Fri. Mar 1st, 2024
alert-–-twist-at-nursing-home-where-great-grandmother-clare-nowland-was-allegedly-tasered-by-copAlert – Twist at nursing home where great-grandmother Clare Nowland was allegedly Tasered by cop

The nursing home where grandmother Clare Nowland was Tasered by police has been deemed to be non-complaint by the regulator over a separate matter.

Yallambee Lodge, an aged care home in the town of Cooma in southern NSW, had its risk management systems and practices ruled non-compliant by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission last month.

The facility was where Ms Nowland, 95, who suffered dementia, was allegedly hit with a Taser by Senior Constable Kristian White on May 17.

She died in hospital a week later from head injuries surrounded by some of her eight children, 24 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. 

An unannounced assessment of the facility had been conducted to check whether it was abiding by the Aged Care Quality Standards on July 5. 

Yallambee Lodge (pictured), an aged care home in the town of Cooma in southern NSW, has been found to be non-complaint by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Clare Nowland (pictured), 95, was living at the facility before she was hit with a taser by police on May 17. She died in hospital a week later from head injuries

The report from the commission’s assessment revealed that a separate incident had occurred in May, sparking the performance audit. 

This was during the same month Ms Nowland had been tasered. 

Details were scarce, but the report described the incident as being a ‘priority one’ matter.

A priority one is a matter that could have caused ‘physical or psychological harm and/or discomfort that would usually require some form of medical or psychological treatment’, according to NSW Health.

It may also be ‘where there are reasonable grounds to report the incident to police’.

The report said the facility had not yet finalised its investigation into the incident.

Besides the non-complaint ruling, it was found that Yallambee Lodge had failed to adequate report the matter to the commission.

‘This is evidenced by the provider not meeting mandatory Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) notification and reporting requirements for a Priority 1 notifiable incident occurring in May 2023,’ the report read.

The commission said there were ‘gaps in the service’s internal incident investigation and reporting in relation to the notifiable incident’.

They added separately that the facility ‘did not always identify and respond to abuse and neglect of consumers’. 

Yallambee Lodge has since told the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission that it was taking steps reviewing and improving its services including delivery of care and reporting of incidents following the audit. 

It comes as Ms Nowland’s family launches civil proceedings against the state government in the wake of her death.

In their statement of claim lodged in court, the executor of Ms Nowland’s estate allege NSW Police acted unreasonably and had attempted to downplay what had happened in front of Yallambee Lodge staff, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Constable White, who allegedly fired the taser, is separately facing criminal charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault in the Local Court over the incident. 

Constable White, who fired the taser, is separately facing criminal charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault in the Local Court over the incident

Senior Constable Kristian White (pictured left with his partner), who discharged the taser, is separately facing criminal charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the incident

Neither he nor his fellow officer, Sergeant Rachel Pank, are listed as defendants in the civil matter.

The court document contains a detailed account of what allegedly happened in the early hours of May 17 when Ms Nowland was tasered while holding a knife and using her walking frame.

White has been suspended from the police force with pay while Pank is facing no criminal charges in relation to the incident.

In their case, the Nowlands claim that the taser was fired in breach of police guidelines and that Sergeant Pank, as the senior officer, failed to direct her colleague to not use the weapon on the elderly woman.

Police have also enlisted a critical incident team to investigate the incident which will be independently reviewed.

The Nowland family are asking for damages over Clare’s death including funeral and wake expenses, loss of financial support, damages for curtailment of expectation of life and loss of financial support.

The NSW District Court can award damages of up to $1.2million in civil cases.

On Thursday the Downing Centre District Court adjourned the case to October 26.

READ MORE: Senior constable accused of Tasering Clare Nowland faces legal delays

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