Residents of an Essendon aged care centre linked to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit are looking for new accommodation after their families were informed the centre will close in nine days.
The centre is believed to have capacity for about 75 residents.
Peter McCubbin, whose 96-year-old mother is a resident at Viva Care, said he was informed by telephone on Saturday that the centre would close on April 8. This gave him nine days to find new care for his mother. ”I don’t know if I can find accommodation for her in that time,” he said.
A Viva Care employee confirmed this date was accurate.
A spokesman for Viva management declined to comment.
Viva is part of the Cambridge Aged Care Group, controlled by Stephen George Snowden. Mr Snowden, a former bankrupt who was convicted in 2011 of obtaining financial advantage by deception, is being pursued by Westpac over $7 million the bank alleges he obtained by taking advantage of a payment error.
Westpac alleges that money from a deceased person’s account was transferred to a Westpac account belonging to the Berkeley Living Group. A system error allowed the money to be transferred to several ANZ accounts connected to Mr Snowden before Westpac realised the original transaction was questionable. Berkeley is now in liquidation. Cambridge owns five centres and at least two have been sanctioned over concerns about quality of care, and are in voluntary administration.
Mr McCubbin said that at two separate meetings at Viva, families were told ”all would be well” despite media reports of problems.
A Health and Ageing Department spokeswoman said the centre’s provider was told its accreditation had been revoked on February 22, effective April 8. The provider was obliged to make appropriate relocation arrangements.
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