Last night’s Campbell Live feature, which accused the new management of Ranfurly War Veterans’ Home and Hospital of reducing the home’s activities programme, has been met with scorn by Graham Wilkinson, director of Retirement Assets Limited.

In partnership with the Ranfurly Trust, Retirement Assets Limited, under the name of Ranfurly Care, assumed ownership of the Ranfurly rest home last year and has since been working on redeveloping the existing premises. The official opening of the new aged care wing 12 days ago by Prime Minister John Key marked a significant stage in the redevelopment.

However, the opening of the new wing has been tainted by last night’s Campbell Live documentary, which aired concerns over the home’s diminishing number of activities and outings for residents.

The piece featured three residents’ family members voicing their complaints about changes to various activities, including the demise of bowling and billiards, the scrapping of the home’s jigsaws, and the removal of resident fish and chip evenings.

Noticeably absent from the feature was any response from Graham Wilkinson in defence of the allegations made about Ranfurly’s activities programme.

However, Wilkinson told INsite today that he had provided Campbell Live with “point-by-point rebuttal” on each claim made, yet not one of these was reflected on last night’s documentary. He says he will appear on tonight’s show to dispute the allegations.

He says the residents’ family members featured on last night’s programme have never made a complaint despite having many avenues to do so, including a chaplaincy service, in which they can discuss concerns if they feel intimidated.

Of the specific complaints, Wilkinson says one of the pool tables is currently being repaired and some of the home’s 200 jigsaws are missing pieces and are being replaced. He says the fish and chip evenings have taken on a new format, with the caterers preparing the meals on site and serving them to the residents in newspaper with a beer, if wished.

Wilkinson says they are trying to make activities and outings at Ranfurly more balanced and individualised, rather than the previous activities programme, which he says was aimed at a minority of the residents while the others were left behind languishing.

While Campbell Live acknowledged the previous pay dispute involving Ranfurly aged care workers had now been resolved between Retirement Assets Ltd and New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Wilkinson suspects the show’s latest attempt to defile Ranfurly is a hangover from that incident.

Tonight’s show will no doubt address some of these concerns.

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