Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

Sacked worker loses grievance case

Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

A sacked rest home manager accused of abusing and bullying elderly residents has had her personal grievance case thrown out.

Margot Gazeley was sacked as facility manager of Woodlands residential care facility at Motueka last year.

Complaints placed in a suggestion box disappeared and staff felt intimidated and scared, with Mrs Gazeley calling one worker "a dirty hua''.

She was accused of telling one resident's family there was no space for them to attend a Christmas dinner, but when they showed up anyway, they found two empty seats beside their family member.

Now, she has been told her argument that she was unjustifiably suspended and then dismissed does not stack up.

Mrs Gazeley was the senior facility manager at the 62-bed facility which offered resthome and hospital-level care as part of the Oceania Group.

Concerns first came to light after a spot audit by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board last June.

The DHB was so concerned by what they saw, they appointed a temporary manager and Mrs Gazeley was suspended.

Oceania "inquired extensively'' into the DHB's concerns, which led to Mrs Gazeley's sacking.

According to an Employment Relations Authority finding, Mrs Gazeley called out on four or five occasions that jellimeat was for dinner.

There was also evidence she threatened to tie up one frail resident who wanted to get out of her chair.

"It was reasonable in my view ... to consider those matters in conjunction with the most serious failure with regard to clinical oversight,'' said authority member Alastair Dumbleton.

"The authority finds that Mrs Gazeley does not have a personal grievance in relation to either action.''

Mrs Gazeley had wanted "special damages'' of $19,204, but Mr Dumbleton said there was "no basis for such a claim'', and costs were reserved.

She did not return calls to APNZ today.

Nelson Marlborough DHB community-based service directorate's Peter Burton said he was "very pleased'' with how Woodlands Rest Home responded at the time of the audit and by the way they "worked with the DHB to ensure the residents of the facility were receiving appropriate care.''

- APNZ

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