that, Commissioner.  That's document 196 in the digital court book, page 10990.  There's just one supplementary matter, if I might, Commissioner.  Mr Doherty, just in relation to raising carers to fill shifts at the moment, has there been anything - - -


MR WARD:  I object.  I object.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  How is that part necessary, given it's a comprehensive witness statement?


MS DOUST:  It's just something that's arisen recently, Commissioner, since the time the witness statement was prepared.


MR WARD:  I'm sure Ms Doust will find some clever way to get that into re-examination.


MS DOUST:  It's just one question, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  What's the question?


MS DOUST:  It's just - as I apprehend it Mr Doherty can give some evidence about the impact of recent raises of petrol prices on the capacity of carers to take on shifts and that's impacting on the difficulty of doing his job.


MR WARD:  I object to that - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                         XN MS DOUST


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Well, it's just an entirely - it's a new matter, new evidence.  It may or may not arise in re-examination but it's not appropriate to start allowing new evidence on new matters.


MS DOUST:  If it please the Commission.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Mr Ward.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                         [10.42 AM]


MR WARD:  Thank you.  Mr Doherty, is that the correct pronunciation?‑‑‑Yes, pretty good - you get 10 out of 10 for that.


About the only thing I'm going to get 10 out of 10 for in this case, sir.  Don't you worry?‑‑‑Possibly.


Mr Doherty, my name is Nigel Ward.  I appear in this matter for the employer interests.  Thank you for coming today.  Do you have your statement in front of you?‑‑‑I do indeed, yes.


I wonder if I could get you to start with page 6, all the way down to paragraph 41, if I could?‑‑‑Yes, I've got it, yes - 41.


Thank you.  You talk there about a home care package coordinator?‑‑‑Yes.


If you look up the top of the page, there is not a reference when you describe who is on the team for a home care package coordinator.  Is that the person you've just been talking about?  How many home care package coordinators do you have?‑‑‑Well, we have one consultant now and one coordinator.


Right, and I take it when you say one consultant that's like a contractor, is it?‑‑‑No, I suppose what the consultant is - I suppose the senior person and the coordinator I would - yes, she's recently come on so she's learning the ways, I'd say the more junior.


Okay, that's fine?‑‑‑Yes.


Are those two home care package coordinators in addition to the three coordinators that you've described in paragraph 34?‑‑‑Yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Sorry, just if we could, could you tell me what the role of the home care package coordinators is?‑‑‑Well, I'll go coordinator/consultant to - - -


Yes, if you could, that would - yes?‑‑‑Basically, well, to bring in new business, new home care package clients - obviously it's an ever-expanding part of the business and probably the biggest-growing part of the business so they go out, they - we'll get an inquiry, we take the initial inquiry, we'll sort of triage it and they will then go and visit the clients and do an assessment, gather what their needs are, you know?


Yes?‑‑‑It could be just simple, from domestic assistance to they need full care and so they'll do the assessment and obviously explain how home care packages work and the funding and, yes, those type of things.  They will then obviously, if the client agrees to sign up with us, they'll bring them back to the office and care plans are written up to give direction as to the type of care that they should deliver and yes, it will then be handed to us as roster coordinators to try and fit them into the roster, which is again an ever-increasing hard thing to do - - -


I'll come on to that?‑‑‑Okay, all right.


If we could just for a moment, if you just stick on the home care package coordination - if I rang you up tomorrow and said, 'Look, I'm in need of some assistance at home', you might personally take that call, I assume?‑‑‑Yes, we're the front line.  As well as doing rostering we are taking - I suppose like a mini call centre.


Yes?‑‑‑So we will do the initial triage of the conversation:  'Whereabouts do you live, is it an area that we service', and go through all the basic and find out what their particular - well, we have to find out what funding they've got.  Is it something - you know, there is some funding that we don't cater for.


When I ring you to begin with do you fill out a form for me or do you just write the details down and email them to the home care package coordinator?‑‑‑Yes, basically we've got a form that we fill out and we email it to those guys and explain - they've already got a package with another provider, they want to come to us or, yes, they'll explain. So we do that initial triage, obviously (1) to make sure it's something that we can actually deliver on and then it goes to the next stage that they would actually then make the phone call and generally they would go and meet them in the home and do that first initial assessment.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


And only answer questions if you have knowledge of it:  when they go and do the assessment, I take it that they're reviewing the funding that they've got access to, to make sure that's correct?  They're doing that?‑‑‑Sure, yes - they would discuss how the funding works and, you know - because obviously some clients have a contribution that they need to put in as well, depending on the assets and so, yes, that's probably - that's where it gets a bit - - -


Complicated for them?‑‑‑Yes.


They would also be trying to understand what actual care or support that person is looking for?‑‑‑Sure and also is - say the funding they've got, they've got a lower-level home care package.


Yes?‑‑‑It is enough to do what their needs are and then they may need to organise a re-assessment with the aged-care assessment team to say, 'Look, they're only on level 1 but they clearly need, you know, a level 4, which obviously again there's a huge demand and wait to get the packages that the actual client needs.


So, I could be sitting down saying look, I need six hours of support a day.  They might say to me your current funding only gives you three?‑‑‑Yes.


And they will then see if they can help me get my funding changed, with they?‑‑‑Yes, they'll be re-assessed by the aged care assessment team.


Who are the aged care assessment team?‑‑‑So, that's a federally funded body, who oversee the - I suppose, yes, the home care package sort of things.


It's the actual government side (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


You're not talking a team inside your business?‑‑‑No, no, no.  So, no, this is - yes, so this is where you'd have to go - if you want your package reassessed you have to go back to the - yes, aged care assessment team because they're the ones that have the power to up you to the, you know, level 4 which is - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Next level?‑‑‑Yes, the next level and - yes.  But obviously sometimes, you know, what they need and what they get are two very different things.  As I said, I have personal experience from my mum who was assessed as a level 4 but spent a lot of her time on level 1, and needed more care but - yes.  But there are other ways round it.  I mean sometimes people have to pay for stuff privately and - yes.  But also, you know, the biggest thing around is do you have care workers able to do the jobs, which is the biggest problem we currently have.


So, you also talk then about the care plan.  Is it the home care package coordinator who prepares the initial care plan, or is that your registered nurse?‑‑‑Look, that could become a bit of both.  The initial assessment would be look at the basic needs, you know, like, you know, they need personal care, they need, you know, assessment of that.  They need someone to look to see is there modifications that need to be in the home.  It would then - like, obviously if there's clinical needs that need to be assessed, an RN would go and do an initial assessment and, yes, ascertain whether RN visits are needed under a package.  But obviously is there money in there to fund what is needed, so yes.


You just talked then about making modifications to the home.  Am I right in saying that before you let one of your employees start caring or providing support to them, do you do a risk assessment of the home?‑‑‑The initial - yes, when the consultant would go there, yes, there'd be a risk assessment done, yes.


That's the home care package coordinator does the risk assessment?‑‑‑Yes.  If it's a home care package.


Right.  Well, help me out.  Who does it if it's not?‑‑‑Okay.  There are - well, the RN may be - if she - again, because we do stuff for the DVA as well, so if it's DVA it would be an initial assessment by us and sometimes it's us doing it over the phone as well.  Or we've actually sent - when the care worker goes in there they'll ask the initial questions going in there.  So, the care worker has - the care workers have certainly done risk assessments as well, and sometimes it is someone from our office that goes out and - - -


Could you personally do one?‑‑‑I could personally do one, yes, yes.


What are the sort of things you're looking for when you're doing the risk assessment?‑‑‑Obviously from your basic health and safety, slips, trips, falls again up to the - I suppose the more clinical needs are required.  You know, so like say if, you know, if hoists were - need to be done or modifications, you know, where - if ramps needed to be put into the home, you know (indistinct) - - -


Where's the - - -


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Mr Ward, sorry.  Sorry to interrupt.  The transcribers are having a little difficulty hearing you clearly, Mr Ward'.  So, if you could just stay close to the microphone.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


MR WARD:  Do I sound better now?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  You're actually - - -


MR WARD:  Sorry, that was a stupid question, do I sound better.  Am I easier to hear now?  No?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Sorry, just speak again?


MR WARD:  Am I - can you hear me now?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, that seems better.


MR WARD:  It might have been my fault, Commissioner, I think I just put the folder - the witness folder - - -


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, that's much better.


MR WARD:  I think I just put the witness folder over the microphone.  That's my error, sorry.  Are we back on?




MR WARD:  So, when a risk assessment's done, who does it go back to, to action?‑‑‑Well, it'll come on - well back to the office to be obviously - to be registered and obviously anything that, you know, that needs to be dealt with.


Back to the office means you or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, yes, or go probably to the admin person first to initially sort of log it onto the system and yes, and obviously if there's anything particular we need to let the staff know, you know.  Maybe there's a dog there that bites, you know, everything - so we would modify and put stuff on, you know, be aware of the dog or you know, or any of the, you know, stuff around.  You know, okay, there's 10 steps up there and all them kind of things that would obviously make it easier for the care worker to do the job.  You know, everything from, you know, it's like hey, they're in the granny flat, not in the main house.  The access to this is,  you know, this or you know, or the road up there is a difficult road to get up to.  So any information that is, you know, to make the job easier for the care worker to deliver care we would then put on the system to say yes, which they would then access via their phones when they're doing the job, yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


And if the initial assessment said there needed to be, say, a ramp put in, who organises that?‑‑‑So, it would be - again, the home care package coordinator would liaise with them. I mean obviously they often get - they would sometimes give it to OTs to actually do the assessment as well.


Bear with me.  Where would the OT come from?‑‑‑So, they would source - they would be an external body or whoever does, yes, we then employ an OT to go and do that assessment and go okay, you know, that's all the - look at,  you know, the level of the bed.  Is the bed at the right level, is - you know, is the bathroom. I mean sometimes the bathrooms are just, you know, too small to do things, so you have to then work out how a care worker and the client will all fit into that bathroom, you know, do we need  any modifications.  Yes, so they would then often go - I mean some of the things are obviously obvious but sometimes yes, the OT would go in there, okay, we need a ramp in there going to the bathroom.  They would then outsource to the OT to there and to that other assessment, and from there a company would be employed to do the modifications.


What might be a low level modification that would arise?‑‑‑Look, I'd say probably ramps and stuff for the - yes, would be the low level stuff that would go.  And then, you know, things like safety - you know, is there a mat on the floor that stops the - you know, either in the shower, rails in the actual shower itself, you know, something that they can grab onto, you know.  And again it depends on the client's mobility as to whether, you know, what level of care.  I mean personal care can be anything from a - a standby shower, what they call.  Someone's just there to make sure they're okay to someone fully immersed in the process of showering a client.


At the other end, what might be a fairly dramatic modification to a premise?‑‑‑Some kind of renovation to a bathroom might be required or, yes.


Just help me, give me an example of what might be renovated?‑‑‑What you might - again, well, making - is there any way of making it bigger to fit - if you need to people inside the shower space, something like that.  You might need to try and ascertain what possibly could be - accommodate things, or is like - is this bathroom, you know, is it generally unsafe and we need to - you know, to look at definitely ways and means of making it as safe as possible.


Could it be the case that you make a decision that the home simply isn't safe and you won't take a client on?‑‑‑Potentially, yes, yes.  That could certainly - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Are you aware of you doing that before or - - -?‑‑‑Well, obviously I've never made that decision but I am aware of decisions.  Sometimes it's a case of - well, often or something - sometimes we don't have the staff available.  Like, someone might need two people to assist.


Yes?‑‑‑And at the - you know, that's the only way they can do it and because of our rostering constraints and we can't get people into the industry, yes, we would decline people.  Or there are issues around, I suppose, their - if you've got severe dementia as well, you know, is it safe for our care workers to go in there and provide the services.


Would those sorts of decisions be escalated up to the Director of Community Care?‑‑‑Sure, yes.  Indeed, yes.


Is the director of community care – I think you've said that person's a registered nurse as well, haven't you?‑‑‑Correct, yes.  Yes.


Do they – I don't know how to say this without sounding rude – do they do nursing work as well?‑‑‑Yes.  Again, because, you know, we're not – you know, we're short‑staffed, sometimes if the RN is off, yes, the director of community care will be out there attending to wound care, and yes, it's all hands to the pump, you know.


Commissioner, is that a convenient place for me to stop?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  It is.  Mr Doherty, as we foreshadowed, we're going to have to interrupt your evidence, ask you to leave this call.  The HSU will contact you about re‑joining, but I estimate that will probably be around 11.45, and you remain under affirmation, so you can't discuss your evidence with anybody in between times?‑‑‑Sure.  I've just got to let my employer know that obviously I've been rescheduled.


MR WARD:  You'll have to work on the roster?‑‑‑Yes, actually that's what I was doing just before I came on.  I was busy doing the roster.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you, Mr Doherty?‑‑‑Okay.  Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [10.59 AM]


MS DOUST:  Commissioner, Ms Evans is just dialling in.  We don't have capacity to get her to connect by video unfortunately.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Do we have Ms Evans?


MS DOUST:  I gather she's trying to call through, Commissioner.  We've got someone I think who has been on the line trying to talk her through the process, so I expect shortly.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms Evans, can you hear me?




COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  You can hear me?  All right.  We understand you have some time constraints.  My associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Evans, can you please state your full name and work address?


MS EVANS:  My full name is Catherine Evans.  My work address is Regis North, Tasmania.

<CATHERINE EVANS, AFFIRMED                                                 [11.05 AM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS DOUST                                   [11.05 AM]




MS DOUST:  Thank you.  Ms Evans, is your name Catherine Evans?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


Are you employed as a home service worker by Regis Home Care?‑‑‑Yes, I am.


Have you prepared two statements for the purpose of the proceeding before the Commission?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Is the first one dated 26 October 2021?‑‑‑Yes.


And just for the record, Commissioner, that's document 205 at page 11,413 of the digital court book.  Ms Evans, did you prepare a reply witness statement dated 20 April 2022?‑‑‑Yes, I did.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                      XN MS DOUST


And again for the record, Commissioner, that's document 206 at page 11,441 of the digital court book.  Ms Evans, are both those statements true and correct to the best of your belief and knowledge?‑‑‑Yes, they are.


I read them, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Ms Rafter.  Ms Evans, Ms Rafter is just going to ask you some questions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS RAFTER                                      [11.06 AM]


MS RAFTER:  Hi, Ms Evans.  My name is Alana Rafter.  I appear for the employer interests in these proceedings?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


I'm just going to start off by making sure I have a correct picture of your experience in aged care before turning through your statement.  I understand you've worked in the aged care sector for over 11 years?‑‑‑On and off.


In 2010 you completed a Certificate III in Home and Community Care, and a Certificate III in Aged Care Work?‑‑‑Yes.


Then after completing those certificates, you commenced work as a home care worker in Mildura Council with Mildura Council?‑‑‑That was in 2011.  Prior to that I had worked with two companies in Tasmania.


And then in 2012 you worked with Bupa Aged Care as a home care worker?‑‑‑That should have been down as 2013.


2013, thank you.  In 2015 you worked as a personal care worker with Murray House?‑‑‑Yes, I did.


2016, after a brief period away you returned as a home care worker with Regis?‑‑‑Yes, I did.


The position started off being referred to as a 'personal care attendant' at the start in 2016?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


And then later in I think – I think you say around 2019, it became a 'home service worker', the title?‑‑‑Yes.


Thank you for that.  I also understand you completed some two online courses through the University of Tasmania?‑‑‑Yes, I did.


That was in 2018?‑‑‑Yes.


One concerned understanding dementia and my understanding that is a seven-week online course?‑‑‑It was about that, yes.


And you did that - is it my understanding that you would do a couple - a few hours each week or was it self-driven - you got to decide how many hours?‑‑‑The online course with the University of Tasmania was my own doing.  It wasn't funded or suggested by Regis.  I did that of my own undertaking.  So it was just self-governed.


And how many hours - just so I can get a (indistinct) of the course, I understand you chose to do it of your own initiative.  How much time would you spend each week, for, say, the understanding dementia course?‑‑‑I probably only spent maybe an hour a day doing it due to work commitments and personal commitments and because I wasn't rushed to do it for work specifically.  I did just take my time.


Excellent, thank you for that.  I take it it was similar for the preventing dementia but I believe that course is a bit - that's a shorter online course?‑‑‑Yes.


Around four weeks - and that was supplementary to your work, thank you for that.  Then at - if we now turn to Regis, they require you to do some online modules through an online portal?‑‑‑Yes, they do.


If I can take you to paragraph 18 of your statement - your first statement, I should say - I can hear you turning the pages.  Just let me know when you're there?‑‑‑Working in a car as an office is not brilliant.


Hopefully you're not driving in the car at the moment, just - - -?‑‑‑No, I'm seated, yes.


Excellent, so at paragraph 18 you refer to when you first start at Regis that you do a fairly intense load of modules in the first 12 months?‑‑‑Roughly, yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Could you elaborate a bit on that?  Are you required to almost catch up - so do five or 10 modules within a short period of time or could you elaborate what you mean by, 'intense load'?‑‑‑Within the first 12 months of starting with Regis, they send you modules via the online portal to do, to make you competent to Regis standards.  Some of them are for personal development.  Some are a set requirement.  I mean, it's random as to when they come within the first 12 months of being with Regis so you sort of just - when it comes up in your emails that you've got lessons to do and you've got X amount of time to do it, yes, you just get in and do it as much as possible.


Then I note on paragraph 19 - so after that first year where you're doing modules in more of an intense fashion, they become a bit more routine, just every six months you're prompted to do a few modules?‑‑‑Every so often - it's just to keep our accreditation up to standard.


I understand there are some mandatory and some optional modules.  How many mandatory modules would you be completing each year?‑‑‑WE would be doing maybe about eight that are mandatory.


With these - with those eight mandatory ones, do they vary in length?  Are some maybe 30 minutes, some 60 minutes or longer?‑‑‑It does vary, yes, anywhere from half an hour to an hour, I would say.


My understanding is that at the - as you say in your statement, that usually consists of a video that you have to watch as part of that module?‑‑‑Some do, yes.


Some don't - and you're usually required to - usually at the end of the module you'll get asked some questions to test your understanding of that module?‑‑‑Yes.


Then once you complete it a notification will be sent back on the online portal, saying - telling Regis you've completed that module?‑‑‑Yes.


Thanks for that.  I now want to take you to paragraph 21 of your statement, first statement?‑‑‑Yes.


There you refer to specific training that you understood in 2019 about distributing medication safely?‑‑‑Yes.


I understand this is internal training provided by Regis, as you state there?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Was this training lead by a registered nurse?‑‑‑Yes, it was, and it still is when you have to redo it every 12 months.


My understanding is it includes a theory component and a practical component?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


Is that the same for the refresher course - the refresher that occurs every 12 months as well?‑‑‑I'm not sure on that.  I can't remember what we've done over the last couple of years.  But I think it pretty much well is.


Thank you, and is the theory component approximately a 30-minute session with the registered nurse where she walks you through the procedure?‑‑‑Generally our registered nurse gives us the theory component and he allows us about 30 minutes to do it.  He doesn't walk us through it.


Okay, so you're provided the material and you're to study that material?‑‑‑Yes, in office.


Then for the practical component, is that when the registered nurse will then watch you act out - effectively do the steps you've studied to make sure you - assess you doing it correctly?‑‑‑Yes, he would.


Thank you for that.  I'll now take you to - so I'm going to take you through one of your longer paragraphs.  It's paragraph 38 but I'll take you to some specific subparagraphs.  So paragraph starts on page 4?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


If I could take you to paragraph sub (b) first?‑‑‑Yes.


So there you refer to the Regis policy where if a client requires a sling lifter, two care workers, two home care workers are required to be - to assist with that task?‑‑‑Yes.


So is it the case that if a - that would be managed by the rostering team, I take it?  They would ensure that if a sling lifter is required for care, that two persons would be rostered on?‑‑‑Yes.  I mean, it doesn't always happen, but yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


If it doesn't happen - if you are attending to a client and you know - you attend and you see that you need to use a sling lifter - would you call the office or the case manager or what would you do in that situation?‑‑‑Depending on the client, because we did have one client who was also cared for by his wife, and she was quite capable of assisting a sole carer with the lifter, but if we knew that it was a two-person lift and there was nobody else to help, we would have to wait until there was another carer found to come and help us.


I take it that's very much in line with the safety procedure at Regis?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


Thank you for that.  Now, I'd like to take you to paragraph (f) - so same page, just about the halfway point?‑‑‑Yes.


There you're talking about a client who - where Regis is only taking care of the shower part of the care, so I understand the other aspects of care are handled by another company?‑‑‑Most of it is actually done by his wife.


Yes?‑‑‑But he was brokered to Regis for the showers.


In that instance you say that if you discovered a skin tear or a bruise while showering you would let the wife know and know that she knows what are the next steps to do in that respect but you would also as a step report it back to office as well, to the case manager?‑‑‑That's right.


If we take that same scenario but it's to a client where it's Regis's client and the care plan, Regis does all of the services, so there is no separate company or person delivering the care, would it be correct that you would still report it back to office or in that instance, if you discover a skin tear, would you be making contact with the registered nurse or intervening in a different way?‑‑‑We would be contacting the - our RN at the office as soon as we spotted it.  It's company policy.


Would you be taking a photograph of the tear or bruise and sending it to the RN or just talking it through over the phone?‑‑‑No, we would take photographs to send through.


And then the RN would let you know what to do next?‑‑‑No, we're not allowed to do wound care on our clients, so the RN would then come out to see the client concerned.


I take it with that entire exchange you would then write it as progress notes?‑‑‑Yes, we would.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


And these progress notes, are they in the care book that's situated at the client's house?‑‑‑Mildura doesn't actually have care books anymore for their clients.  Tasmania do, and a lot of my experiences are based on Mildura, so with no care books currently being in place due to being given mobile phones for our services, we can't make note at the moment, from what I know of, on the phones regarding skin tears and medication incidents and things like that.  We just have to call the office.


So Mildura has moved away from the paper care book; you're using the phone to – and you're not making electronic notes on the phone, you're simply calling the office and telling them, and I take it they'll then be recording a note on their end?‑‑‑I hope so, yes.


I'll now take you over the page to paragraph (i), (j) and (k), those letters there?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


Here you're talking about a client that you have, or had, that Alzheimer's?‑‑‑Yes.


And you note that he's physically – is quite mobile?‑‑‑Yes, he is.


Would those two features be noted in the care plan?‑‑‑Not always.  Generally a care plan just outlines what we're there to do for that client.  It would be in his – if he had a folder previously – it should be in the folder somewhere, his health and living conditions, but we don't always have it written on there that Mr A has dementia.  It's just noted as dementia and other possible co‑morbidities.  We're not always told that they have any health problems or anything like that.


When you refer to a folder, is that again the care book?  Was that the same (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


Just making sure I'm staying with you on that.  And then you refer to some skills in paragraph (j) where you recognised he had diminished cognitive capacity.  You state he required prompting and you had to use a combination of verbal and physical prompts?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


Were those skills – would that be drawing from your training you completed via the Certificate III?‑‑‑No.


So where do you draw upon those skills from?‑‑‑Looking after my Nan.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


So it's from your personal experience then, I take it, for you?‑‑‑Yes.


I'll now take you to paragraph (t) of that.  It's on the next page.  Here you're talking about an appointment where there's a medication prompt?‑‑‑Yes.


So I just wanted to walk through the steps to make sure I have a correct picture again of what happens, and I'll be referring to (t) primarily.  First you would unlock the medication safe?‑‑‑Yes.


And you'd take out the blister packets?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it there's a medication chart there as well?‑‑‑There wasn't for that client.


Just to walk me through it, how would you determine that you're dispensing the right medication for that client?‑‑‑Well, most Webster‑paks have the medication written on the back of them, along with the client's name.  In that scenario, if there is no med chart to go by, we are to count up how many tablets are to be taken for the day in that sector and tick them off on the little sticker on the back that we know that that tablet is in that pack, and we ask the client if they are Mr or Mrs so‑and‑so, and they obviously say yes.  I dispense the medication then into a small cup and give it to the client, and watch the client ingest it.


That process that you just completed setting out for me, is that the same process that the RN required you to study and test your competency in back in 2019?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, if we then go to you, you refer to 'noting it down in the care book.'  I note you now say that Mildura's moved away from the care books now?‑‑‑Well, they had done prior to me leaving Mildura and transferring to Tasmania.  Very few of the staff were noting in care plans, even though the folders were still in the homes.


Okay?‑‑‑So I'm not sure what they are doing as of yet, but here in Tasmania they still do use the folders with the care plans in it.  But my work here is different to what I've done in Mildura.


I'm happy for you to focus on the Mildura for this sense, because I appreciate I'm taking you to examples from your time in Mildura, to that time?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


So in the Mildura instance, I note that if you're not making a note of the medication in the care book, you're checking it off the blister pack itself, is that right?‑‑‑Yes, and we tick it off on the phone app that we have done a medication prompt.


So it's documented a bit differently?‑‑‑Yes.


So you can document it on the blister pack and also the phone app?‑‑‑Yes.


So that means if a care worker is then, say, filling in for you on the next shift, they'll be able to see the blister pack?‑‑‑They should be able to, yes.


Will they have access to your note that you put in the phone app?‑‑‑No.


Does that only go to head office?‑‑‑That I know of, I think so.


I won't make you guess where it's going, but I understand you put it in the phone app and you hope it's going to where it needs to go to?‑‑‑Yes.


Now I want to take you to subparagraph (u), and you talk about an instance where there was a medication chart and it hadn't been filled in the previous time?‑‑‑Yes.


And you refer to ringing up the office to speak to the case manager to inform them that you suspect the medication had been missed?‑‑‑Yes.


Would you be doing that immediately upon discovering it, or would it occur at the end of the shift?‑‑‑No, as soon as I discovered it.


If I could take you some pages forward now.  We're going to subparagraph (bb) on page 9?‑‑‑Yes.


Here you refer to how you may be going to a client's house to perform a medication check, or a medication welfare check?‑‑‑Yes.


But at the same time you may be doing other services as well, such as doing dishes or putting clothes on the line, tasks like that?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Are those requests coming from the family sometimes?‑‑‑Sometimes it does, yes.  Most of the time – we were asked in her care plan to do small tasks as time permitted or as required.


So in that instance it's within the scope of the care plan that you're not expected to go beyond your time for that appointment; so it's if you can do it within that time?‑‑‑Yes.


I'm just going down.  If you're asked to provide assistance that's outside of the care plan, if you had time would you usually try to help with that task as well?‑‑‑Not if it wasn't on the care plan, no.


And if you get asked to provide further assistance that's not in the care plan, would you typically raise that with the case manager?‑‑‑Yes, I would.


Would this occur after the shift or when time permitted?‑‑‑Generally after the shift.


Thank you for that.  I now want to take you back to - take you down to paragraph 39.  Now here you refer to assessing how - the crucial part of your work with every client is 'assessing how my clients are'?‑‑‑Yes.


And is that again - would that be - is that skill of assessing - would you be drawing upon your skills developed through your Certificate III?‑‑‑Yes.


Thank you for that.  Now, I want to take you just over the page, we'll stay with the same paragraph, and you're talking about how you report things back to your employer or the case manager.  Would you typically report via phone, over the phone I should (indistinct)?‑‑‑If it was - if it was urgent, that there was something amiss I would call the office there and then.  But if it was something that I thought I could wait on, I would call after the service as well as email the relevant case manager.


Excellent.  So, there would be emails.  So, not using - for this communication you're not necessarily using an online portal system, so it's direct phone call and direct emails?‑‑‑Yes.


Thank you for that.  I now what to take you to paragraph 41 of your statement?‑‑‑Mm-hm.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Now, you're referring to - in your work you attend clients' private homes.  I wanted to understand that.  It's my understanding that Regis would perform a risk assessment of  the house before a carer would go to that house.  Is that correct?‑‑‑They are meant to.


So, I don't want to be unfair to you.  Are you familiar with that process or that's just covered by Regis, you don't go into that?‑‑‑I don't have to deal with that.  Sometimes we are asked to do a safety report on the home, just so that they have an understanding of what the work environment is going to be like.  But I have never had to do one myself.


That's perfectly fine.  I won't ask you questions then about that, that's fine.  Thank you for that.  And I note that you refer to that you never quite know what you're going to be walking into?‑‑‑We don't.


And earlier - and do you have access to the care plan prior to going into the house?‑‑‑No.


So, you only see it when you first walk in?‑‑‑Yes.


So, the care plan may include some details about what - some unique features about that home environment.  For example, if they had a pet, watch out for the dog or something, but you don't actually see that until you walk through the door?‑‑‑No, we don't actually see it until we walk through the door.  Sometimes we may get either an email or a text message from a staff worker, like a care staff worker, that there is a dog on the premises or a cat that - and yes, so it's care workers it's sometimes passed on.  Every so often office staff will have been notified and think to pass it on as well.


Thank you for that clarification there.  Now, later - a bit down in the same paragraph 41 you talk about when clients - you're referring to a client maybe having a bad day, and that's something that you might - you won't know until you walk through the door.  Is that - if you see a - if you observe a client having a bad day, is that where you would draw upon and employ de-escalation strategies learnt in your Certificate III?‑‑‑Yes, it would be.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Do you recall any specific - can you give me an example of a strategy that you might use?‑‑‑I have one - had one client in Mildura who had early signs of dementia.  I used to change my hairstyle before going in there because she didn't like who I was.  Sometimes that would work and if her behaviour started to get out of control while I was in the home, I would tend to sit down because she was a lot shorter than me, so therefore making myself a lot smaller than her, and trying to calm her down.  If that didn't work, I would generally just leave the home because I could tell that she was feeling uncomfortable with me being there.


So, you - in the Certificate III you learn that you may need to use an array of strategies when certain situations present themselves, and you also must - you have to be prepared to leave if it gets a bit - if you start to feel unsafe?‑‑‑Not if I feel unsafe but if the client feels unsafe with someone being there.  I would much rather leave and let the office know that I've left for this reason and email the relevant case manager.  I don't see why we as carers should stay in a home when you know someone's being - is feeling very uncomfortable with you around.


Thank you for that.  And would you be - with those situations, and I can stay - I'll stay with the example you walked us through.  Is that a situation where you would document it in a progress note on the phone or would you also call up the office and let them - let them know about it.  How do you document that - - -?‑‑‑I would email the relevant case manager as well as calling the office if it was possible to let them know that Ms so and so gave indication that she didn't want me there, so I've left early.  When I was working in Mildura some of my evening shifts were after office hours had closed, so you couldn't always speak to the case manager after that shift, or during that shift.


So that was an - that's an example of when the client starts to feel uncomfortable.  I now want to take you to paragraph 45.  Now, this is an occasion where you might start to feel fear for your safety.  Is there a policy followed by Regis where you're to leave the house if you - if a client's being aggressive, violent or there's a risk to your safety?  Is that the policy that you're to leave?‑‑‑Yes, we are meant to.


And then you are meant to call the office immediately or the case manager immediately?‑‑‑Yes.


And then - from there I take it.  Now, I want to take you down to paragraph 48?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


Now, here you're talking about paper rosters, but I understand by your second statement and as you've said in answers today that you now have moved to a phone roster.  Is that correct?‑‑‑Yes, we have.


So, is the roster accessed via an online portal or how - could you just explain it a little bit for me?‑‑‑Regis have put an app on our web phones that we are to log into at the start of our shift and that will give us a list of our clients for the day, and within that you'll see how long you have to be with that client for and what you're there for.  It's pretty basic.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


So, if you were there to give a medication check, it would simply say medication or something to that effect?‑‑‑Yes, it would say medication check or prompt.


And then there would be a time corresponding to it.  So, if it was 30 minutes, it might say 30 minutes or .5, depending on how your app - - -?‑‑‑Yes, that's right.


And just to clarify, you don't have - there's no electronic form to the care plan or progress notes on that app.  It's strictly rostering?‑‑‑It's strictly rostering at the moment.  My understanding is that eventually we will be able to write progress notes at some point in time.


So it's a slow transition from paper to the electronic?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


I see.  Thank you for that.  Now, if I take you down to paragraph 52?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


Now, you talk about to be success at this work you need to be able to rely on your own wits and the knowledge you have, to think on your feet and to adapt.  Does this require you - is this again with the knowledge you have an example of drawing upon your training which may be via the Certificate III and supplementary training and internal training that Regis provide?‑‑‑Yes.


I take also given your answer earlier you also draw upon your own personal experiences as well?‑‑‑Yes, a lot of us do.


Now, bear with me - I'd like to take you to paragraph 59 of your first statement?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


Now, there you're talking about where the client's family - daughter, specifically - wanted you to do more and you explained to her that it's meant to go through the case manager.  Would that be a time where you would also follow up with the case manager and let them know after the shift that this is happening?‑‑‑Yes.


I might take you now to your second statement, if I may?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, at paragraph 10, you talk about shower modifications and enlargements - they're extremely rare, that's your evidence there?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                  XXN MS RAFTER


Now, I don't want to be unfair to you so if this is outside, just - given some answer you said earlier - let me now:  is it to your knowledge in the risk assessment, looking at the shower factor into that process, if they know showering will be part of the care?‑‑‑I think it is, yes.


I note you refer to the safety report you complete, so going to a process that you refer to there - would that be included in that process as well?  You'd be looking to see if there's any safety issues arising with the shower?‑‑‑Yes, it would be.


Okay, and if it was that would be noted on that report and in that assessment?‑‑‑It should be, yes.


Now, if I can just check one second, sorry - no further questions, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Sorry, I had myself on mute.  No wonder you didn't answer.  I just asked - thanking Ms Rafter, I asked Ms Doust if there is any re-examination.


MS DOUST:  Yes, just briefly, Commissioner, if I might.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS DOUST                                                [11.41 AM]


MS DOUST:  Ms Evans?‑‑‑Yes.


It's Lisa Doust again.  I just want to take you back to a couple of the answers that you gave.  Can I take you back to your first statement, where you were asked about paragraph 39?‑‑‑(Indistinct) Yes.


If you recall you were asked whether in that process of assessing how your clients are, whether you were drawing on the skills you learned from your Certificate III?‑‑‑Yes.


And you said yes?‑‑‑Yes.


Can I ask you this:  is it only the skills you learned doing your Certificate III that you're drawing on in that instance?‑‑‑No, I'm also drawing on past experience with my work with the various places I've worked at as a carer, as well as my personal experience.

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                   RXN MS DOUST


Thank you.  Also, you were asked about paragraph 41, where you were asked a similar question about whether or not you would be drawing on the de-escalation strategies you learned doing your Certificate III.  You responded that you had a client in Mildura who was showing early signs of dementia and you would change your hair before you went to see her.  Can I just ask you is changing your hair something that they teach you in the Certificate III course?‑‑‑No.


How is it that you arrived at that strategy for dealing with that client?‑‑‑Just trying different things to have this client accept me into their home comfortably and I know sometimes people with dementia don't like the way that you look.  I can't change my size.  I can't change my voice much but I can change my hair and I can take my glasses off or I can put a jacket on to make me look a little bit different or as I said, I can sit down to make myself smaller than the client so that they don't feel threatened.  That's just - I don't know - self-taught.


Right?‑‑‑Some aspects.


Thank you.  Finally, you were asked about whether or not there was a policy in place with your employer that you should leave the house if the client becomes aggressive and you answered in this way:  'Yes, we are meant to'.  Can I just ask you is it always a straightforward thing, to extract yourself from a house in that situation?‑‑‑No, not always.


When might it not be a straightforward process?‑‑‑When you're actually cornered in a house and you've got to get past a client to the front or back door; you've got to try and work your way out of a situation without it looking like you're threatening or being threatening.


Yes, thank you, Ms Evans.  Might the witness be excused, Commissioner?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, Ms Evans, thank you for your evidence.  You are now excused?‑‑‑Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [11.45 AM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Now, is it your preference to recall Mr Doherty?  He is here so we might finish with Mr Doherty's evidence and then take a short break after that.  Thank you, Mr Doherty.


MR RAFTER:  May I please be excused to just get Mr Ward back?

***        CATHERINE EVANS                                                                                                                   RXN MS DOUST


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, of course.


MR RAFTER:  Thank you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, Mr Ward, Mr Doherty is back so over to you.


MR WARD:  Thank you, Commissioner.

<PETER DOHERTY, RECALLED                                                    [11.46 AM]

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                         [11.46 AM]


MR WARD:  Mr Doherty, can you hear me again?‑‑‑I can indeed, can you hear me?


I can very well, sir, thank you.  Can I ask you to go to paragraph 44?  I'm sorry, 44, yes?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


You say in paragraph 44(b) that you have initial input into a client's care plan.  What is the input you have?‑‑‑Obviously anything stated around needs and requirements, what they would need, yes.


Do you write the care plan, do you?‑‑‑No, I would certainly - if anything that came up that would help, to say that they need a particular, you know - they need a wheelie walker or, yes, initial things like that.  Obviously, from the initial conversation you have you may be able to, you know, pass on that information to the - - -


I see, so if when you first spoke to them they said something like that you would make sure that was passed on to the RN or whoever is putting the care plan together?‑‑‑Yes, yes - anything relevant, you go, 'Okay, this client said they need this'.


'I'll let that person know' - and is it the RN you tell to put in the care plan or is it the - - -?‑‑‑It would initially - I'd go to the home care package consultant and go, 'This is what I've been advised', and obviously, as I said, they would normally be the first point of contact with the client, yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


In (d) you say that you both manage and supervise home carers.  I just want to clarify:  by, 'manage', do you mean you manage their performance and you performance-manage them if they don't do it properly?‑‑‑Look, ultimately it goes to the director of community care.  We certainly - if things are raised, we certainly get involved in giving direction to the care workers.  It's - I would say, look, I've been a team leader before when I worked for Telstra so it's almost, you know, 95 per cent you are almost acting as their team leader in the way that you would manage them and, yes, you know, - - -


You would describe your role as a team leader, would you?‑‑‑Yes.  I mean obviously, you know, it's given as coordinator but I've done a team leader role before.  It is like being a team leader.  The level of input you have with them, but obviously ultimately the hiring and firing is done by the Director of Community Care.


Can I take you to paragraph 52, you start talking about rosters there.  See that?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Do you manually construct the roster or do you have roster software?‑‑‑No, so it's a roster software called Home Care Manager.


Right?‑‑‑Which is, yes, which is managed by Telstra Health, yes, and yes.


Am I right - tell me if I'm wrong when I say this.  That roster system, does it work this way.  You feed into the roster system the shifts you need covered?‑‑‑Yes.


You also feed in the general availability of your care workers and does that computer system juggle it around and say this is the beginning roster that you work with?‑‑‑No, it's - the initial thing, no.  It's all set up by humans, which is basically me and my colleagues.  So, we would - the first time you get a care worker starts working with us, you build in their availability into the roster, so you'll say, you know, Jane is willing to work from you know seven till four Monday to Friday.  You actually have to go and manually create their availability and then - - -


When you say create, you would type that information into the system?‑‑‑Yes, literally, yes. So, you have to create it and go yes, no, Jane is going to work on Mondays, she's going to do, you know, eight to four on, you know.  On certain days she might do from nine to three.  So, all that would be put into the system and you would then - it would - once the information is input it will - you have to publish it and it will make - it will create their availability into the roster.  Again, with a brand new client or even if it's additional work - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


If I could just ask you to pause, if I just ask you to pause.  So, the software system itself has some smarts operating to match that stuff you've typed in about the care worker against the positions we have to fill?‑‑‑No, no, no.


So it's completely manual?‑‑‑Completely manual.  So, yes - - -


Just bear with me then.  So, you're sitting there and saying I need to fill a shift on Monday between two and three?‑‑‑Yes.


I know that Bob's available to do that.  I'm going to allocate Bob to that shift?‑‑‑Yes.


So it's a completely manual system and I take it then that the Home Care Manager, it's not a roster system itself, it's just used to publish the roster after you've built it?‑‑‑Yes.  Basically, we're still doing the majority of the grunt work, yes.  It's - yes, it's not smart enough to go match them together.  It literally is me looking at it and going okay, this person's available.  But once you've - once you've identified, let's say, that someone can do that particular work, you can set it up to say I want Jane to go there at 9 o'clock, every second Wednesday and it will then - it will publish that - even though I manually - I have to press a button to publish it but it will automatically be allocated to that person.


So, once you've built your roster I take it then that you're tinkering with it in this sense, if you've got a new client come on you'd have to feed that into your roster and I presume if somebody rings up and says I'm sick, you'd have to work out how to - how to fill that gap?‑‑‑Sure, which is something very common at the moment with COVID at the moment.


When you fill that gap I take it you would understand who might be available and do you just ring around until you find them?‑‑‑No.  Yes, we bring up a screen which is like they call the dashboard and we can see who is available and yes, you would then - yes, like especially if it's 7 o'clock in the morning and the person who was meant to be there at 7 o'clock in the morning isn't going to be available, you start ringing around furiously trying to find people to fill that - fill that shift.


At paragraph 57 you talk about a mileage rectifier?‑‑‑Yes.


I haven't heard of one of those before, Mr Doherty.  What does a mileage rectifier do?‑‑‑So, basically it's a system that calculates the time, as in travel time, from point A to point B.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


It's not built into the Home Care Manager system?‑‑‑No.  No.  It is something that - well, no, again it's done - it's done manually and every time we - so, when you run it, you have to take out all the breaks that you've put in because the way our system works is a break thinks it's in Ballina or any tea break or break, so we have to deallocate them all, run the mileage rectifier, which uses Google Maps to calculate the travel in-between jobs and it will then go okay, it's 20 minutes to go from Ballina to Lennox Head.  We used to - we used to have to manually put it on, so there has been one slight improvement but you've still got to manually manage the whole - - -


Okay.  So, do you type into this system that I need to send somebody from Byron to Ballina, and then it tells you what it is, or does it automatically understand that you want somebody to go from Byron to Ballina based on your roster?‑‑‑So, I can describe it.  So, we have what is known as I suppose the timeline.  So - and it'll, you know, it'll say from seven till seven the person's available.  We will then to allocate that extra shift and once you've allocated that extra shift onto that person's roster, you will then have to do like a right click and it'll come up yes, do you want to do this mileage calculation.  Yes, you do.  And then it'll input the kilometres again.  But obviously this also creates - because it's just basically working on a perfect day, so often the care workers will then come back and say well, actually it took me 25 minutes to get there.  There was roadworks or there were other things, and then we have to then manually put into the system that will tell us it actually took me 25 minutes to go there.  Because we can't actually rectify the mileage because they have to run another system that calculates the final mileage, which then any changes we make get overwritten.  So that's why we have to write it manually so our people in payroll will read and see that Jane took actually 25 minutes to get there not 20 minutes.


As I understand it, as you're building the roster, this function which allows you to add mileage and you can use your mouse to get that?‑‑‑Yes.


You click on it, it will say add 20 minutes to the journey?‑‑‑Yes.


But what you're saying is sometimes somebody might come back and say it's not enough, you need to manually go back in and say it's 25?‑‑‑Yes.  In simplest terms.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


I'm just interested, Mr Doherty, there's quite a bit of criticism in this case about not being given enough time to get between jobs.  How do you make sure there is enough time?‑‑‑So, what I have to say to our care workers is that my system that I use is - uses this mileage rectifier which then puts in the mileage calculation.  I have to tell them if it takes you longer, you need to send me a message back through the system to say it's - you know, it's incorrect.  So there might be times, you know, like there's floods, which obviously we've had a lot around here.  It's like there were roads closed so they were having to drive round, you know, different ways to get places.  All that information has to be manually input into the system to say this is what the problem was, or I got stuck there before of roadworks, or I can never get there because even though, you know, Google Maps says this is what the calculation is, in reality it's a - you know, it's a slow windy road, especially if it's up in the hills or something like that.  So, it's - again, it's not a perfect system and maybe - I don't know, Google Maps Live, which actually feeds in traffic information, but obviously I don't know, that was probably after some software upgrade and I don't know whether it's actually smart enough to even take that, but that's more of what you would need to I suppose manage that and make it less.


You believe that you're reasonably fair in how you allocate travel time?‑‑‑I literally - I can't adjust what's put in.  I have to go with what the system says.  So if it says - - -


I thought you said a minute ago - I thought you said a minute ago that if they came back and said it takes an extra five minutes you would manually override it?‑‑‑No, so we manually put in a note to say that is it.  So yes, we will - yes, we will - we will do it where we can but I don't have - initially when we run it, I can't - even though it tells me it's 17 minutes, I can't change that until they tell me it is different.


And I take it that when you came to this job you hadn't done rostering before?‑‑‑No.  No, I hadn't done.  I had – when I worked in Telstra I had some kind of understanding of work management (indistinct), you know, the trials and tribulations of rostering.  But yes, it's definitely a tough job, it's an ever‑moving feast, and yes, it's a very stressful - - -


You hadn't previously done any rostering in transport, logistics or hospitality or - - -?‑‑‑No.


Okay?‑‑‑No, I went – yes, basically I picked it up, and you know, I'm good with process, I understand – many systems I've used.  So yes, and that's what got me there, you know, and I believe I'm very competent at my job, yes.


No, I'm not suggesting you're not, sir.  Could I take you to paragraph 78?‑‑‑Yes.


There's an estimate there of the calls that come in to the office.  Are you saying there that you take 30 to 40 calls, or are you saying 30/40 calls come into the office and the coordinators and people take those calls?‑‑‑It could be - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


(Indistinct)?‑‑‑It could be up that high for an individual.  Some - - -


So you could get 120 calls in a day?‑‑‑Yes, sure.


And you could get a lot less?‑‑‑Yes, it could be less.  Some days are better than others, but certainly in our sector it just gets busier and busier - - -


No, what I'm asking you though, are you saying you take 30 to 40 calls a day?‑‑‑Not every day.  I would say not every day; not every day, no.


Four days out of five?‑‑‑Again I'd be guessing - - -


No, don't guess?‑‑‑I can't give you a precise number without actually pulling stats out of the machine to tell me exactly (indistinct) - - -


That's fine.  Now I'll take you to 89, if you could go to that.  You talk there about the coordination of the mowing and gardening service?‑‑‑Yes.


Am I right – do I read your evidence right this way, that that's separately managed?‑‑‑It's managed by another member of the team at the moment, but I believe it's coming into the coordination team.  But at the moment, yes, someone who does our admin work also coordinates what we call the home and garden.


Is that person the administrative assistant you identified earlier?‑‑‑Yes.  Indeed it is, yes.


When you say that your service provides mowing and gardening, what sort of gardening do you provide?‑‑‑Sort of – well, mowing lawns, general – you know, general weeding, you know, clear ups.


Trimming hedges, things like that?‑‑‑Yes, trimming hedges, yes.  Anything from like gurneying(?) the – you know, the driveways and that kind of stuff, yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Those people aren't currently rostered by you, or they are?‑‑‑Not rostered by me, but I certainly get involved in it if, let's say, if I'm the early person and the administrative person isn't there.  I will get involved if the person who does the gardening is not there.  I will have to ring up the client and say no, we can't send anyone, or try and re‑roster.  But there are moves within our organisation to probably move it into the coordination team at the moment.


I'm just interested in what's happening at the moment?‑‑‑Sure.


Can I take you to 93?‑‑‑Yes.


In 93 you talk about taking calls from care workers?‑‑‑Yes.


And you give an example right at the end about informing us about a decline they have noticed in a client.  If you received a call from a care worker saying I'm concerned, I've noticed a decline in Nigel's state, who do you pass that on to?‑‑‑Well, initially, if it's a home care package coordinator, you would probably – if it's something simple, you know, but if it's a severe clinical need that's been identified, you would give it straight to the RNs, so both the director of care and the RN, and say hey, look, there's a severe need, or there's a severe wound or something, if it's something, you know, that might need a little bit – some extra – well they might need an extra five minutes on their shower time because they're getting a bit slower.


That would be a simple thing for you?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay?‑‑‑But we would probably – again I'd still have to say to our director of care, look, a care worker has advised me that they need extra time, are you okay for me to make the shower time, you know, 35 minutes, yes.


If I can just take both of those examples, I'm assuming that you're telling me that if I was a care worker and I noticed that somebody was showing signs of decline, I take it the care worker isn't ringing the registered nurse; the care worker's ringing you and you're ringing the registered nurse?‑‑‑Yes.  Generally that would happen obviously, but if it's – you know, look, they're told if it's a serious – you know, if we're in ambulance territory, they would go straight to the RN, but sometimes, you know, sometimes the RNs (indistinct) comes to what's to deal with and it's - - -


Let's come to ambulance territory.  If I turned up at my client and they were breathing in an irregular manner and I was concerned, is the protocol to ring 000 straightaway?‑‑‑They would seek advice from the RN, will be the first one.  Then if they (indistinct) overnight(?) they would come to us and we would then say, look, if it looks like we're in trouble call 000, and I'd, yes – and (indistinct) call 000 myself and - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


So it could be you calling 000 or it could be them calling 000?‑‑‑Yes, because sometimes they're trying to, you know, manage the situation there with a client, so I'll be the one saying, look, I'll call 000 and I'll get them there as soon as we can.


At the same time, if I turned up to my client and they didn't come to the door - let's assume there's no drop box for me to get a key - the client doesn't come to the door, I can't raise them, is the first thing to do to ring you or is it to ring 000?‑‑‑No, they would ring us.  The majority of clients have a response plan.


Is that done at the admission point?‑‑‑Yes.  So we should get, yes, a response plan, and look, clients have everything from – they give us varying different degrees of, you know, ring my relatives, or some of them say I don't want anyone to enter the house.  So yes, if we had a set procedure we would go, so we get them to look through the windows and check with neighbours and do kind of obvious stuff, and then we'll move into the next phase.  If we can't get a hold of any of their relatives, we move into the next phase and we'll start ringing hospitals and, you know, and just try to obviously ascertain what the situation is:  is it a simple case that they've gone down the shops, or is it a case they are lying on the floor, you know, and sometimes just looking through the window they'll see them there on the bed or something like that, and then we'll go okay, we know what we need to do now; you know, if she's not responding we call an ambulance, yes.


And how you proceed in that situation the family or the client's told you at the point of being brought on to the service?‑‑‑In the response plan.  We don't have like a full care directive, but it's more – you know, what do you want us to do; is it either contact the family or not.  But honestly, if it's an emergency, the first thing you're going to do - - -


Is ring 000?‑‑‑You're going to call 000 and – yes.


You give some evidence about, sadly, a carer going to a client and the client had passed away.  Is there a protocol that you adopt if a client turns up and somebody is deceased?‑‑‑Yes.  I mean, certainly, like our first port of call would be to inform the director of care and – yes, then you've got to ascertain what's already happened, you know, has somebody already called the police or is a neighbour involved or – there could be various.  Yes, so we would go through, so we would refer it to the director of care and then just ascertain what had already been done and what needs to be done, yes.


At paragraph 104 you describe that you provide your employees with an EAP process?‑‑‑Yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Which I understand to be employee assistance program.  My understanding of those is that they're usually services you can ring, they're anonymous?‑‑‑Yes.


If I want to talk to a psychologist or somebody of that ilk I'm allowed to do that, and you pick up the bill for that.  I think that's how they work, isn't it?‑‑‑That's correct, yes.  Obviously, yes, if they turn up in a situation which is stressful for them, you obviously try to make them, you know, feel as good as you can and support them through that, but obviously we generally end with saying, you know, if you need extra, you know, clinical, psychological help, these are the people to talk to.


Paragraph 16, you tell us that you solve IT issues?‑‑‑Yes.


Are you suggesting - do you fix hardware; do you recode software?  What do you by IT issues?‑‑‑Look, everything from, 'is it plugged in, have you turned it on'.  So it's - yes, so I'm the sort of - certainly for the home care manager system, I'm the one that will - I'm the go-to person to work out whether it's, let's say, user error or we have a system - there is a system problem with it, you know, from - - -


If I've lost my login you'll help me with that?‑‑‑Yes, I would help you with the login, we can reset the passwords for their system.  I'll give an example:  we had a particular job that wasn't appearing on the care worker's phone.  You know, you triage the situation then work out, yes, there is a system problem.  You have to go back to the Telstra Health, you log a docket with them.


Yes?‑‑‑Then you go through the - yes, go through the system and work out - they work out whether, you know, did you not press the right buttons.


You're logging the ticket with the external software provider on behalf of the care worker.  The care worker's not doing that?‑‑‑Yes, yes, we do that and we'll manage the situation and they'll often give us solutions to try.  Then we'll go back and - yes, so I've definitely - yes.  I actually use FaceTime for them to show me exactly what they've got on their phone at times to try and work out what the problem is that they're encountering.  So it can be a - yes, so it's pseudo IT helpdesk initial triage, yes.


Yes, I understand initial triage, that's fine.  I'll take you to 133.  You talk in 133 about the monthly report?‑‑‑Yes.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


Are you the only person who prepares the report or do all the coordinators?‑‑‑No, all the coordinators do and it's due tomorrow at 10 o'clock.


I'm standing between you and the report, I can sense that.  Is the report a standard form report, it's in the same standard form each month?‑‑‑Yes, so it's like a - yes, a blank template Word document.  Some information is supplied to us like the offs and ons.  We then have to go through and there's a thing that we measure like same-day cancellations.  We have to provide information as to why we turned up:  was it our error, did the client cancel it and - - -


Take that as an example, same day cancellations - is the data for that produced for you and you just add the explanation or is more than that?‑‑‑No, you have to do a query within the home care manager and literally search for everything that's been cancelled same day and you literally then have to manually go in and look at the notes and go - - -


I see, so I'd run an inquiry in the software.  It'll bring up the inquiry and then I'll go through and read each one - - -?‑‑‑Each one, yes.


Okay?‑‑‑Each one will give you a reason, like, so the client cancelled or they were in hospital or - - -


Do you cut and paste that into your ultimate report or what do you do?‑‑‑No, I'll type it in.  So obviously I'll write down all the figures to say, you know, 10 were in hospital, 15 were client - the client was, you know, client caused the cancel same day or - yes, so whatever the reason was, you know, or they turn up, they've got COVID, that's the reason why we can't enter the premises on that day or they're not there, yes.  Any of those reasons which can be varied.


You talk about the autonomy with which you work in your statement.  Is there - do you have any authority, you don't have hiring and firing authority.  Do you have any expenditure authority to spend money?‑‑‑Yes, a small amount, yes, but most of it goes, again, through the - - -


What's your expenditure limit?‑‑‑I think it's actually $300.


So you have authority to spend up to $300?‑‑‑I don't think - I must admit I don't think we've actually ever gone through what the authorisation is.


So you don't know?‑‑‑No, no, so I'm going to say no, I can't, no.

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                        XXN MR WARD


That's fine.  If you come across something that you aren't done before, who do you go to to understand what you should do?‑‑‑If it's - can you give me an example of - - -


Let's say a carer rang up and said, 'I'm confronting a situation I've never seen before', and you've never seen it?‑‑‑Sure.


Who would you go to for guidance?‑‑‑Generally I would go to the director of care if it was an unusual situation and I - yes.


Okay.  And I think you say - I think you said earlier the director of care is also a registered nurse.  Sorry, I am right in that (indistinct)?‑‑‑You're correct, yes.


Mr Doherty, thank you very much - no further questions, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Any re-examination, Ms Doust?


MS DOUST:  Yes, thank you, Commissioner.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS DOUST                                                 [12.14 PM]


MS DOUST:  Mr Doherty, one of the answers you gave early on in response to Mr Ward's questions was to this effect:  you were talking about fitting everything into the roster and you were saying that the process of rostering was an ever-increasingly harder thing to do?‑‑‑Yes.


Why is that?‑‑‑Look, one of the main reasons is the lack of care workers, because we can't attract people into the sector due to the low wages so we try to recruit people.  We've not been able to recruit anyone in months so - you add COVID into this as well, you know, like, we had an incident the other day when - you know, like, care workers, because the cost of petrol had gone up so much, she couldn't afford to come in to work that day because she couldn't put money in her fuel tank because obviously - yes.  Obviously we're all very much aware that petrol has gone up so high, yes, she couldn't work and that's not - yes, I think there were at least two incidents of late I can think of.  Yes, so all them - yes, the lack of care workers obviously you've got an increase in what - they're known as the Grayson army.  There's so many people retiring that the increase of people on home care packages is only going to get bigger and if we don't increase the pool of our care workers, we are going to be in serious trouble.  I mean, I'm already calling matters that are - - -

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                       RXN MS DOUST


Mr Doherty, perhaps kind of ease off on the observations.  The question was what's made it increasingly difficult.  Is there anything further you wanted to say about that?‑‑‑No, I would just encapsulate - it is basically the lack of care workers and increased demand for it is, yes, makes it a very stressful job.


Thanks very much, Mr Doherty.  Might the witness be excused, Commissioner?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, thank you for your evidence and for your flexibility, Mr Doherty.  You're excused?‑‑‑Okay, thank you to all for your time.  Wish you all the best.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                           [12.16 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, we'll just take a literally five-minute break, I suggest, so that we can aim to get through the remaining two witnesses before 1 o'clock.


MR GIBIAN:  Commissioner, is Ms Payton next?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  That's my understanding.


MR GIBIAN:  That was my understanding too, I just wanted to check it's still the case.


MS DOUST:  I think that's correct, Commissioner - we're just trying to sort that out for sure because there has been a bit of juggling as a result of the timing this morning.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  You've got five minutes so hopefully that will do it.


MS DOUST:  Thank you.

SHORT ADJOURNMENT                                                                   [12.17 PM]

RESUMED                                                                                              [12.22 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  How did you go, Ms Doust?  Do we have Ms Payton?

***        PETER DOHERTY                                                                                                                       RXN MS DOUST


MS DOUST:  I believe so, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Do we have an update?


MS DOUST:  Just following that up, Commissioner - I understood she was attempting to log in.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I think she's here.  Ms Payton, can you hear me?


MS B PAYTON:  Yes, I can, yes.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Are you able to turn your camera on, please?


MS PAYTON:  Yes, I think I can - can you see me now?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, I can.  I'm Commissioner O'Neill and my associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


MS PAYTON:  Thank you.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Payton, can you please state your full name and work address?


MS PAYTON:  IT's Bridget Nicola Payton and I work for SAI Home Care and I'm going to have to look up the address.  They're based in Frankston but I hardly ever go in there.


THE ASSOCIATE:  You can give your personal home address if you'd prefer.


MS PAYTON:  Okay, it's (address supplied).

<BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON, AFFIRMED                                  [12.27 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS DOUST                                    [12.27 PM]



***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                          XN MS DOUST


MS DOUST:  Yes, Ms Payton, can you hear me well enough there?‑‑‑Yes, thank you.


Great - for the record is your name Bridget Payton?‑‑‑It is, yes.


Are you employed by SAI Home Care as a personal care assistant?‑‑‑I am, yes.


Have you prepared two statements for the purpose of the proceeding before the Commission?‑‑‑I have.


Is the first one dated 26 October 2021?‑‑‑I can't see a date on it, sorry.  Let's just say yes, that was when I did I'm sure.


Yes, that's - do you have copies of both of your statements with you at the moment?‑‑‑I do, yes.


Thank you.  The first statement you made, the larger one, was that true and correct at the time that you made it?‑‑‑It was.


Have events changed somewhat since then?  You've got different client cohort and so on?‑‑‑Events have changed a little bit.  One of my clients has got a new standing machine which has changed things a little bit, but that's addressed in the second statement.


All right. And the second statement you have - I'm not sure if the date's on that.  Is that 20 April 2022?‑‑‑That sounds about right.


That's your statement in reply?‑‑‑Yes.


Is that statement true and correct to the best of your belief and knowledge?‑‑‑Yes.


I read both of those statements, Commissioner.  They're at documents 210 and page 11504 of the digital court book and document 211 and page 11525 of the digital court book respectively.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, thank you.  Mr Ward.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                          XN MS DOUST

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                         [12.30 PM]


MR WARD:  Thank you, Commissioner.  Ms Payton, can you hear and see me?‑‑‑Yes, I can.


Thank you, Ms Payton.  My name's Nigel Ward, Ms Payton.  I appear in these proceedings for the employer interest.  I'm just going to ask you some questions if I can.  I might just start with some general questions then we'll go to your statements.  Do you have any involvement - if I was looking to join your service, let's say a potential client.  Do you have any involvement in the initial assessment of me?‑‑‑No.


Who does that?‑‑‑Someone at SAI Home Care.  I guess they're call a case manager maybe.  I don't know, I'm not across that side of the business.


You don't - it's not you but you don't actually know who does it?‑‑‑No.


That's fine, that's fine.  So, who tells you that there's a new clients you have to look after?‑‑‑I've been working for them for three years so I have - I have clients and I don't take on anymore clients, I just have the ones that I see now.  But in the past up till and including last year, I would take on clients.  We have an app that we use, it's a Telstra Health app and every day on the app it brings up messages saying such and such a person in such and such  suburb needs such and such help.  And then if you are available and want to do it, you can go on and do that.


Is that like a bid system or does it work on seniority if more than one person wants to do it?‑‑‑I assume it works on a first come first serve basis.


But you've got a sort of client base now that you stick do, do you?‑‑‑Yes.


You might not be able to answer this and if you can't just say so.  When a client is taken on for the first time, my understanding is that there'll be a risk assessment done at their home.  Are you involved in that?‑‑‑I'm not.


No, okay.  Can I ask you to go to your first statement?‑‑‑Yes.


Can I ask you to go to paragraph 12 to start with?‑‑‑Yes.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


You discuss there a platform which I understand is called Centro ASSIST.  Is that a learning platform that you access on a computer or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, when - SAI Home Care was taken over by a company called General Home Care, and it was around the time after that had happened that the monthly quizzes we used to complete stopped and we were told to complete modules on this online portal called Centro ASSIST.  When I wrote this statement and I wasn't  sure if this was going to be a regular thing where we'd need to do modules all the time, but since I did the initial eight modules that I had to complete, I haven't been told to do anything else, so I guess that was it.


Okay.  So, you've done your eight modules and at this stage you're okay?‑‑‑As far as I know, yes.


As far as you're aware.  As far as you're aware.  And can you just help us out.  Can you tell us what the eight modules involve?‑‑‑Look, I mentioned a few of them in there.


Things like manual handling?‑‑‑Yes, they would have covered manual handling.  They would have covered ethics probably.  They would have covered - yes, I don't honestly remember.  There was eight and they took quite a while to do, and it was all stuff I'd already covered in my training, so - - -


It was information that you believed was covered in your Cert IV training?‑‑‑And as I've said, information that was irrelevant to my position because there was - one of the modules was to do with medication.  Now, I'm not qualified or allowed to give medication to clients, so it was - I was asked to complete it but it was irrelevant to my position.


And I'll just - while you're on that I might touch on it.  My understanding is that you do do medication prompts though, don't you?‑‑‑I can prompt a client to take their medication, yes.


Am I right that a prompt involves you taking their pills out of their Webster-pak and possibly putting them in a cup or in their hand.  Is that what a prompt involves?‑‑‑Normally it's just a verbal prompt to say have you taken your medication.  Occasionally you have to use common sense.  I've got one client who is so shaky they can't physically open their pill pack or Webster-pak, but they know what medications they should be taking.  So they instruct me what to, yes, open for them.


So for that client you would open the Webster-pak and you'd put it in their hand or in a cup.  What would you do?‑‑‑Put it in a cup for them.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Can I ask you to go paragraph 23?‑‑‑Yes.


In paragraph 23 you say S-A-I - sorry, how - you pronounce it Sai, do you?‑‑‑Sai, yes.  I think it's a Sanskrit word meaning care or something like that.


Okay, I've learnt something.  You say:


Sai requires at least a Certificate III qualification to commence as a personal care assistant.


You've chosen the words 'at least'. Are there particular roles where they require a Certificate IV or more?‑‑‑Not that I'm aware of but they might require less.  If it was more of a social visit, where you take a client shopping, for example, you wouldn't need I don't think to have even a Certificate III.  I think you could probably be employed by them to do the social visits with less, but that's something you would need to check with them.


Okay.  So, when you said 'at least' there, is what you meant that if you're going to do personal care work, you need a Certificate III?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay, that's fine, that's fine.  Now, when you're with a client, am I right that at the end of the visit you'll write a progress note in relation to the client?‑‑‑No, I don't always do that.  I only send through a progress note if something has changed in their situation.  If I'm concerned about anything to do with their skin integrity or their mental health or if anything has changed at all, then I would write a report.


And other than that you don't have to write anywhere that says I came today, I showered them, I've done this, I've done that, you don't have to do that?‑‑‑I don't.  There's actually - on the app there's a care - when you first attend a client you receive a care plan, care notes of what needs to be covered in your shift.  So once you've read that it pretty much should stay the same each week, of course it doesn't because the work that we do, the situation constantly changes but the basics of what you do are the same.  And so you really only need to inform SAI, like I said, if there's a - if you're worried about anything.  If there's a change in anything or if any incidents occurred.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Let's just work through those slowly.  If I can just give you an example.  If you were attending me and you were showering me and you noticed that I had some bruising down my arm, would that be an example of where you'd notify SAI or something you'd observed?‑‑‑It depends.  I actually did attend a client on Monday who had significant bruising on her legs and her arms but no, I didn't tell Sai and the reason was she's an 84 year old client.  She lives with her husband who is her - he looks after her but I help with the showering if he's not there, if he's out doing something else.  And she told me before we got to the shower that she'd had a significant fall on Friday when she'd been on her own Friday evening.  She'd fallen and got tangled up in her - she uses a walker to support her.  She got tangled up in that and that her husband had had to come in the bathroom and actually take a long time trying to get her into the bedroom and I know that he and she were talking to the doctor, their personal GP, about it but there wasn't a break or a cut so although I could see the bruising I knew that they both understood and were taking care of it.  So no, I didn't need to tell SAI.


Okay, so in that situation because you understood that somebody else was taking care of it you haven't informed SAI?‑‑‑No.  If that lady had lived on her own, I would have informed SAI.


Can I just ask this question:  if you were with that lady and you were showering her and she had a cut, at what point would you contact SAI or at what point would you contact a registered nurse?‑‑‑Again, it depends on their situation, you know - if they live with - if they have a family member who is their primary carer, then I would mention the cut to them but then it's their responsibility - - -


Okay, right?‑‑‑ - - - to deal with it.  If the person lives on their own, yes, part of my job is to pay close attention to people's skin integrity and some people have had strokes or conditions where they can't feel their skin so it's very important for me to dry properly between their toes, check every area of their skin for pressure sores and everything else.  That's a very important part of my job.  If they live on their own then I would need to advise SAI about it, yes.


Can I just take you to paragraph 46?  Paragraph 46 you say - I think this is what we've just been talking about - you say:  'If I have any specific concerns or see differences from the norm, I ring the office and then I send a written report via email'.  Is that what you were referring to before?‑‑‑Yes.


The written report via email, who does that go to?‑‑‑That would go - I would normally send it to the rosters team because I'm never exactly clear who is the case manager for each particular client.


You've never been told that, have you?‑‑‑I probably have been told that in the initial case report notes.  But if I know who the case manager is then I would send it to them and cc rosters.  Otherwise I would just send it to rosters and ask them to pass it on.  We've now got a facility - now we've got this app, there is also a send message facility within the app so I will sometimes do that during a shift.  I'll send a message on that app.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Can I ask you to go to paragraph 80?‑‑‑Yes.


If I ask you a question which might get you into trouble, don't answer it, please don't.  You talk here about working with a client outside of work.  Is that something that would usually - you'd usually do?‑‑‑I didn't work with her outside of work.  I send emails and things on her behalf outside of my shift hours.


Okay, that's what you were saying there, okay, all right.  I got the impression you were doing something with her outside of work hours?‑‑‑No, I would never do that because I don't think I'm covered by insurance - - -


That's why I was being careful how I asked the question?‑‑‑Right.


If you go to paragraph 82, you say there:  'Other times I've ended up taking on a counsellor-type role'.  You're not a trained counsellor?‑‑‑I'm absolutely not a trained counsellor but part of my job it to look out for a client's emotional and physical wellbeing and a lot of my clients, especially ones who live on their own, suffer from anxiety to various degrees.  I have to be very cognisant of that when I'm visiting them, how their mental state is on any particular day and just to tread very carefully with them. So no, not sitting down and counselling them about their personal lives or anything - what I mean more is - well, I had one client for example, she gets very stressed out, especially in the summer.  She's had a stroke and she can't regulate her body temperature and when it gets hot she gets really overwrought.  One night she was so overwrought when my shift finished I didn't feel like I could leave her because she just wasn't - I wasn't happy about leaving her on her own.


Okay, wouldn't I be right that if you had a client who was in clear distress, isn't the protocol to ring an ambulance?‑‑‑No.


Okay, you don't have that protocol?‑‑‑If they're in emotional distress, no, I wouldn't ring an ambulance, no.


This person was emotionally distressed but it wasn't actually manifesting in any physical issue?‑‑‑No.


That's all right.  I got the impression that you might be suggesting they were having breathing difficulties or something like that?‑‑‑My client actually always has breathing difficulties, CLPD, but yes.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Okay, that's fine?‑‑‑(Indistinct reply)


So if you did turn up and a client - by way of example - they were short of breath and you were concerned about them, is the protocol to ring a nurse or is the protocol to ring triple 0?  What's the protocol if you're actually medically worried about somebody?‑‑‑I would ring the paramedics.


Is that what you've been taught to do or is that just something you'd do off your own bat?‑‑‑No, no - that's what we have to do.


Okay.  After you've rung the paramedics, do you then ring SAI and tell them what's going on or - - -?‑‑‑I would then ring the client's relative first and tell them what's going on, and then I would ring SAI.


Right, and that's the SAI procedure, is it?‑‑‑I don't know, it's my procedure.


Your procedure, okay - it's your personal procedure.  That's okay.  Have you ever found yourself - if your client's feeling in a position where it's unsafe to be with them?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you have a procedure - is it your understanding that if you do feel unsafe you're required to remove yourself from their home?‑‑‑Yes, I am, and I should qualify that statement:  I didn't mean unsafe because I was any danger to myself from them.  I meant unsafe as in I felt as though they needed more assistance then I could offer at that time.


Okay, so you weren't personally feeling unsafe?‑‑‑No.


No, no, but I take it you understand that if you ever found yourself in that situation the protocol is to remove yourself from the home?‑‑‑It is, and we've actually got a code word where we can ring the office and say we've forgotten our red book and then they understand that means that we're in trouble.


Okay, I won't ask you - I was about to ask you what the red book was but I assume that's the code word?‑‑‑It is.


At paragraph 102 you use these words, you say:  'I am required to be always contactable'.  Are you suggesting you need to be contactable 24/7 or are you suggesting always contactable when you're at work?‑‑‑When I'm at work.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Okay.  Is the first time you see the care plan when it's sent to you on the app?‑‑‑It used to be sent to us via email.  All the clients I currently have, that would have been how it was sent to me.  The care plan is also on the app, yes.


That's fine, okay.  So because you've been with certain clients for a long time, you have received it on email but these - - -?‑‑‑Yes, but I don't know because I've never actually - yes, I've never had a new client since they've been supplying it on the app.


Okay.  That's fine?‑‑‑It is still on the app for me to look at, though, if I need to refer to it.


If SAI make a change to the care plan does it get re-issued to you?‑‑‑Well, that's something I'd be interested to know, actually.  It certainly isn't emailed to me and my preference would be that if anything changes on the care plan with an existing client that someone would ring me and talk through those changes with me.


So at the moment you've only ever seen the original care plans for your clients and it might be that they actually are still the care plans?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  Can I take you to your second statement?‑‑‑Yes.


I'm going to ask some questions but I don't want to appear rude in how I ask them so just - - -?‑‑‑No, go for it.


Bear with me if you can?‑‑‑Yes.


Let's start with - let's start with paragraph 14 you say:


Assistive equipment like wheelchairs can increase the physical demands on the work as I'm required to push clients around and assist clients with transfers in and out.


It's not the case, is it, that the work would be easier if they didn't have a wheelchair?‑‑‑No, no, it's not, no.


No, no?‑‑‑Certainly if they had an electric wheelchair that would make my life a lot easier.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


I've been through this myself.  I understand that.  I agree with you entirely, but I'm assuming that if they didn't have wheelchairs you would have to try in some way to physically move them?‑‑‑No, they have to have wheelchairs, yes.


You talk earlier in paragraph 12 about a QuickMove?‑‑‑Yes.


Just help me out, if you would, Ms Payton, what is a QuickMove?‑‑‑Okay, well, this is a piece of equipment that a client of mine has.  She is a larger lady and she can't walk, and she has uncontrollable tremors.  She has had a stroke.  We used to have to - for example, getting her out of the bed in the morning - try and put her manual wheelchair sideways on next to her bed, physically get on the bed with her and help her to move around into a position where she could put her leg over one side of the wheelchair and get into the wheelchair.  It was quite a difficult procedure for her and a difficult procedure for me, as well.  It required a lot of pushing and wrenching, and holding and moving and everything else.


Now, the QuickMove, although we have to still - I no longer have to get this client out of bed, another carer does it, but she does still have to get her into a seated position on the side of the bed, but once she is in the seated position on the side of the bed you can put the QuickMove under her feet and she's able to pull herself into a standing position.  She can wait there, although she can't walk.


Yes?‑‑‑Then the QuickMove has seats that you put in behind her, she can sit back down and you put a sort of safety belt around her and then you can move her to her wheelchair.  So it actually makes her a life a lot easier because there is much less twisting and turning for the client, but it doesn't make it necessarily much easier for us.


Can I just ask you that, because to me it sounds like it might be a longer process but it sounds to me like it's a less stressful process for you?‑‑‑Correct.  Well, it's a longer process and - I'm just trying to think, because, like I said, I don't do the getting her out of bed any more.  When we take her, for example, to the toilet, we would have to still - the machine is quite heavy.  I mean, I guess it's heavy if your client is heavy.  If your client is a little frail old person it wouldn't be, but if it's a larger person the machine is heavy to move around in a restricted space.  You have to really brace your body to move it to get it in the correct position, so I would say actually - because we used to take her into the toilet in her wheelchair.  She would then pull herself up to a stand on a pole and twist herself, so it has actually made less twisting and strain for her but actually probably a bit more for us, but it is safer for her.


It's safer for her?‑‑‑Yes.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Is it unsafe for you?‑‑‑No.


It's my understanding that when an initial assessment is done for a client that sometimes modifications are made to the home environment to make it safer for people like you to do your job.  You have got your regular clients.  Have there been any modifications made to their homes for you to do your job?‑‑‑Not since I've been working with them, no.


Not in your case, no, okay.  Ms Payton, thank you very much for your evidence.  I hope you have a nice day?‑‑‑Thanks very much.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Any re‑examination, Ms Doust?


MS DOUST:  Yes, thank you.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS DOUST                                                 [12.53 PM]


MS DOUST:  Ms Payton, you were asked earlier about paragraph 82 of your first statement?‑‑‑Yes.


If you wouldn't mind just going back there, just to refresh yourself about that.  You were asked a question about whether or not you actually had any qualifications as a counsellor and you started to respond referring to a client getting emotionally distressed.  You said she had some difficulty regulating her body heat and she would tend to get stressed out in summer.  You referred to her being overwrought one night so you were not happy to leave.  Do you mind just describing what happened.  I think Mr Ward went on to something else in the middle of that answer and I just wanted to ask you to describe what occurred on that occasion?‑‑‑That particular client - am I allowed to divulge clients' personal details here?  I don't really know how much of a client's personal life I can go into.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Well, no more - - -


MS DOUST:  If you don't mention her name - I'm sorry, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  No, no, you've answered it.

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                       RXN MS DOUST


THE WITNESS:  Okay, well, she also is a recovered alcoholic and part of her anxiety that night was caused by the heat and another part of her anxiety had been triggered by attending an online Zoom AA meeting which, strangely, had made her feel she was at risk of taking a drink.  I asked her what I could do to help and she asked me to remove all hand sanitisers, anything with alcohol in it basically, from the house.


She was just not in a mental state where I felt comfortable to leave her, so all I did was talk with her really.  I just chatted with her for an extra 15 or 20 minutes until I felt that she had settled and was comfortable, and then I left her.  I must say if I do stay extra time with a client - I often do - and if it's five or 10 minutes over my shift I don't bother telling SAI, but if it's longer than that, as it was with this woman on that particular night, I do tell SAI that I've been longer and I am paid for the extra time I've been there.


MS DOUST:  Thank you, Ms Payton.  That's all the re‑examination, Commissioner, if she might be excused.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you, Ms Payton.  You are excused?‑‑‑Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                           [12.55 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  We will adjourn until 2 pm.

LUNCHEON ADJOURNMENT                                                          [12.56 PM]

RESUMED                                                                                                [2.00 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  The Commission is resumed.  Is it Ms Sweeney next?


MR GIBIAN:  Commissioner, no, we've had to rearrange Ms Sweeney till later in the afternoon, so the order will be Sandra O'Donnell, then Charlene Glass, Sally Fox, Marea Phillips, and then Kathy Sweeney.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  So is Ms O'Donnell here?


MR GIBIAN:  I understood she was.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms O'Donnell, can you hear me?  Good afternoon, Ms O'Donnell.  You can hear me all right?

***        BRIDGET NICOLA PAYTON                                                                                                       RXN MS DOUST


MS O'DONNELL:  Yes, I just got you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I'm O'Neill C, and my associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms O'Donnell, can you please state your full name and work address?


MS O'DONNELL:  Sandra Joy O'Donnell, and work is Mount Street, Yass.

<SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL, AFFIRMED                                       [2.02 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR GIBIAN                                    [2.03 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms O'Donnell, would you mind keeping your camera on, please?‑‑‑Yes, it's on.


I think you might have inadvertently turned it off.  There you are.  Lovely?‑‑‑Sorry.


Is it Mr Gibian?


MR GIBIAN:  Yes.  Thank you, Commissioner.  Ms O'Donnell, can you hear me?‑‑‑Yes.


I don't think we had the opportunity to speak.  My name is Mark Gibian and I'm appearing for the HSU in this matter?‑‑‑Yes.


Can I just ask you to repeat your full name for the record?‑‑‑Sandra Joy O'Donnell.


I think you're employed or working at the Thomas Eccles Gardens aged care home, is that correct?‑‑‑Yes.


I think you say in your first statement at least that your manager calls you the laundry manager sometimes.  Do you call yourself the laundry assistant?  Is that the terminology you use?‑‑‑That's what I am, but - yes, they call me the laundry manager, but you don't get paid as that.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                            XN MR GIBIAN


I understand.  In that respect I think you say in the first statement that you're paid as a care service employee grade 1.  Does that remain the situation?‑‑‑Yes.


I think there are two statements you've prepared for the purpose of these proceedings.  Do you have those with you?‑‑‑Yes.


The first of those is dated 25 March 2021 I think and has some 112 paragraphs over 10 pages.  Do you have a copy of that one?‑‑‑Yes.


Have you had the opportunity to read that through?‑‑‑Yes.


Is it true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes, that's the first statement that we wish to have admitted into evidence for Ms O'Donnell.  It's document 152 in the digital court book, commencing at page 10,181.  You should also I think, Ms O'Donnell, have a reply witness statement headed, 'Reply witness statement of Sandra O'Donnell.'  Do you have that?‑‑‑Yes.


It's dated 13 April 2022 and I think has some 66 paragraphs.  Have you also had the opportunity to read that through?‑‑‑Yes.


Is it also true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑Yes.


That's the second statement of Ms O'Donnell we wish to have as part of the evidence.  It's document 153 in the digital court book commencing at page 10,191.  There was just one matter I wanted to clarify.  Ms O'Donnell, do you have your first witness statement of 25 March 2021?‑‑‑Yes.


I just note on the second page of that witness statement at paragraph 18, you refer to having, in the past at least, undertaken caring shifts?‑‑‑Yes.  I did night shifts for a few years, yes.


How did that come up; that is, were you filling in for other people, or was that - - -?‑‑‑Yes.  Then it became permanent, three shifts a fortnight, because of lack of staff, yes.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                            XN MR GIBIAN


Did that stop at some point in time?‑‑‑Yes.  They wanted me – I think I did it for about two‑and‑a‑half years.  They wanted me to do the Certificate III - or I think it said Certificate III anyway - in Aged Care, and I said no, so I stopped doing the night shifts.


And about when was that?‑‑‑Time sort of means nothing – it was years ago.  Sorry, I can't – yes.


I understand.  Thank you, Ms O'Donnell.  Hopefully on the screen in front of you, you can see in one of the boxes Mr Ward, who now wishes to ask you some questions?‑‑‑Yes.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                           [2.06 PM]


MR WARD:  Ms O'Donnell, can you hear me okay?‑‑‑Yes.


Ms O'Donnell, my name is Nigel Ward.  I appear in this matter for the employer interests.  I'm just going to ask you some questions?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you have your first statement in front of you?‑‑‑Yes.


I wonder if you could start by going to paragraph 15?‑‑‑Okay.


In paragraph 15 you say this:


A disproportionate amount of the laundry's work comes from the dementia unit.




Can you tell me what proportion of laundry work comes from the dementia unit?‑‑‑As you can imagine, the dementia unit – most of them are incontinent, and it creates a lot more work, because, you know, most nights you would have to strip their beds and clothes, you know, they would have several lots of clothes every day.  So yes, it's a big proportion.


Would it represent half your work?‑‑‑No.  I'd say a third.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


You didn't proceed to get your Certificate III in Aged Care, but at paragraph 19 you indicated that you did a Certificate III in Hospitality, that's right?‑‑‑Yes.


I wonder if you could tell me this - I'm not very familiar with that certificate.  Were you asked to do that as a condition of working in the laundry, or was that just something - - -?‑‑‑No, we were asked to do that because it would put us up a grade, okay.  And the government was then offering money to the employer to get higher education for their staff.  So the support staff were offered to do this certificate.


How long ago did you do that?  You say seven or eight years.  Is that seven or eight years from when you wrote the statement?‑‑‑Yes, yes, I'd say so.  Roughly.  I can't say positive, yes.


Does around 2013/14 sound about right?‑‑‑Yes, probably would be, yes.


If you can't answer this question just say so but what - can you tell me what you were taught in your Certificate III, what skills or competence were you taught that you use in the laundry?‑‑‑Not so much in the laundry because it covered more cleaning, kitchen, basically kitchen and, you know, like the standards.  But we were taught those right from the start, yes.


Is it the case that - do you believe you need a Certificate III in Hospitality to do your job?‑‑‑No.


No, okay.  You say in paragraph 24 that you've done some other training.  Do you see that?‑‑‑Yes.


You say you've done dealing with dementia.  Was that a course run by your employer or was it a course run by somebody from outside?‑‑‑No, our employer.  We haven't had that for a long time but we used to get that all the time.


How long since you've done it?‑‑‑It would be 15 years or more.


When you did do it 15 years ago, was it a face to face course or were you in a classroom?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


You were in a classroom setting?‑‑‑Yes.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Do you remember how long it took?‑‑‑They would run approximately three or four hours, it just depended.  Yes.


Was there a test at the end of it?‑‑‑No, no.  Thank heaven.


Thank heaven, yes.  The manual handling course, was that - - -?‑‑‑We have to do those all the time.


All the time?‑‑‑Yes.  At least once a year, twice a year, most times, yes.  Same with handling of chemicals, same thing, yes.


Just with the manual handling course, is that - again, that's a course run by your employer?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


How long does that course run for?‑‑‑Usually hour and a half, two hours.


And again, is there a test at the end of that?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes.


Did you pass it?‑‑‑Yes.


That's good.  The Handling of Chemicals course, could you just tell me what's involved in that course?  What are you taught in that course?‑‑‑That is run by the chemical company that we deal with and it just reinforces you don't mix chemicals.  What you do if you have a chemical spill, that type of thing.  Yes, pretty basic but yes.


Again, is that one and a half hours?  How long does that go for?‑‑‑About an hour, yes.


Do you do that once a year as well?‑‑‑Yes.


What sort of chemicals are you using in the laundry?‑‑‑Most of our chemicals are directly fed into the machine.  So, you know, you have your detergent, your bleach, your softener.  That's the basic - three basic ones we use that are fed into the machines.


I'm sorry, I've seen a machine like you use but where's it fed in from?‑‑‑From the back of the machine there's a - - -

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


And - go on?‑‑‑Yes.


No, you go on?‑‑‑It's called a - anyway, dispenser, and it's usually at the back of the machine, so we don't - we only put the canister in the machine, in the dispenser and it does the rest.


Does the chemical company fill up the dispenser - who fills the - who fills the - - -?‑‑‑No, we do that.


You do that?‑‑‑Yes.


So, the chemicals arrive and then you fill up the dispenser?‑‑‑Yes.  And the machine tells you when it's empty so you just replace it.


You keep your detergents and your bleach down in the laundry do you?‑‑‑No, they're in a chemical room.


Outside of the laundry?‑‑‑Yes.


You just said then you put a canister in the machine.  What's in the canister?‑‑‑Well, they'd either be the detergent, the bleach or the softener.  There's only three chemicals that go into the machines.


So that's not automatically being dispensed into the machine.  That's being put in by you, is it?‑‑‑Well, the canister, we put those in.


Yes?‑‑‑And then the machine dispenses it to the washing machine.


I see.  So, you put - you put the canister into the dispenser?‑‑‑Yes.


And the washing machine then draws the stuff out?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes.


So you're not pouring chemicals into the dispenser, they come in a canister?‑‑‑No.  They are - and they're a solid - they're not liquid, they're solid.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Solid?‑‑‑So the machine will mix it to whichever chemical - whichever program you're using.


You say at paragraph 26:


On Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays I work with another laundry worker.




How long's that person been there?‑‑‑Probably about six years we've had the second person.


Do they have a Certificate III in Hospitality as well?‑‑‑No.


Do they have any certification?‑‑‑No.


You talk about that you're not supervised and when I read your statement it sounds like to me you've got this routine pretty well sorted out?‑‑‑I've been there for 27 years so it gets, yes.


It's a well oiled machine?‑‑‑Yes.


Day to day, does anything happen that's out of that routine that's unusual?‑‑‑If something breaks down like, you know, you've got huge machines, so if one breaks down that sort of puts you behind.


Right.  If a machine breaks down, who do you go to, to get the machine fixed?‑‑‑Our maintenance man will ring up the - our provider and he will come down and fix it.


So that's an outside contractor is it?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Who is your manager?‑‑‑Ruth Bok.


What's their title, Ms O'Donnell?‑‑‑Well, she's the manager - - -

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


She's just the manager?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Is the manager of the whole centre or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Can I just take you to - I'll start you at paragraph 34 if I could.  Could you go there?‑‑‑Yes.


In 34 you say:


Each wing has its own soiled laundry trolley which is filled by the carer staff.




Is that kept in a particular place in each wing or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, they have just cupboards where they can put the trollies away, yes.  And they take it from room to room as they're doing the room.


I've seen some trollies, some trollies are spring-loaded so the actual - the floor of the trolley rises as you take the weight out of it.  Are your trollies like that?‑‑‑Well, our laundry trollies are but the trolley - the laundry trollies that the carers use, no.  They just have bags hanging off them and we go and collect the bags and put clean bags on and put it into our spring-loaded trolley.


So, when you're collecting from the wings?‑‑‑Yes.


They're just standard trollies and you bring those to the laundry, but when you're working in the laundry you've got spring-loaded trollies?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes, okay.  You say at paragraph 38 that you sort the laundry into loads?‑‑‑Yes.


And then you give a list of how you sort it.  Part of your statement talks about, I think, yellow bags.  What I've seen before is this; that soiled items, I've seen them in red plastic bags and you put them straight into the machine.  Do you use those?‑‑‑Yes, they're soluble bags.  The ones we use, the side splits when the water hits it so then we don't actually physically touch the faeces or - you know.  It just makes our job a lot easier.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Yes, and I think you say the infectious loads are in a yellow bag?‑‑‑Yes, they're in a red bag, in a yellow bag, if you know what I'm talking - - -


I do, yes?‑‑‑You put the plastic bag in the yellow bag.  That just lets us know that they are infectious.  So you put that in the machine and you wash it differently to what you would the others, yes.


Do you put the yellow bag in the machine or do you have to take the red bag out of the yellow bag?‑‑‑No, you put the whole lot in.


Okay?‑‑‑Sorry, I've got something that just popped up on my screen.  It won't go away.


That's all right, you take your time.  Tell me when you're good to go?‑‑‑Yes, sorry.  It just - - -


That's fine, that's fine?‑‑‑Wont' go away.  Okay, sorry.


We good?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay, okay.  So you obviously decide what cycle the washing needs to go on?‑‑‑Yes.


I assume that depends on what type of washing it is or what state it's in?‑‑‑Yes, exactly, yes.


After the washing cycle finishes, do you put your trolley up against the washer and pull the washing out into the trolley?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Then you move it to the dryer and then you put the washing into the dryer?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  Those are the spring-loaded trolleys we talked about earlier?‑‑‑Yes.


When you take it out of the dryer does it go back into the spring-loaded trolley?‑‑‑Yes, and taken to the folding room.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Is the folding room in the laundry or next to the laundry?‑‑‑Next to the laundry, yes.


You say at paragraph 54 - I think you said this earlier as well - but you also wash curtains?‑‑‑Yes, we wash everything, yes.


How often do you wash the curtains?‑‑‑At least once a year - we have a - like, curtain roster sort of thing.  Every week you'll do so many but, you know, when someone moves out of a room you've got to wash them again.


Yes?‑‑‑From the dementia wing you're quite often washing them more often.


Once you've folded it you're then putting it back into your trolleys with the spring loaders?‑‑‑No, we have another trolley which we can cover to take them back to the rooms.


That's not spring-loaded?‑‑‑No.


When you say you walk the trolleys back to the wings, is it - is your facility all on one level or are you going in a lift or  - - -?‑‑‑Yes, no, all one level.


Okay.  You restock the linen cupboards?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  Is there a certain amount of linen that you have to have in the cupboard all the time?‑‑‑Well, you try to have as much - so that they've got at least one set per room but extras, yes.


Could I ask you to go to paragraph 71?  At paragraph 71 you say:  'I also look after the laundry ordering for new linen, towels and soluble bags'.  I'll just do this slowly if I can:  the soluble bags are the red and yellow bags?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


When you say you order new linen, do you decide if a sheet or a towel is sort of past its use-by date?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


DO you order the new stock online?‑‑‑I order it or a get permission from the manager to order.  I just ring up and order.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Okay.  When you say you get permission, I take it you say, 'Look, we need to get some more towels'?‑‑‑Yes.


And you'll tell them how many you think you need?‑‑‑Yes.


They'll say, 'Yes, go ahead', or not?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it that when you ring up it's a pre-arranged supplier - it's somebody your facility has got an arrangement with?‑‑‑Yes.


You don't negotiate the price or anything, you just say - - -?‑‑‑No.


'We need six of these and four of those'?‑‑‑No, most of our stuff - Narrabeen decides where we order things from.


Okay.  You say in paragraph 73:  'There are also a range of cleaning tasks in the laundry that must be completed daily, weekly or monthly'.  You talk in paragraph 74 about, I think, what you do every day?‑‑‑Yes.


I just want to walk through those, if I can, to understand them better?‑‑‑Yes.


So you empty your bins, you clean your trolleys and you clean the washing machines each day.  Can you describe for me how you clean the washing machines?‑‑‑You've got to use a neutral detergent and wash the front and around the rim of it, front and outside, you know, just so it's - and you do the same with the dryers.


Yes?‑‑‑Just at the end of the day, yes.


I don't want to sound rude:  you're not getting into the drum of the washing machine?‑‑‑No, no.


Okay?‑‑‑Because they self-clean.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


They self-clean, okay, yes, okay - I should have known that.  What are your weekly - if that's your daily tasks, what do you do weekly in terms of cleaning?‑‑‑Okay - you have things like your insect bug killer.  That's got to be cleaned every week.  The tops of the machines have to be cleaned.  You check your light fittings, all that sort of thing but the light fittings probably would just be once a month.  Once a month too you would do your heater, air conditioner.


When you say, 'clean', is it sort of spray and wipe clean to get any dust or stuff off?‑‑‑Yes, but you would also do the filters in the air con and that type of thing.


Is it a separate air conditioning unit or - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


So you would open it up and take the filters out.  Do you run them under water or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, you've got to clean it properly and there's filters in the - like your fans, exhaust fans.  They have to be cleaned once a month.  You know, they get a fair bit of dust and stuff on them, yes.


Yes.  I take it that's coming particularly from the dryer?‑‑‑Yes, I mean, I think we've got three exhaust fans.  But it's also from the linen, you know?  You get a lot of dust from the linen.


So you're picking up lint and things like that from the - - -?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


And you said a minute ago you talked about insect repellent.  What's that?‑‑‑No, no, insect killer - bug killer.


It's a killer, okay?‑‑‑It's a - you know - a zapper.


A zapper, okay?‑‑‑ON the wall, yes - sorry, I don't know what the technical name for it is but yes, that has to be cleaned out all the time.


If I just ask you to go to paragraph 75?‑‑‑Yes.


You say this - and I'll just read it out:  'I'm also responsible for making sure that all the necessary paperwork is completed.  This includes keeping records of all cleaning performed'.  Do you keep records of each load you do?‑‑‑No, the machine actually does that.  The chemical dispenser actually tallies up, so when the chemical rep comes, he can tell you, you know, how many loads you've actually done in each machine.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


Okay, so when you say that fill out necessary pipework, could you just explain what that paperwork would be?‑‑‑Well, it's more just the cleaning type of paperwork, and your curtains; you make sure you write down, you know, that you've actually done that room whenever or like the dining room curtains or that type of thing, plus when the machines get serviced you fill out the paperwork for that.


I think you said earlier that you would make sure you clean the curtains at least once a year?‑‑‑Yes.


And when a person leaves you do them, as well.  You keep a record of the fact that you've done room 37 and room 38, do you?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


If the machine is serviced, you keep a record of the date when it was serviced?‑‑‑Yes.  They have to be serviced every three months.


Right, okay?‑‑‑So that sort of keeps on top of it.


Is your maintenance department - do they organise the services?‑‑‑They're just generated - you know, every three months they will come, so - - -


You will know when they're coming?‑‑‑Yes.  Well, what month they're coming, yes.


You say in 75:


This is to comply with Australian and New Zealand standards.




What are you referring to when you talk about Australian and New Zealand standards?‑‑‑Well, there are standards that - a standard that we have to abide by.  Like, they have been - for as long as I've been working we have always had - and I don't think it has changed much in the 20‑odd years that I've been there, but that's what we work to, a level that complies with their standards.


Are those standards about the machines you use or are the standards about the temperatures you run the machines at for certain washes?  What do they actually relate to?‑‑‑A bit of everything.  It's how we wash, it's what we use to wash, it's infection control.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


So that's if you've got a contaminated wash in a yellow bag.  There are certain rules as to how you do that, is there?‑‑‑Yes, that, too, but, like, there is a rule for how you wash everything.


Okay?‑‑‑It has to comply with the infectious side of it, yes.


I think you said those haven't changed for 20 years?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it that you learnt those when you started in the laundry?‑‑‑Pretty much, yes, and I still go back to them whenever we have an outbreak or something just to make sure that things are done properly, yes.


I understand.  Thank you.  You say in paragraph 76:


I am also responsible for making sure that the signage and information in the laundry is correct.


Can you just share with us what signage you're referring to?‑‑‑Okay.  Well, it's donning and doffing of your PPE.


Right?‑‑‑It's how you wash your hands.


Yes?‑‑‑What to do for a chemical spill.  We have our - I'm just trying to think.  For the chemicals we have a list of everything with each chemical.  You've got to have that up to date every five years.


I understand it's called a chemical information sheet.  You have to have that, don't you?‑‑‑Yes, yes, yes.


When you say a chemical spill, is it possible, for instance, that the dispenser might break and spill chemicals?‑‑‑Well, yes, or the machine might - the actual washing machine might spill out, you know, if something happens, yes.


So the front seal might break and it might start to leak?‑‑‑Well, yes, yes.


Has that happened before?‑‑‑We have had floods before, yes, yes.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


How often has that happened?‑‑‑I think only about twice in my time, but - yes.  Not often.


That's good?‑‑‑Yes.


You then say in paragraph 77:


I also do a number of tasks that aren't part of my role because they don't get done if I don't do them.


What does that mean?‑‑‑Just things like for the resident - the RAOs, rec officers, used to work on weekends.  Well, they don't any more to save money.


Yes?‑‑‑So the residents can't get their papers - you know, their newspapers.  One will do it one day, I'll do it the Sunday, you know, just so that they actually get their papers.  Someone might need something on a weekend, so one of us might nick out and get it for them, you know, the resident.  We fed - I mean, the cat has passed now, but for a long time we were feeding a resident's cat because she couldn't do it any more.


Am I right that those are things you just wanted to do to help out?‑‑‑Well, yes.  You know, like it - you're not made to do it, but you do it because it makes the resident - well, that's what we're there for, the resident.


Yes?‑‑‑It makes their lives better, yes.


In paragraph 84 you say - I think this is when you're moving around the wings:


I generally have a chat with residents when I see them when I go into their rooms to put away their clothes.  It seems to brighten their day and it makes me happy.  However, there are a few residents I've learnt it's better to avoid.


I take it because you've been there so long you get to know the residents fairly well?‑‑‑Yes, yes.  They are like a family, some of them, yes.




Don't tell me the names of the people you like to talk with.  Don't do that?‑‑‑No.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


But when you say you like to avoid them, what do you mean by that?‑‑‑Especially in the dementia ward some can get very aggressive.


Yes?‑‑‑So you sort of gauge on the day whether they're in a good mood or whether they're not.  A good mood, yes, you'll take their stuff in; bad mood, you'll leave it for the carers to do.


Okay.  Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were unsafe?‑‑‑Yes.


You have?‑‑‑A couple of times I've been, you know, pushed up against the door or, you know, put into a little alcove and I can't get out because they've got me blocked in, so I have to wait for someone to come.


How did you handle that?‑‑‑Not much you can do.  You just stand there and wait for someone to come.




If I could ask you to go to page 102?‑‑‑Yes.


You say:


Within the last year or two RSL Life Care has been providing more training to support staff such as myself in how to deal with abusive and aggressive residents.


What does that training involve?‑‑‑You watch a video and you answer questions at the end of it.


How long does that process take?‑‑‑Anything from half an hour to an hour, it just depends.


Do you do that by yourself or are you in a sort of classroom setting?‑‑‑No, do it by myself, just on the computer.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                           XXN MR WARD


In the laundry?‑‑‑No, we've got - we call them communal computers, you know.  There are probably six computers in one room so we can go and do our education and that type of thing, yes.


Okay.  I think you said you do a test at the end?‑‑‑Yes, you do, yes.


So far you have passed?‑‑‑Yes, yes, I'm still there.


Have you found those helpful?‑‑‑Yes, because they update that type of thing quite often and plus it just reminds you when you do them how to deal with things.  It's a good thing.




Am I right it gives you ideas as to what to do if you find yourself in a situation with a difficult resident?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


You have found them helpful personally?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Ms O'Donnell, thank you very much for answering my questions.  No further questions, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you.  Mr Gibian, any re‑examination?


MR GIBIAN:  Thank you.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR GIBIAN                                                 [2.38 PM]


MR GIBIAN:  Ms O'Donnell, you can hear me again?‑‑‑Yes.


I just had one matter.  You were asked some questions about the Australian New Zealand Standards and I think in answer to one of those questions you said you go back to them whenever you have an outbreak.  What kind of outbreaks were you talking about?‑‑‑Gastro, that type of thing, yes.  It just reaffirms what you're supposed to be doing when you have those sort of outbreaks.

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                         RXN MR GIBIAN


Is that something that's happened regularly, or only ever so often?‑‑‑Not since COVID, because we've had very few visitors.  They don't seem to be getting the flu or gastric or that type of thing.  Before that, you would get it every couple of years.  It's like everything, it goes through towns, yes.


Thank you, Ms O'Donnell.  Thank you so much for coming to give evidence?‑‑‑No problems.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you, Ms O'Donnell.  You're excused and free to go?‑‑‑Okay.  Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                             [2.39 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  So Ms Glass is next?


MR GIBIAN:  Yes.  I think she's on now, as I understand it.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Ms Glass, can you hear me now?


MS GLASS:  Can you hear me?




MS GLASS:  Okay.  All good.  Thank you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I can see you on the phone.  I can still see you in the original line, so perhaps so we don't get feedback if you leave the other line and just stay on the phone.


MS GLASS:  Okay.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  And I understand you're unwell, so if you need a break or feel unwell please say so.  I'm O'Neill C, and my associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Glass, can you please state your full name and work address?

***        SANDRA JOY O'DONNELL                                                                                                         RXN MR GIBIAN


MS GLASS:  It's Charlene Dawn Glass, and it's Anglicare Newmarch House, 50‑52 Manning Street, Kingswood 2747.

<CHARLENE GLASS, AFFIRMED                                                     [2.46 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR GIBIAN                                    [2.47 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, Mr Gibian.


MR GIBIAN:  Thank you, Commissioner.  Ms Glass, can you hear me?‑‑‑Yes, I can.


Maybe even see me as well?‑‑‑Yes.


My name is Mark Gibian.  I don't think we've had the opportunity to speak.  I'm appearing for the HSU in this matter.  Can I just ask you to repeat your full name for the record?‑‑‑Yes.  It's Charlene Dawn Glass.


And you're employed by Anglicare at the Newmarch House facility?‑‑‑Yes.


I think at the time of your first statement you were a carer, but since then it's changed and you're now an administrative assistant, is that correct?‑‑‑Yes, correct.


And I think you've explained in your second statement that was around September of last year?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct.


Now, you've made two statements for the purpose of this proceeding.  Do you have copies of those with you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


The first one I think is dated 29 March 2021 and runs to some 92 paragraphs.  Do you have a copy of that with you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Have you had an opportunity to read that statement over?‑‑‑Yes.


Subject to updating the work that you're doing, is it otherwise - the position you hold – is it otherwise true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑Yes, it is.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                        XN MR GIBIAN


That's the first statement of Ms Glass that we wish to have as part of the evidence.  It's document 148 in the digital court book, commencing at page 10148.  I think, Ms Glass, you should also have a further statement headed, 'Reply statement of Charlene Glass', dated 12 April this year, 2022.  Do you also have that statement?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Have you also had an opportunity to read over that statement?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Is that statement true and correct to the best of your knowledge and recollection?‑‑‑Yes, it is.


That's the second statement of Ms Glass that we wish to have as part of the evidence.  It's 149, document 149 in the digital court book, commencing at - I'm sorry - page 10158.  Ms Glass, hopefully on one of the screens in front of you at least you should see in one of the boxes, Mr Ward.  He's now going to ask you some questions?‑‑‑Okay, thank you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                           [2.49 PM]


MR WARD:  Ms Glass, can you hear me okay?‑‑‑Yes, I can.


Ms Glass, my name is Nigel Ward.  I appear in this matter for the employer interests.  Can I just restate what the Commissioner said:  if at any stage you need a break or you're not feeling well, you just tell me straight away, okay?‑‑‑Okay.


I don't want you not being well?‑‑‑That's okay.


I think you're our second witness who had COVID so - - -?‑‑‑Okay.


I'm just going to start with your care work, if I can, and then I'll talk about your administration work after that.  I just struggled a little bit with your work history.  When you were doing care work it was at New March House.  That's right, isn't it?‑‑‑I started at Rooty Hill with care work.


Right?‑‑‑Then I moved over to Newmarch House when COVID happened.  I'm the (indistinct).


Okay, so before New March, where were you?‑‑‑Rooty Hill, Melva McDonald Lodge.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Is that also operated by Anglicare or is it operated by somebody else?‑‑‑It's also Anglicare.


Okay.  You hold a Certificate IV in Aged Care?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Did you get that Certificate because your employer required it or did you get it because you wanted to develop yourself?‑‑‑I develop - got the certificate prior to that on my own.  I was doing home care work.


Right?‑‑‑And I wanted to further my career into residential and the requirement is - I knew that as requiring to get a Certificate III or IV.  So that's what I did, yes.


I'm just interested - is there a reason why you chose getting a Certificate IV rather than a Certificate III?‑‑‑Certificate IV gives you more ability to administer medications, so it gives you a wider scope to do more things at facilities, yes.


Before you worked at Rooty Hill you were doing home care, were you?‑‑‑Yes, I was.


Have you always been in home care before that or did you do other things?‑‑‑I did other things.




Do you have your first statement in front of you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Just if I could, if I could ask you to go to page - sorry, paragraph 51 and just have that in front of you and I'm just going to ask you some general questions first, if I can?‑‑‑Okay.


I take it that when you describe your care responsibilities, this is a description that applied at Newmarch and I assume most likely Rooty Hill as well?‑‑‑Yes.


Is that right?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


When you were at Newmarch did you work in a team or did you work alone?‑‑‑No, I worked mostly with a team, with another team member.  (Indistinct) two of us, yes.


That was a personal care worker as well?‑‑‑Yes.


In terms of who you reported to, did you report to a registered nurse or did you report to somebody else?‑‑‑A registered nurse.


Right.  Can I ask you to go to paragraph 51(c)?  You say in paragraph 51(c) - you talk about your responsibilities and technical responsibilities.  You say:  'Actively observing any skin changes to track and assess residents' health'?‑‑‑Yes.


Can you explain to me - is there anything you might have observed that made you go straight to the registered nurse?‑‑‑If I find there was skin tears, bruising, any changes in the skin that can cause cuts, you know, things like that, we report straight away to the registered nurse.


Okay, and I assume - like I think most of our witnesses have said - you did progress notes and daily charting?‑‑‑Yes, we do.


And could you just tell us what sort of charting you would have done?‑‑‑We would chart - specifically to the skin?


No, no, just generally deal with the resident?‑‑‑WE would chart on behaviours, we would chart on any cognitive declining, anything different to - basically, not if anything different happened to the resident but basically a daily charting of the resident throughout the day.  They would be charted - yes.


But can I just see if we can - I'll ask you a few more questions on that, if I can.  So would you write in your notes that they'd eaten during the day?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay - I presume you'd also write if they hadn't eaten during the day as well?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Would you identify in your notes things like bowel movements or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, bowel movements, eating, drinking, that sort of thing - even measurement sizes of how much they've had to drink, like a cupful of tea or half a cup of water.  We progress everything.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


If you observe the resident behaving differently - as in they were more - less active or less alert, you'd also write that in your progress notes too?‑‑‑Yes, absolutely, and if the resident - if the behaviour is not - if it's out of sync we'd notify the RN straight away and she'd do a UTR assessment, yes.


I'll just pause there and ask this question:  when a new resident is admitted, I take it that where you worked, the original care plan was created by the registered nurse?‑‑‑Yes, yes, it was.


I take it that that care plan would be provided to you before you started looking after that resident?‑‑‑Not necessarily - it was probably given to us on the day that the resident was admitted to the facility.




And would you read that or would the registered nurse talk to you about it?‑‑‑Just probably read out to us from the registered nurse quite quickly and didn't go into detail.


Okay?‑‑‑And yes, the rest we'd have to sort of track by ourselves.


Okay, and am I right that if you - let's say I was the resident and you were observing me to be quite withdrawn and unusual in my behaviour.  I think you've said you might go and get the registered nurse straight away?‑‑‑Yes.


But if the care plan had to be changed is it the registered nurse who would actually make the change to the care plan?‑‑‑I think that would be the duty of the care manager.


Okay?‑‑‑She would be changing the care plans and then giving it to the registered nurses.


Okay.  Was the care manager somebody who the registered nurse reported in to?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  You might not know the answer to this but was your care manager a registered nurse?‑‑‑Yes, she was.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Okay.  Can I take you back to paragraph 51(l)?‑‑‑Yes.


You talk there about advocating for residents?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


Could you just explain to me what you understand 'advocating' to mean?‑‑‑Okay, a resident can talk to us about a family member that's taking money from her.


Right?‑‑‑Initially not necessarily stealing the money, but, like, using her bankcard and then she would be informing the care staff, and then in turn we would notify the resident nurse who will notify the care manager.


I take it that's because you develop a relationship with the resident?‑‑‑Yes, yes.


Earlier you talked about getting your cert IV to be medication competent?‑‑‑Yes.


Am I right that you were involved in medications in your care work?‑‑‑Yes, I was.


That didn't involve Schedule 8 drugs?‑‑‑Just explain to me Schedule 8.


No, that's fine.  That's fine?‑‑‑Okay.


My understanding is that there is a class of medication called Schedule 8?‑‑‑Okay.


Such as morphines and things like that that the nurse has to deal with?‑‑‑Yes, yes, a nurse will do those ones, yes.


Okay.  I take it your nurse did her rounds dealing with those or his rounds dealing with those?‑‑‑Absolutely she did, yes.


My understanding is you were able to do what's called Schedule 4 drugs.  Does that ring a bell?‑‑‑Yes.


I just want to see if I understand how that might have worked.  Let me tell you what I understand and you tell me if I'm wrong.  I assume the Schedule 4 drugs were kept under lock and key somewhere?‑‑‑Yes, in the medication trolley which is kept inside the nurses' station in a separate locked room where the nurses have their Schedule 8 drugs.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Okay?‑‑‑So we put them all in the one place.


Did you have the key to that?‑‑‑No.


The registered nurse did?‑‑‑Yes, she did, yes.


Just assume for a minute that you were going to do a Schedule 4 round.  I take it you would go to the room where the drugs are kept and the registered nurse would provide that trolley to you?‑‑‑Yes.


Would the trolley already have on it the Webster packs or the blister packs?‑‑‑Yes, they would already have the updated packs in the trolleys, yes.


Let's just pretend for a minute that I'm the first resident you're going to go and see.  Hopefully I'm not a difficult resident for you.  You arrive at my room, you take the blister pack that has got my name on it or the Webster pack that has got my name on it.  My understanding is that you have to check the pills?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


And you might check those pills by reading the name and checking the name.  I also understand that you might actually have like a picture chart of the pill?‑‑‑Yes.


Did you do both of those?‑‑‑We didn't have a picture chart of the pill, but on our tablets we have all the information of the medications for the residents.


Yes?‑‑‑And I used to check the names of the medication against what's in the Webster packs.


Okay.  If you saw something that didn't look right, what would you do?‑‑‑I would take the trolley with me straightaway to the nurses' station and speak to the RN, because we have to keep that trolley with us at all times, yes, as well, yes.


Let's assume that nothing goes wrong and that they're the right pills for me?‑‑‑Yes.


I understand that on your tablet there will be possibly instructions about whether or not I can take the tablet whole or it has got to be crushed and put in custard or something like that?‑‑‑Yes, it does, yes.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


You would do that, you would then give me the tablet and I assume that you would stay with me to observe that I had taken it?‑‑‑Absolutely, yes.


Once I've taken it you would record on your tablet that I had taken it?‑‑‑I do, yes.


If I was being difficult that day and refused to take it, what would happen then?‑‑‑We have an option on the tablets to say, 'Administer at a later time', and then we come back at a later time to administer that specific medication.


And if the second time failed, what would happen then?‑‑‑Then I would notify the RN.




I assume when you did your medication competency that also included your ability to administer eye drops and creams, as well?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct, yes.


You would have done that in your job?‑‑‑Yes, I would.


Can I ask you to put that first statement away if I can?‑‑‑Okay.


Then can I come to the change in job?‑‑‑Okay.


If this is too personal, don't answer it, but is there a reason why you changed to the administration job?‑‑‑I had a mental breakdown in April last year.  It was due to - well, I can tell you, it's due to one of the residents sexually harassing me.


Goodness?‑‑‑He is in the DSU unit and I was taken off work for about three months, then when I came back I was placed onto light duties but I wasn't at all to, you know, work in the DSU section until a certain amount of time; until I was ready.


I'm not going to pry into that any further?‑‑‑That's okay.


I won't do that, that's fine?‑‑‑Okay.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Are you on the road to recovery?‑‑‑Yes, I am.  Thank you very much, yes.


That's good news.  That's good news?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


You have now moved into administration?‑‑‑Yes.


I think you say in your statement that there is a receptionist working in administration?‑‑‑There was.


Not any more?‑‑‑No, because I'm there.


Okay, right?‑‑‑Yes, I'm there.


It's your job now, okay.  All right?‑‑‑It's my job, too.


That's your job, too.  Okay.  Do I take it that you sit sort of at the front desk in your role?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Do you have the second statement available in front of you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


I wouldn't mind just starting with - I think paragraphs 8 and 9 talks about being trained and you discuss some of the things you were trained in, in (a), (b) and (c).  I would just like to explore those with you if I could?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


You say in (a), 'How to update the emergency folder'?‑‑‑Yes.


Can you help me, what is in the emergency folder?‑‑‑Okay.  That is a very important folder to be updated.  If there is a fire outbreak at the facility the first thing that the manager will do is take the emergency folder and do a head count of all the residents, and there are name tags that you put around your neck for all the residents with all their correct names and a photograph, because that's very important.  We have to do a head count immediately if there's a fire outbreak, yes.


So if I opened the emergency folder up, what would I find in it?‑‑‑You would find an updated resident bed list, all the emergency procedures.  You will find a map layout of the facility.  Yes, pretty much everything to do with a fire outbreak.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


I take it that there is somebody in the facility who is the fire warden?‑‑‑Yes, we've got a few.  We have a few, yes, yes.


Is that folder for them to use if there is a fire?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay?‑‑‑Yes, it is, yes.


You then say in (b) you were taught how to use the in‑house system called My Team Space and then you talk about that this system includes relevant information about the facility, such as resident bed list and administration tools.  Could you just give us a slightly broader explanation of what My Team Space is?‑‑‑Okay.  It's just to let Anglicare - anybody that works in Anglicare can access this information.  If you're working at another facility you can access, you know, any of the other facilities.  It's just an administration tool that anybody wants to access.  Yes, basically it's an in‑house web site basically.


Okay.  If I was a care worker, why might I access My Team Space?‑‑‑It's not really for care workers to access, it's mainly for administration and management to access.


And let's say I was your manager, why would I be using it?‑‑‑If you want to go in to see the updated bed list or if you want to grab any resident labels that we're using, the RNs will have access to this.  But as I say, it's not for care workers, it's only for - - -


People at that level, yes?‑‑‑Yes.


So if I wanted to find out who's in a facility or what room they're in, that's the system I go to?‑‑‑Yes, correct.


Does it include their care plans?‑‑‑No.


You then talk about how to use the Baseware system.  Is that a financial accounting system?‑‑‑Yes.  Or - - -


And what – go on?‑‑‑Not a financial accounting; it's an invoicing system that Anglicare uses.  They basically receive invoices for different facilities, and then they email it, or they send it to us in the system to process.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Just help me with that.  Let's say that I was a contractor doing some work for your facility, let's say I was a plumbing contractor and I'd done some work, I would send the invoice to you?‑‑‑Yes.


And - - -?‑‑‑No, you wouldn't send the invoice to me.  You would send it to Anglicare head office.


Right?‑‑‑And then Anglicare head office will send it to us to be coded, and then we send it back to them to be issued.


Okay?‑‑‑For the invoices to be issued.


When Anglicare head office send it to you, I take it when you say 'coded', you would put a general ledger code on it for a facility or an activity?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it you've got a big list of those and you type in the right one, or do you just put that on the invoice itself?‑‑‑Well, it just comes up – you know, you can click on invoicing for Newmarch House or whichever facility, what it's used for, for maintenance, is it for residents, is it food invoices - you know, you've got to categorise it basically.


Are you the only person who uses that system, or do other people use it?‑‑‑No, the village manager and the operations manager, the three of us use it.


Am I right that you're now the receptionist as well?‑‑‑Yes.


In paragraph 13 you talk about some of your typical work.  You say in (a), 'Attending to residents and visitors.'  What do you mean by 'attending to'?‑‑‑Okay, attending to residents would be if they come to the counter and they have any general inquiries about anything – they want to see their hairdresser, the podiatrist, that sort of thing, and I help them out with that.  If they need to book a taxi, if they want to go out, I'll do that for them, and attending to visitors.  We all have to RAT test everybody now every day since we've had a few outbreaks, and then you basically screen them in as well, the visitors.


Perhaps in COVID, I assume that your role would be, if somebody was visiting, like they would come to you at the front desk and you'd sign them in, would you?‑‑‑Yes, I would.  Yes, we have a tablet at the front desk, as well as book signing in, and they've got to sign in with their phones using the QR coding that Anglicare has.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Again, if you just put COVID aside for a minute, if COVID wasn't with us I take it that I would – if I was a visitor I would come along, and the tablet, I'd put my name in the tablet and who I'm visiting when I'm coming in, would I?‑‑‑Well, they didn't use that system before COVID.  They would just allow the visitors to come in - - -


In the old days I could just walk in, could I?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes, absolutely.


Okay.  But going forward, people will have to sign in?‑‑‑Yes.


You then say at (b), 'I do general administrative tasks.'  Can you just help me out?  What do you mean by 'general administrative tasks'?‑‑‑I do laminating for lifestyle, if they want laminating, if they want a sign on the door for a certain resident.  I do the names for the doors for new residents coming in.  You know, any other departments in the facility that need anything, I can help them out with that.


What do you mean by 'anything?'  Are you happy with your last answer?‑‑‑Yes.  Basically if the infection control manager came to me and she said she needed a few things printed off; you know, photocopying - - -


Yes?‑‑‑General administrative duties.


I understand.  Thank you.  That's very helpful.  In (c) you say you 'order resources.'  What do you mean by 'resources'?‑‑‑Stationery, it could be, like, repairs to certain equipment in our facility that's not working; yes, just general office working things, like photocopy paper, that sort of thing.


So you're not talking about ordering food and things like that?‑‑‑No, no, no.


I'll just give you examples; just tell me if you agree with it.  If we had a lifting hoist that wasn't working, you might organise to get a person in to fix it?‑‑‑Yes, correct.


You then say in (d), 'Recording and maintain resident data.'  Is that information like their next of kin and things like that?‑‑‑Record‑keeping – yes, it would be on our iCare system.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Right?‑‑‑Updating any information for their next of kind, updating on the iCare system.  If they've got a new Medicare card, we quickly update it on iCare system, just – yes, just generally keeping records updated.


You then say in (e), 'Working with registered nurses and (indistinct).'  Could you just help me through that.  What activities do you do with them?‑‑‑Okay.  They phone me constantly regarding – they can say there's pathology to be collected, please phone the pathologist; there's an ambulance coming; the resident's fallen out of bed, please ask them to bring her around to the room; care management can come to me on any issue with a resident; if there's dental – if there's a dentist coming they let me know if there's appointments, they let me know – yes, just basically – sorry, I can't think.  My head's (indistinct) - - -


No, that's all right.  I'm sorry?‑‑‑It's okay.  Yes, so I get a lot of phone calls from the registered nurses regarding residents and they keep me updated.  If the family is coming for a care conference, then they let me know, because they need to see them.  Basically, yes.


So they might tell you that something's going to happen, so when the family walk in you know what they're there for?‑‑‑Yes.


And you might actually be chasing up the pathology for Mr Smith, things like that?‑‑‑Yes, correct.


Can I just take you to (g)?‑‑‑Mm-hm.


I appreciate you're unwell.  I won't be much longer?‑‑‑That's okay.


You say, 'Answering calls, queries and emails of family members of residents.'  I take it that some of those you will pass on to other people?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes, if I can't help them out, then I pass them on to the various management that can help them out.


Could you give me an idea of what those various management people might be?‑‑‑If there's a complaint I'll pass the call straight away to our village manager.  If there's any queries that I can't help them out with I can speak to the care manager or take a message and then pass the message on to our care management or even registered nurses.  If a family's asking about certain health conditions of the resident, how they're going, I'll pass the message onto the RNs, yes.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


You then say in (i):


Emailing staff and family members of residents if there are any updates.


What do you mean updates?‑‑‑Well, if there's - if the hearing specialists are coming on a certain day, we email them out to say that they're coming.  You know, please can come into the facility or email a form.


So, if I've got a specialist coming to see me in a week you'll let the family know that that person's coming?‑‑‑Well, I don't specifically but like if they want me to, I can phone them.  If the RN doesn't have the opportunity to phone the family members then I can do it on her behalf.


Okay.  You then say in (j):


Working closely with contract workers and maintenance.


What sort of contract workers are we talking about?‑‑‑Painters, plumbers, just basically the repair of anything going on in the facility.


Is all of that contracted out in your facility?‑‑‑Yes.


This might be embarrassing.  Do you have painters and plumbers and repair people there a lot?‑‑‑Yes, we do.  I can tell you why, because every time there's a new facility - new resident coming into our facility, they are now taking up all of the carpeting in the room and we're putting down vinyl flooring, floorboards, yes.


That's from a health infection perspective is it?‑‑‑It is definitely, yes. So, there's a lot of that going on.


And when you say working closely, are you actually - are you organising that or are you just - are you the person who organises them to come in or is somebody else - is there a maintenance manager or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, there's a maintenance man - no, he's not a manager but he works closely with the village manager and then they will notify me if there's any contract workers coming into the building for anything specific, and then when they arrive at the door I can know exactly what they're going to do.


So, you're able to let them understand where to do quickly - - -?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


I've got you.  Okay?‑‑‑Yes.


You also say you were involved in rostering.  Do you run the rosters?‑‑‑I don't run it.  I did at one time before we had an operations manager.  For three months we didn't have one, and I was involved with rostering as well as - there was a young lady there doing the rosters but she wasn't there all the time, so.


So, you don't do it anymore?‑‑‑No, I don't, no.


Sorry, who does it now?‑‑‑The operations manager.


You then say you answer pharmacists inquiries.  What might the pharmacist be ringing up about?‑‑‑They'd like to know the doctor's name of the resident or if there's a pathology that they couldn't quite read, we have to do it again, just general inquiries.


And then lastly you say:


Assisting the facility manager and operations manager.


Can you just explain to me outside of all the things you do do, can you explain to me what that might involve?‑‑‑Well, at the moment it's - a lot of it's involving COVID outbreaks.  And then we're all informed about what's happening, do we have to do RAT testing, do we have to close the facility down for a certain amount of time, so we - you know, we work closely together with anything in that regard.


Are they - do they sit near you in the facility?‑‑‑Yes, they do.


So, the administration group and the managers are all largely close together?‑‑‑Yes.


I understand.  I think you say in (n):


Assisting care workers by providing care work.


Do you still do a little bit of care work?‑‑‑I do.  Yes.

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


Is that just 'Can you help me out?' or is that you actually do some shifts?‑‑‑No, I don't do shifts in that regard.  My office is right next to our café in our facility, so - and I'm also right next to the community hall.  If they - like, somebody will say can you go and pick up Mr so and so from his room, he's just down the hallway, like bringing through the wheelchair or there's been some instances where residents have - are not well I the café area and I'll call the RN and because lifestyle staff don't have a care background to help out the residents if they're choking or vomiting or gagging, then I'm there, I can help them.


So, if you're there and somebody needs help near you and - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


- - - you sort of jump in and then you hand it off to the RN or whatever?‑‑‑Yes, yes, I do.


MR GIBIAN:  Sorry, can I just make an inquiry.  We're just becoming concerned about the time.  There were three more people who were supposed to be dealt with this afternoon who have been arranged, so I was just wondering how long?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Are you able to indicate how much longer you'll be with this witness, Mr Ward?


MR WARD:  Subject to asking my colleague, I've finished.  I was about to say I've finished.  We have good days and we have bad days.


MR GIBIAN:  (Indistinct).


MR WARD:  Ms Glass, thank you very much for your answers and I do wish you well and hope you get better soon?‑‑‑Thank you very much. Thank you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Any re-examination, Mr Gibian?


MR GIBIAN:  There's not, thank you, Commissioner.  Thank you, Ms Glass. Thank you for coming to give evidence.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you, Ms Glass.  You're excused.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                             [3.25 PM]

***        CHARLENE GLASS                                                                                                                      XXN MR WARD


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Mr Ward, are you able to indicate how long you'll be with the remaining witnesses this afternoon?


MR WARD:  Two - well, can I just have two minutes and I'll see - there's a possibility I might not call one to help out.  Could I just have two minutes if that's okay, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  On that basis you certainly can have two minutes.


MR WARD:  Just give me two minutes, sorry.




MR WARD:  Commissioner, in the spirit of good administration, can I indicate we won't require Sally Fox.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Thank you for that.  Well, that leaves us Ms Phillips and Ms Sweeney for the afternoon.  What's your estimate of time for those two witnesses, Mr Ward?


MR WARD:  I had anticipated Ms Phillips would probably be within my benchmark of half an hour.  I have a sneaking suspicion Ms Sweeney might be a little longer.




MR WARD:  Subject to the witness, I certainly think it'll go for at least 40 minutes.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Right.  Well, let's get underway with Ms Phillips if she's - - -


MS DOUST:  Thank you, Commissioner.  We'll just get her connected.  Can I just say for the record then we rely upon the three statements of Ms Fox that appear at documents 199, 200 and 201 of the digital court book respectively, and they're dated 29 March 2021, 28 October 2021 and 14 April 2022 respectively.




MS DOUST:  Thank you.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Is that you, Ms Phillips?


MS PHILLIPS:  Maree, yes.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Look, it's very difficult to see you.  Can you hear me all right?


MS PHILLIPS:  Yes, yes.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  I'm not sure if you're there on your own but if there is someone there that can assist you, that would help if you could either perhaps move a bit closer or they can adjust the camera so that we can see you a little more clearly.  Yes, if you sit there, that should be much clearer.


MS PHILLIPS:  How's that?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Yes, but if you turn around another - there, if you're able to do that.  Just a bit more, with your back to the table.


MS PHILLIPS:  Yes, okay - because I just got an text message to say to come back tomorrow so (indistinct).


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Ms Doust, is this your witness?




COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Sorry, sorry - Ms Phillips, my associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Phillips, can you please state your full name and work address.


MS PHILLIPS:  I'm not working at the moment.  I resigned (indistinct).


THE ASSOCIATE:  Can you please provide your personal home address instead?


MS PHILLIPS:  (Address supplied).

<MAREE PHILLIPS, AFFIRMED                                                       [3.29 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS DOUST                                      [3.29 PM]




MS DOUST:  Thank you, Ms Phillips.  It's Lisa Doust here.  Can I just ask you, before I start asking you any questions, do you have a copy of your statement with you?‑‑‑I do.


Is that at the other end of the table you're sitting at?‑‑‑I'm down the bottom end in front of the screen.


I wonder if you wouldn't mind just grabbing your statement, just in case you need to have a look at that?‑‑‑Okay.


Thank you.  Can you just state your full name for the record, please?‑‑‑Maree Judy Phillips.


Up until November 2021 were you employed as a community support worker with South East Community Care in Tasmania?‑‑‑Let me see - I finished work 10 February, I think.  Yes, it would have been - oh dear.  I haven't worked for 12 months so I finished on 10 February so it would be 2022, only just still there.


All right, so you resigned from your position as a community support worker with South East Community Care.  is that right?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you recall when you resigned from that position?‑‑‑10 February - must have been 2021.


So last year?‑‑‑Yes, I haven't worked in 12 months now.


Did you prepare a statement for the purpose of the proceeding before the Commission which is dated 27 October 2021?‑‑‑If it's in this statement I've got - - -

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                          XN MS DOUST


Yes, is that one that you signed 27 October 2021?‑‑‑Yes.


Is that statement true and correct to the best of your belief and knowledge?‑‑‑Yes.


I read that, Commissioner - that's document 202 of the digital court book, page 11209.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, Mr Ward.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                           [3.32 PM]


MR WARD:  Thank you, Commissioner.  Ms Phillips, can you hear me okay?‑‑‑Yes.


Ms Phillips, my name is Nigel Ward.  I appear in these proceedings for the employer interests.  I'm going to ask you some questions.  I'm struggling a little bit to hear you so just bear with me if I ask you to repeat yourself because I'm just struggling a little bit to hear you.  Can I take you back to when you worked for South East Community Care - do you normally call that SECC or is there some other name you normally call them?‑‑‑I call them (indistinct).


You're going to have to help me out, I can't hear that?‑‑‑I said I refer to them as just Sorell because they're in Sorell.


Sorell?‑‑‑Sorell, because they're in Sorell.


S-o-r-e-l-l?  Yes, okay, I got it right.  Okay, I'll call them Sorell too if that makes it - I'll call them Sorell too if that makes it easier.  My understanding is that you were doing largely domestic duties when you were doing home care, is that right?‑‑‑Not much domestic, no - more what I'm told I had to do, which is personal care and medication.


Okay, we'll come to medications in a minute, if we can.  Can I ask you to go to paragraph 17 of your statement?‑‑‑Yes.

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


You describe what you do to include the following:  'Domestic duties like cleaning and laundry, cooking and meal preparation, taking the client out shopping, socialising and talking to the client, taking the client to medical or personal appointments, doing exercises that are part of the care plan with the client' - sitting up, et cetera - 'helping clients setting up their home so they can do things alone'.  Is that what you were doing when you were doing home care work?‑‑‑Yes.


I might just pause there and - the last one, in (g) - do you see (g), 'helping clients setting up their home'?‑‑‑Yes.


Could you just help me out:  what would that have involved?‑‑‑(Indistinct), away, not - making sure that the bed's not tucked in so they get tangled up in the middle of the night when they get up.


Okay?‑‑‑Putting things down, making sure jars were open, water's in the fridge, just common sense things.


Okay, that's fine, thank you for that.  When you were at Sorell, when you worked there, who did you work for?  Who was your boss?‑‑‑Well, the CEO is Helen Collard but I answered to the coordinators, not her.


What was the coordinator's job?‑‑‑They were responsible for setting up the care plan for the clients.


Were the coordinators nurses?‑‑‑No.


They weren't.  did you have registered nurses available if you needed them?‑‑‑No, because I was told that Sorell nurses stay in Sorell.  If you want a nurse it's got to be organised by what they call community nurses, which is (indistinct).


Okay?‑‑‑They will come up to the (indistinct) that I worked.


So Sorell didn't have nurses themselves but they used community nurses?‑‑‑No, they keep Sorell nurses to Sorell area, okay - like (indistinct) the area but they didn't come up to (indistinct) Bellerive - that was community nurses' area, not Sorell's.


Okay, so if you needed a nurse, what did you do?‑‑‑It was up to the family if things weren't serious.  If it was something serious then I would probably get the non-urgent ambulance to attend.  It would maybe just depend on why they needed a nurse.

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


I see?‑‑‑Some had community nurses, others just use their doctors and went by what their doctors said.


Okay, so if you were in a client's house and they had a serious fall would you have just rung triple 0, would you?‑‑‑No, I would have rang the non-urgent ambulance.


Okay, all right.  Now, I think you said the coordinators prepared the care plan.  Was that right?‑‑‑Yes.


How would the care plan be communicated to you for a client?‑‑‑On the phone or in the folder in the house.


Okay, so when you say on your phone, did they use an app or did they just - - -?‑‑‑No, they had their own app that had the address, client's details, not always up to date of course but (indistinct) on the phone until you got to the book if that was up to date.


Okay.  And you talked about a book.  I take it there's a book in the resident's - in the client's house?‑‑‑Yes, client file.


So, just assume that I was your client and you were coming to my house to prepare a meal for me.  After you finished, would you write in the book what you've done?‑‑‑Yes.


Would you write anything else in the book?‑‑‑If there was anything else to be written in the book, yes.


What might that include?‑‑‑Clients not well, client had a bad night, medication missing, maybe the client has trouble swallowing their medication.  I don't know, obstacles and the front door, back door.  Just common sense stuff.


No, that's fine, that's fine.  I take it you were qualified to prompt medicines?‑‑‑Yes.


What was that qualification that you did?‑‑‑It's called medication skilled.


And were did you do that?‑‑‑Independent Healthcare.

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


I don't know them.  Is that just a private provider of that?‑‑‑Yes, yes.  We did it with registered nurses.


Was that a face to face course or was it an online course?‑‑‑No, it was face to face.


How long did that take to do?‑‑‑Two weeks of lessons plus questions and answer paperwork and then tested.


When you say two weeks of lessons, are you saying - - -?‑‑‑In the classroom.


In the class.  So it's two full weeks?‑‑‑Yes.


And registered nurses delivered that?‑‑‑Yes.


And then you were assessed, were you?‑‑‑Yes.


Did the assessment involve then observing you or - - -?‑‑‑It was - - -


Was there a practical - was there a practical element?‑‑‑There was questions are you did the assignments.  You had to show the nurse that you knew how to use the Webster-pak.  You had to know the laws of it and you had to go through how you would do it in a client's home, and then a qualified coordinator would orientate you and watch you to make sure that you can (indistinct).


Okay.  I just want to make - it might be that Tasmania's a little different to other places.  I assume when you're prompting medications, the medications would be in a Webster-pak or a blister pack?‑‑‑Yes.


Did you have to verify - did you have to check that what was in the blister pack was correct or did you just accept that it was in the blister pack?‑‑‑No, I count my medications.


Sorry, could you say that again?‑‑‑I count my - I count my tablets.


Okay, so you would count that there's four or there's five?‑‑‑Yes.

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


Did you have to check against a picture chart that they were the right medications?‑‑‑(Indistinct) have them.


I understand that prompting means you would possibly tell the client to take the medication and if they couldn't open the Webster-pak you might open it yourself and you might put it in the cup or put it in their hand.  Is that - is that the correct understanding?‑‑‑No, you have a little cup that has a serrated edge, okay, all my clients have it and I have a spare one as well.  What you do is you put it under the back of the Webster-pak and then turn it and then the serrated edge will break the seal.  You then (indistinct) to the cup and either the client takes it from the cup or you (indistinct), you don't touch people's medications.


Thank you, that's very helpful.  Would you be required to observe them take the medication?‑‑‑Yes.


Did you record in any book that they've taken it?‑‑‑Yes.  (Indistinct) their chart.


Sorry?‑‑‑In their chart that has to be signed off.


Yes.  And is that left with the other book you said you write into?‑‑‑Yes, it's kept in the house all the time.


Okay.  Now, it's my understanding that when a new client's signed up, somebody, and I presume in your case it's possibly the coordinator would go and do a risk assessment of their house.  Are you aware of that?‑‑‑No, they don't.


They don't?‑‑‑(Indistinct), no.


Did you do a risk - did you do a risk assessment?‑‑‑Well, it depends how many carers have been (indistinct) if they're qualified to do that risk assessment of a client's house, which most of them aren't.  Therefore it comes back to the worker, but then I have a camera on my phone if (indistinct).  If I don't like something I take a picture of it.  I send the picture on to the coordinator, then I put a report in whenever I get five minute's spare.  So - - -


That's okay, just (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑ - - - my worker to do that.


So what you're saying is that it's Sorell - you're not aware that a risk assessment is done before you would go in?‑‑‑They've got too many clients, they can't go round every client.  We've got too many.

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


That's okay.  I'm just trying to understand.  It's your evidence that they didn't do that?‑‑‑Yes, it is.  They can't.


That's fine.  No, that's fine.  That's okay.  If you saw something you thought wasn't right, you would photograph it and send it to your coordinator?‑‑‑Yes.


Could you give me an example of that?‑‑‑I don't know, wires out (indistinct), wires out (indistinct), smoke alarm not working, personal alarm not working.


And did Sorell have a procedure that you had to follow if you found yourself in an unsafe situation?‑‑‑I don't know.  Usually rostering laugh.


Sorry?‑‑‑I said usually rostering laugh at you when you complain if you're hurt.


So, you're saying your employer didn't have any procedure for you if you were in an unsafe situation?‑‑‑No, use your common sense girl.


Okay, so they relied on you using your common sense?‑‑‑Yes.


Just a moment if you could.  Thank you very much, Ms Phillips.  Thank you for your evidence.  No further questions, Commissioner.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Any re-examination?


MS DOUST:  Nothing in re-examination, thank you, Commissioner.  Might Ms Phillips be excused?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right. Well, thank you very much for your evidence, Ms Phillips.  You're excused and free to go?‑‑‑Thank you.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                             [3.46 PM]


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  We might just take a short break.  It is 3.46, so we'll resume - it will be 4 o'clock.  Commissioner is adjourned.

SHORT ADJOURNMENT                                                                     [3.46 PM]

RESUMED                                                                                                [4.00 PM]

***        MAREE PHILLIPS                                                                                                                         XXN MR WARD


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  The Commission is now resumed.  Do we have Ms Sweeney?


MR GIBIAN:  Yes, we do.  Sorry, Commissioner, just before you go on, Ms Saunders is going to take Ms Sweeney's evidence, and I apologise in advance, I may have to leave partway through this - - -




MR GIBIAN:  - - - (indistinct) and I apologise.  There was just one other matter I was going to tell the Commission and the other parties, and that is that one of the witnesses who we had scheduled for tomorrow morning, Susie Wagner, won't be able to be dealt with tomorrow and we'll have to find a time for her early next week sometime.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right.  Good luck with finding a spot.




COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Good afternoon, Ms Sweeney.  Can you hear me?


MS SWEENEY:  I can, thank you.  Good afternoon.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Good afternoon.  I'm O'Neill C and my associate is just going to have you take the affirmation.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Ms Sweeney, can you please say your full name and work address?


MS SWEENEY:  Kathleen Elizabeth Sweeney, 1614 Nubeena Road, Nubeena, Tasmania.

<KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY, AFFIRMED                      [4.01 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS SAUNDERS                              [4.01 PM]



***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                      XN MS SAUNDERS


MS SAUNDERS:  Yes.  Ms Sweeney, it's Lucy Saunders here.  Can you see and hear me?‑‑‑I can, yes.


Could you state your full name for the record, please?‑‑‑Kathleen Elizabeth Sweeney.


And you're an administration employee at the Huon Regional Care Centre, is that right?‑‑‑Yes.


You've prepared two statements in these proceedings, the first dated 1 April 2021.  Do you have a copy of that with you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Have you had the opportunity to read it recently?‑‑‑Yes.


Is everything in that statement true and correct?‑‑‑Yes.


That is the first statement on which we wish to rely, Commissioner.  It's at document 176.  Your second statement, Ms Sweeney, is dated 14 April 2022.  Do you have a copy of that with you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


You've read that recently?‑‑‑Yes.


Is everything in that statement true and correct to the best of your knowledge?‑‑‑Yes.


That is the second statement, Commissioner, at document 177.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Thank you.  All right, Mr Ward.


MR WARD:  Thank you, Commissioner.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WARD                                           [4.05 PM]


MR WARD:  Ms Sweeney, can you see and hear me?‑‑‑Yes, I can.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


Thank you very much.  Ms Sweeney, my name is Nigel Ward.  I appear in these proceedings for the employer interests.  I'm going to ask you some questions?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you have your first statement in front of you?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


As the administration officer, who do you report in to?‑‑‑I now report in to the facility manager, Leanne Seifert.


You say now.  Did you used to report to somebody else?‑‑‑Well, we were – we didn't really have a facility manager for some time.


Was there an acting facility manager?‑‑‑Yes, kind of.


I take it you reported in to that person at that time?‑‑‑Yes, that was at the Franklin office, yes.


But you have a facility manager now and you report to them?‑‑‑Yes.


Are there any other administration staff in your facility?‑‑‑No.


So you're it?‑‑‑Yes.


Where are you physically located in the facility?  Are you in an office, or are you on the front desk – where do you physically sit in doing your job?‑‑‑Both.


When would you be on the front desk and when would you be in an office?‑‑‑I get assistance three‑and‑a‑half days a week, so those days I can be in my office and not on reception.


What do you mean by assistance three‑and‑a‑half days a week?‑‑‑One of the carers, one of the ECAs who has some admin training, she will come and help me for three‑and‑a‑half days full‑time.


When I asked earlier whether or not there were any other people in administration - - -?‑‑‑Well, she's not employed in administration.  She's just on loan to me for three‑and‑a‑half days a fortnight at the moment.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


So at the moment you have three‑and‑a‑half days of support from that person?‑‑‑Yes, per fortnight.


Sorry?‑‑‑Per fortnight.


What days does she work with you?‑‑‑A half day on Monday, which is the pay day, both Thursdays, and the following Tuesday.


What is she supporting you with?‑‑‑She sits at the reception desk and answers the phone, filters calls.  She's also a Centrelink agent, so she can back me up with Centrelink clients.  She does the basic admin duties at the moment.  I am hoping to teach her more, but – so, yes.  She's a buffer at the moment.


You started in your administration role in 2009, that's correct, isn't it?‑‑‑No, I started at the facility in 2009.


When did you start in administration?‑‑‑Goodness, probably around 2011‑ish.


Before that time, had you done any administration work?‑‑‑No.


I think you say you were originally working in the kitchen?‑‑‑Yes, and then child care.


What made you move into the administration role?‑‑‑I went back to school, so to speak, and did a Certificate III in Administration, and was put here on work placement, and then secured the job thereafter.


So you had an interest to move into administration, you went and did some education, and that gave you the opportunity?‑‑‑Yes.


Could you turn to paragraph 9 of your statement where you talk about your education?‑‑‑The first statement?


Yes.  I'm going to just deal with that at this stage.  In paragraph 9 you talk about having your Certificate II and a Certificate III in Business Administration.  Can you tell me what's the Certificate II in?‑‑‑That's also in business administration.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


You did the II and then you moved on to do the III?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay?‑‑‑And since I've got a diploma.


That's fine.  So you had the Certificate III in 2011 when you started?‑‑‑I can't – I started in 2009 and I was doing the II then, so - - -


Let me try and help you.  You said a minute ago that you started in administration in 2011?‑‑‑Yes, but I had the Certificate II already.


Okay.  When did you have the Certificate III?‑‑‑While I was here.  I finished it while I was here, so that would be in 2011, yes, and I apologise, because it says 2015 in the statement.


No, that's okay.  So, did you do your Diploma in Business Management in 2011 as well?‑‑‑No, I did that about five years ago.


2017?‑‑‑Roughly, yes.


Okay, that's fine, that's fine.  Would I be right in saying that the Certificate III in Business Administration has helped you in your job?‑‑‑Yes, definitely.


Can you describe for me what you took from the Certificate III that you view as particularly helpful in your job, what skill?‑‑‑The Microsoft Office suite for a start.  You learn a lot about that.  Emails, you know, answering the phone with proper language.  We did a little bit of customer interaction.  There was quite a few units.  I can't remember them all.


No, that's fine, that's fine.  Do you want to keep going?‑‑‑I can't think.  It's just been - it's so long ago.


No, that - - -?‑‑‑It's basically a little step up from a basic Cert II, you learn more extensive use of the Microsoft Office suite for a start and, you know - - -


When you're talking about the Microsoft Office suite, you're talking about Word, Excel and those types of - those types of - - -?‑‑‑Yes, I am.


Yes, okay.  And then you did the Diploma in Business Management?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


What additional skills did that give you to do your job?‑‑‑You learn about finance, management and finances and budgets and things like that.  Dealing with staff in meetings and how to manage staff.  Key performance indicators, the goals of a business.  It's like basically what a manager would do is what you learn how to do.


And again, you find that useful in your work?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, I just want to ask some questions about the facility itself because it seems a little unique.  I'm saying that in a nice way?‑‑‑Yes, it is - it is unique.


It operates residential aged care?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes.  And then you've got this statement in 11(b) 'Rural health beds'?‑‑‑Yes, they are like a sub-acute bed, hospital bed as such and they're funded by the THS.


Right.  And who are they for?‑‑‑They're for anybody who is in need of hospital grade care but it's not urgent enough to be in one of the big hospitals in Hobart.


The word 'rural', does that mean they have to come from a rural area or - - -?‑‑‑No, not necessarily.  The Royal Hobart Hospital send their patients to us.


And is there some strange reason why it's called rural health beds, rural?‑‑‑You'd have to take that up with the THS.  I'm not sure.


Okay.  No, I don't want to do that.  I don't want to do that.  So, that doesn't necessarily mean it would be aged people, it could be anybody?‑‑‑Yes, correct.


So it could be a 14 year old or a six year old or - - -?‑‑‑They don't - we don't usually have paediatric patients as a rule.  It's mostly adult patients.


So, it could be a 19 year old or a 20 year old?‑‑‑Could be, yes.  Or a 90 year old.


Yes.  It's not limited to people who are aged?‑‑‑No.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


And then you run a Centrelink kiosk, can you - I'm sorry, you're going to have to help me.  Is - - -?‑‑‑No, that's fine.  Again, because we're rural, the closest Centrelink agent to us is in Mornington, which is approximately an hour and a half drive.


Yes?‑‑‑So, we are a Centrelink agent. So we can't access Centrelink files or anything like that but we can help people access their MyGovs or create MyGov accounts, present them with forms if they need them.  We can ring a thing called a Silver Service line which if we can't help the person directly we can ring the Silver Service line and we get through quicker to be able to deal with the client, so they don't have to go all the way up to Mornington.


Your administration role covers all four areas?‑‑‑It covers lots of areas, yes.


No, but what I'm asking is, is that you provide administrative support to the residential aged care part of the business?‑‑‑Yes.


As much you do the rural health beds and the Centrelink kiosk?‑‑‑Well, the Centrelink kiosk is nowhere near as big a job as all the other things.  We might see three or four people a week but when they do come they're here for an extensive period of time.


But you still have some role to play with that?‑‑‑Yes.


Can I ask you to go to paragraph 16 and I'm not trying to be rude when I ask this question, Ms Sweeney.  You say:


I start my day at eight.  The phone will start ringing as soon as I arrive.


Is that a euphemism or does the phone start ringing at 8.01 every day?‑‑‑A euphemism, yes.  It's a lot of time it is ringing when I walk in the door and yes, it does ring from then onwards.


But not necessarily every day?‑‑‑No, no.


Okay.  That's fine.  I just wanted to understand it.  That's fine.  You take those calls?‑‑‑Yes.


Are you the only - are the sort of point of contact for falls into the facility?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


And those calls could again be about rural beds or - - -?‑‑‑Yes, could be.


- - - aged care?‑‑‑Yes.


Could those calls be about Centrelink?‑‑‑Yes.


And I assume that if you can answer the calls you do, or otherwise you forward the calls to people who can answer them?‑‑‑True, yes.


You then say in paragraph 17:


The first thing I do is check my emails and make sure I attend to anything urgent.


Could you just explain to me what would likely be urgent that requires immediate attention?‑‑‑If during the night someone's called in sick and the shift would need to be covered straight away, so if I open my email and there's an email from the night nurse saying Mary called in sick for her shift tomorrow, I have to attend to that straight away.


That would be a good example of urgent would it?‑‑‑Yes.


You then say in 18:


One of the first things I attend to is -


Assume this is after you've done the urgent things.


One of the first things I attend to is printing the bed stats which shows how many beds are empty on a particular day.


Where are the bed stats kept in your system?‑‑‑On our hard drive.


Okay, so it's on an intranet is it?‑‑‑No, it's on our network.


So there's a folder in your network where you keep that information?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


And who creates that information?‑‑‑The nurses - the night nurse will complete the sheet that I've prepared and she will or he will email that to me overnight, and then I enter that data into the spreadsheet.


I've got you.  So, they'll fill in your sheet, they'll send it back to you and then you'll put it into an Excel spreadsheet?‑‑‑Yes.


When you say you print it, you would then print it out and send it to whoever needs it?‑‑‑I print it out and file it.


File it, okay.  In a hard copy?‑‑‑Yes.


Is there a reason - I'm just interested.  Is there a reason it's kept in hard copy?‑‑‑I keep it in hard copy for the month and then - just in case there's a discrepancy somewhere along the line, I will keep two or three months' worth and then I destroy them.


I've got you, okay.  Then in paragraph 19 you say in the second sentence:


I collate a summarise the bed stats from reviewing the registered nurse's calculations the night before.


That's a form they've just - you've just described to me they filled out?‑‑‑Yes.


And you'll take that form, you put it into the Excel spreadsheet and does that then calculate how many beds or how does that work?‑‑‑Yes, that initially it's actually changed quite a bit now because they use that to determine our funding.  It states how many palliative patients we've had, respite patients, rural health patients, and our residential beds, and I now have to supply that in percentage form, so that fills in a pie graph and a tower chart, and that gets accessed by our finance and payroll team at Franklin and is presented to the board each month.


I take it that Excel spreadsheet has been pre‑set up so it produces that?‑‑‑Yes, I did that.


I was just about to say, I assume you did that, you set that up?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


You then talk about obtaining information in paragraph 21 related to rural health beds.  I assume that this is about admission, people being admitted to a rural health bed, is that right?‑‑‑Yes.


Are you effectively the admissions officer for the rural health beds?‑‑‑Yes.


You obviously have to collect information about the patient.  Does that information go from you to a government department?  Where does it go?‑‑‑Once the person has – we've got a request for a bed, we fill in the admission paperwork as far as we can before the patient gets here.  Once it's finished, it gets sent to a database, which I email it to New Norfolk, which is in Tasmania, and then it gets put onto the THS website so that they know who's in what beds where.


If you don't have the full information, you pick the phone up and ring the patient or the family and get what you need?‑‑‑Well, yes, that and you go to whatever means you need to to get the information.


What do you mean 'by whatever means'?‑‑‑Because we're in a rural town, if I know that the granddaughter works at the local shop or whatever and I need to get the information and no one else has it, you know, I might contact her and say do you know what's Nan's date of birth or whatever.


Okay?‑‑‑Generally if they come to us from the Royal Hobart Hospital, most of that information is already supplied.  It's only if the local doctor admits them that we somehow sometimes have to chase things up.


I understand.  If I can take you then to paragraph 24, you talk in paragraph 24 about the 'residential aged care application pack'?‑‑‑Yes.


I haven't seen that.  How big is that pack?  What's it got in it?‑‑‑It has an admissions application registration form, which is approximately eight pages.


Yes?‑‑‑It has several Centrelink documents that people need to fill in so that their fees can be calculated, because we don't set the fees.  It's got an information booklet in it about aged care; it's got a welcome letter; an advanced care directive; then the business card of our facilities manager.


I assume that the potential resident or the family of the resident are meant to complete that, are they?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


And then they send it back to you?‑‑‑They send us the registration form only, and that's (indistinct) on our waiting list.


What about all the other documents, what do they do with them?‑‑‑They've got to wait till a bed has been offered to them before they – because they're in the Centrelink documents, and the only reason we do that is because once it's filled in and submitted to Centrelink and they've got it back, the information only lasts for three months and then they'd have to do it again.


Do it again, okay?‑‑‑Yes.  So we don't encourage them to do it until the bed's been offered.


So you get the application form back?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you scan and file that, or how do you hold that?‑‑‑Also that information is entered into a spreadsheet, and then we've got a file for all of the requests for admission, which we keep.


And that spreadsheet's an Excel spreadsheet?‑‑‑Yes.


When you say we enter it, you mean you type that information in, or do you scan it in?‑‑‑No, type it in.


Okay?‑‑‑We only take the basics – contact details and the person's name, and then there's a comments section so that if they're already in a nursing home and the family want them transferred here, I'll just make a little note of that in the comments section.


So it might be the name, telephone number, address, those (indistinct) - - -?‑‑‑Yes, email address.


- - - details?‑‑‑Yes.


You then say that you give a tour of the facility.  So if I'm looking to come, I take it you might turn up with the family or the potential resident and you'd walk them around the facility to show them the facility?‑‑‑In the past we did, yes.


I assume you haven't been doing that recently?‑‑‑No, not with COVID.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


No, but assume we live in a world where COVID's gone, I assume you'll be doing that in the future?‑‑‑Yes.


Is it just you who does that, or if you're not available does somebody else help?‑‑‑The facility manager will do it if I'm not available.


You then talk in paragraph 25 about preparing for the person's entry by creating their file, both hard copy and electronic, along with photos for meal cards, drug charts, et cetera.  So that's at the point where we've agreed that they're going to be admitted, is it?‑‑‑Yes.


What extra information are you collecting at that stage?‑‑‑We would have had the next of kin, the power of attorney, enduring guardian if there's one, all those kinds of things so that we know exactly who to contact and where to contact them if the resident needs anything or becomes quite unwell; we ring the person and there's trust – we have money that the resident can give me some money, and we need to contact them for those kinds of details and all that sort of thing.


And you keep it in hard copy and electronic.  When you say you keep it in electronic, is that a Word folder under my name - - -?‑‑‑No.  It's a dedicated program for aged care, for residential care.  It's called iCare.


That's in the iCare system, is it?‑‑‑Yes.


And you keep a hard copy with a folder and my name on it?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, you then go on and talk about rostering.  I don't know if I've got this right or wrong, because I've talked to three or four people today about rostering, so bear with me.  Are you the person who does the rosters?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you use any rostering software for that?‑‑‑We've got Inerva.




Can you tell me how Inerva works?‑‑‑If I knew I could tell you.


Okay?‑‑‑It's shocking.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


Well, I hope you know something?‑‑‑Yes.  You've got a fortnight's view at a time, and we've created rotating rosters here so that permanent staff's rosters are monthly and they just roll around.  So you've really only got to cover sick leave or things like that, and shifts that haven't been permanently covered, you would get casuals in for that.  The roster has to be correct, right to the minute of the person's shifts, because also the pays generate from that.  It's also for invoicing, receipting; the residents' trust funds are in there, all that sort of thing.


I'm going to say something and I'll explain if I can.  I assume the Inerva system is an intelligent system, and let me explain what I mean by that.  You said you got permanent shifts.  I assume they're programmed into Inerva on a permanent basis?‑‑‑Yes, they automatically repeat themselves.


They just roll over, don't they, in the system?‑‑‑Yes.


I take it that the Inerva system will still have a number of shifts that aren't filled?‑‑‑Yes.


Is it smart enough to understand that you've got 10 casuals who are available on Monday and Tuesday and the Inerva system will pick one, or do you have to do that manually?‑‑‑We have to do that.




So what percentage of shifts wouldn't it fill?‑‑‑I don't know, probably 40 per cent, 45 per cent, around about that.


And I take it that you have a list of potential casuals who are available and I take it you start - you know that certain casuals might be available on Monday or Tuesday - - -?‑‑‑Yes, they're all in there.


You start ringing until you find them?‑‑‑Yes.


In your business, is that first come, best dressed or is there a seniority rule?‑‑‑I don't have that pleasure because I don't have that many staff.


You wish you had that pleasure?‑‑‑I wish, very much so.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


Okay, and I take it that when you're run around and you've found somebody to fill the shift.  You type that into the Inerva system, do you?‑‑‑Yes.


The Inerva system has their start time and their finishing times and things like that?‑‑‑Yes, they're pre-filled shifts, they're already in Inerva so I just do the drop down and select which shift I'm going to put the person on.


So the shift is in there, it's the case of whether or not it's got a name against it?‑‑‑Yes.


Having run around and found me, you'll put my name against that shift?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  You've published the roster?‑‑‑Yes.


Does that get sent to the employees electronically or is it a hard copy?‑‑‑It's an app - through an app on the phone.


So if I'm one of the people who's on the roster, I'll open up my iPhone, click on the app and it'll give me my roster for the next fortnight?‑‑‑Yes.


In 28 you talk about managing the fleet of cars.  You say the facility owns four cars.  Are they leased or do you own them outright?‑‑‑No, we own them.


You own them, okay.  You say you're responsible for tracking the frequency of services required, managing the services they need.  I'll come to the negotiating bit in a minute - so that's the routine servicing for the car.  You have to organise that, do you?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you have an agreed garage you use?‑‑‑We have now, yes.


So you'll know, for instance, that the car's coming up for its 40,0000 kilometre service and you're the person who has to book that in?‑‑‑Yes, the maintenance man and I have a system.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


Okay, what's the system the maintenance man and you have?‑‑‑He does fortnightly checks of all the cars and in that check includes the kilometres so if the kilometres are getting close to the next service, I know that because it's written in front of me.  And if it's - he checks the tires and all that.  Then he gives me that report monthly and if he reckons the tyres are down to 30 per cent, I'm going, 'Whoops, better order some tyres'.  So, yes, with his help I do that, yes.


So he'll come and say to you, 'Nigel's car is getting close to its 40,000 service, start thinking about booking it in'?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay, and I don't understand what you mean by negotiating with the drivers.  Is that - it's hard to get it off them for the service?‑‑‑Well, this - because this is my old statement from before, we used to have to get the cars sent to Hobart or to Sorell, which is an hour away, because we didn't have a mechanic down here and because the cars were under warranty, they had to go back to their place of purchase.


So they went back to the dealer?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay?‑‑‑So now that they're all out of warranty, and we do have a local mechanic, we use them so I don't need to find a driver to take the car to Hobart.


Can I just check this:  in your second statement, paragraph 41(h), you say that - and this is in the context of your job getting bigger and bigger - you say that you're managing the maintenance of the facility's six vehicles?‑‑‑Yes, we've got more now.


So is that six and four or - - -?‑‑‑No, there's two more.


There's two more.  But the actual process for the maintenance is the one you and I have just discussed?‑‑‑Yes.


You say in 29:  'I alone am responsible for answering the phone at reception'.  If it doesn't answer, does it go to a message bank?‑‑‑No.


It just rings out?  Okay, I won't comment on that, that's fine?‑‑‑No, me neither.


That's all right.  Paragraph 31, at the very end you say:  'It is part of my job to answer these questions and also to set up new residents when they arrive'.  When you say, 'set up new residents', is that setting up their files like we discussed earlier?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay.  Then on paragraph 33 you talk about the trust account?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


I take it that if I come to your facility and I'm a resident, the family will put an amount of money into this account on my behalf?‑‑‑Yes.


What sort of amounts of money are we talking about?‑‑‑Most people give us $200, around about.


I take it that if I have some personal expense like a hairdresser's appointment, which I'm desperately in need of at the moment, I would come and get the money out of that account, would I?‑‑‑No, we don't have any - if the person's got a trust account it's because they're unable to manage their money or handle their money so our leisure and lifestyle goes and finds who is going to the hairdressers, brings me the list, I withdraw their money out of their trust, print off the forms and either sign them or if they're unable to sign, they're filed anyway so families can always see where we've taken money out and where they've put money in.


Okay, and how many residents use the trust account?‑‑‑Sorry, I'm going to have to think for a second - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine - about nine.


It's not that you have to get the family permission to use the money.  You use the money, you write on a form what it's used for - - -?‑‑‑And it's also in Inerva.


It's in the Inerva system as well?‑‑‑Yes, so we do the withdrawal through there and I've got write the description of what the money was for.  And I keep the receipts and I staple the receipts to the withdrawal form.


Is the Inerva system linked to your banking system?‑‑‑Yes.


Can I take you to the second statement?  At the start of paragraph 56 if I can, you say this at paragraph 56:  'I understand that some employers in this case have said that there has been no change in the role of administrative staff over time'.  Do you see that?‑‑‑Yes.


How did you form that understanding?‑‑‑I don't know, it's just what I think.


You think some employers said that, do you?

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


MS DOUST:  I object to this line of - I object to this line of questioning.  There is no proper basis for Mr Ward to suggest as the question does that that isn't' exactly the position his client and his client's witnesses have advanced.  The question is improper.


MR WARD:  It's not improper, it's not what my client's advanced but I'm simply asking what the understanding was. The witness has said, 'I understand', I'm just trying to create a foundation for how she understood it.


MS DOUST:  The secondary objection is relevance.  How could this possibly assist the Commission?


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  All right, what is the relevance, Mr Ward?


MR WARD:  I'm just trying to understand it, because this is meant to be a reply statement.  I'm going to lead to ask other questions as to what it's in reply to.


COMMISSIONER O'NEILL:  Well, the witness has said in paragraph 56 that she understands that the view of some employers is that there hasn't been a change.  That's the understanding.


MR WARD:  Okay, that's fine, Commissioner.  That's fine.  Is what you've written in paragraph 41 - I'm trying to understand, Ms Sweeney - is what you've written in paragraph 41 arising from paragraph 56?‑‑‑I don't understand what you mean, sorry.


In paragraph 56 you've made a statement - you've reflected on your understanding about what the employer position is.  You then say, 'I don't agree with this.  I repeat my first statement and the matters above in relation to my role', and I'm asking you is that - in disagreeing with that statement, is that what's set out in paragraph 41?  Does paragraph 41 reflect your understanding of how your role's changed?‑‑‑Yes.


No, it wasn't a trick question.  I'm just trying to understand where it fits in, that's all.  Can I take you to paragraph 41?‑‑‑Yes.


In (a) you talk about 'one of our subacute care beds.'  Do you see that?‑‑‑Yes.


And I'm not being facetious.  Do you actually mean they're one of your beds?‑‑‑We have four of them.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


When you say, 'the process for admission into one of our subacute care beds', are you referring to one in particular, or is - - -?‑‑‑No.


You're referring to all four?‑‑‑Yes.


Are those beds the beds that we talked earlier about arising from the rural health beds?‑‑‑Yes.


In paragraph (b) you talk about rostering?‑‑‑Sorry, what paragraph?  I missed that.


My apologies, Ms Sweeney.  Could I ask you to go to paragraph 41(b)?‑‑‑Yes.


Are you there?‑‑‑Yes.


You talk here about undertaking rostering duties.  Are those the rostering duties you and I have already talked about, or are they different - - -?‑‑‑Yes.


They are, okay?‑‑‑That's them.


You then in (c) talk about the implementation of the NDIS.  Do you see that in paragraph 41(c)?‑‑‑Yes.


You say, 'Since the implementation of the NDIS three years ago we now have additional duties when a resident has NDIS funding.'  Do you see that?‑‑‑Yes.


Is that something that happened three years ago, is that what you're telling me?‑‑‑Yes.


So it's not something that's happened recently?‑‑‑No.  It's still – it's ongoing for the last three years.  It's an extra thing.


And your reference to NDIS there, that's a reference to aged care as well?‑‑‑What do you mean?


Well, are you talking about residents who are aged care residents related to the NDIS, or are you talking about something else?‑‑‑Yes.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


You are?‑‑‑No, no, it's a resident of ours who's funded for NDIS.


So one of your residents has NDIS funding, do they?‑‑‑Yes.


And the funding for that resident, some of the rules changed three years ago?‑‑‑No, she came to live with us three years ago.


Is that the only NDIS aged care person you deal with?‑‑‑Yes.


If I could take you then on to 41(g).  I think it works this way – tell me if I'm wrong, but 41(g) talks about taking on procurement activities, do you see that?‑‑‑Yes.


And then there's sort of (h), (i) and a few others.  I think they're the procurement activities, aren't they?‑‑‑Yes.


It just might not be numbered properly.  I just wanted to be fair to you.  We've already talked about the cars.  That's what we've already talked about, isn't it, but they've moved from four to six?‑‑‑Mm‑hm.


Yes, you agree with that?‑‑‑Yes.


It then says, 'Arranging contractors with supply companies.'  What do you mean by 'arranging'?‑‑‑If we need a plumber, for instance, it's my job to find one, and get all the details, find out whether or not they would be our contractor, and then I pass that information on to the facility manager, who will try and get a contract made up for them.


So that's not necessarily a one‑off.  That might be we're looking for a new plumber for the facility, is it?‑‑‑Yes, and electricians and all sorts of things.


Well, let's just start with plumbers.  So who's your plumber today?‑‑‑Our plumber is Michael – his business is Mike Dee Plumber.


That's good enough.  No, that's close enough.  It's late in the day.  We'll call that close enough, that's fine.  And so I take it at some point you had to find a new plumber; your old one had left or wasn't good enough?‑‑‑He retired.

***        KATHLEEN ELIZABETH SWEENEY                                                                                             XXN MR WARD


And when you say you had to find them, were you putting an ad in the paper for a plumber?  How did you find them?‑‑‑No, it's word of mouth and local knowledge, and you track someone down that everyone says is good and go from there.


When you say you had to arrange that, what information did you get from that plumber?‑‑‑Basically that I give him the information – we're a nursing home, we have this equipment, this sort of stuff, these are the average things that we need you to do, would you be willing to come onboard as our contract plumber.


And he says yes, and I take it he gives you a quote?&