'Keith Pitt should say sorry' says aged care advocate
AGED care advocate Heather Mansell-Brown has hit out at MP Keith Pitt's conduct during an aged care forum and the comments he made afterwards.
Mrs Mansell-Brown organised the event, held last week, which featured a panel of health and government representatives, including Mr Pitt.
Mr Pitt left the meeting after an hour, stating he'd been double-booked, and later labelled it a Labor campaign launch.
They're claims that Mrs Mansell-Brown says left her dumbfounded.
"I take offence to the suggestion I'm nothing more than a tool for the union and Labor party," Mrs Mansell-Brown said.
"How dare Mr Pitt initiate his propaganda campaign at a public meeting attended by those who have endured such heartbreak, grief, frustration and distress as a result of the abuse and neglect perpetrated on their loved ones in care.
"Dare I say too that it brings into question his suitability to represent the people of Bundaberg in an official capacity."
Mrs Mansell-Brown also defended fellow advocate, nurse of 43 years and former Labor Hinkler candidate Cheryl Dorron, who she says has been a staunch fighter for the elderly in spite of any political or union affiliations.
"I need to emphasise that while Cheryl is politically inclined, not every nurse is a member of the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation and the push for mandatory staff ratios comes from all areas of the community - families, individuals, advocates, support groups, non-union staff and the media," Mrs Mansell-Brown said.
"I feel justified in demanding an apology from Mr Pitt on behalf of the audience.
"As for myself, I do not expect one, nor do I care."
Mrs Mansell-Brown provided a copy of email correspondence where she organised a representative of the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner to attend the meeting.
At the meeting, Mr Pitt said he had organised the representative, however organisers told the audience that Mr Pitt had made an "error" and it had been Mrs Mansell-Brown who organised the representative.
Mr Pitt refuted the claim, saying he had been the one to send the invitation.
Mrs Mansell-Brown's aged care activism started after she found husband Bill, 77, on the veranda of Bundy's TriCare facility, covered in his own faeces.
Bill, a dementia sufferer, had also been left in a urine-soaked pad for 12 hours, causing skin on his scrotum to tear.
Mrs Mansell-Brown says a royal commission is desperately needed to bring change and that the public was "fed up".
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt told the NewsMail yesterday that his focus was on "helping constituents, delivering aged care services and ensuring aged care facilities are meeting quality standards".
"I would once again encourage anyone who has concerns to contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552," he said.