COVID-19: Breaches by Rosewood Rest Home led to Canterbury District Health Board taking over its management - documents

Breaches by a rest home that lost 12 residents to COVID-19 were behind the Canterbury District Health Board temporarily taking over its management, documents reveal.

A letter seen by Newshub from the DHB written to the Rosewood Rest Home days after the health board took over its management refers to failures in food services, cleaning, laundry, and emergency personal supplies.

The letter says urgent action was required to protect the health and safety of residents.

A lack of communication also meant the DHB couldn't confirm if the rest home had an emergency health plan, the letter says.

"This resulted in an urgent and serious level of risk to your residents' wellbeing and safety which required the CDHB to step in on April 5 2020 to maintain the services.

"We hope that once the isolation period for staff and residents is over and the terminal cleaning process is completed, we will be able to rapidly move out of temporary management."

Rosewood spokesman Mike Kyne said an audit of the rest home last year did not identify any significant concerns and the only reason the DHB stepped in was that the staff were either sick or in isolation.

In a later letter to the rest home dated April 28, the DHB confirmed the withdrawal of temporary management.

"I am pleased to hear that progress is being made to re-establish Rosewood Rest Home as an independent rest home following the outbreak of COVID-19 and ongoing issues related to this.

"Our CDHB appointed temporary manager believes the facility has recovered to a degree that your facility manager will be able to progress the day to day management, as well as manage the issues still to be resolved and any emerging risks that may arise as a result of this situation.

"We will continue to support you with staffing until you are confident you can provide to a level to keep residents safe."

Twelve residents from the Linwood rest home died from COVID-19. Some of them were dementia patients and transferred from Rosewood to Burwood Hospital at the beginning of April.

It remains unclear how the deadly virus got into the rest home.