May 22, 2022

The director of Orpéa, questioned for the management of his Ehpad, is summoned on February 1 by the government

While the actors of the sector, trade unions and political parties unanimously condemn the facts denounced in a book published Wednesday on the practices of Orpéa, its director general, Jean-Christophe Romersi, was summoned to an interview with Brigitte Bourguignon, the Minister delegate in charge of autonomy, Tuesday, February 1, learned The world Thursday January 27.

This interview “will be an opportunity to hear the explanations of the Orpéa group on several points which will be the subject of in-depth investigations by the State services”, explains Bourguignon in his letter addressed to M. Rimersi.

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In particular, the Minister wishes to know more about “the allocation to establishments of consumables such as hygienic protection or on issues related to the nutrition of residents”, “the group’s managerial practices concerning staff”, “the methods of reporting and monitoring incidents of mistreatment reported by relatives of residents and “group financial practices”.

An investigation by the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS) “on all or part of the establishments in your group” may be initiated following this interview, continues the Minister Delegate.

One of the industry leaders

A specialist in private clinics and retirement homes, the French group Orpéa is present in 23 countries with a total of 1,156 sites. In France, it manages a network of 354 establishments, which take care of fragile people and those with a loss of autonomy. He has been at the heart of a media storm since the publication at the beginning of the week of the good leaves of the book-investigation The Gravediggers, by Victor Castanet.

Excerpts from “Gravediggers”: Article reserved for our subscribers “Already, there was this terrible smell of piss, from the entrance”:

The journalist describes a system where hygiene care, medical care, and even residents’ meals, are “rationed” to improve the profitability of the group of private nursing homes. And this, while stays are billed at a high price – several thousand euros per month.

Orpéa disputes these accusations, which it qualifies as “false, outrageous and prejudicial”. The group announced on Wednesday evening that it had mandated “two leading firms to conduct an independent assessment to shed light on all serious allegations” aiming at it.

General outrage

“If the facts denounced are proven, some of them are unacceptable and likely to be condemned”, writes in a press release the Association of directors serving the elderly (AD-PA).

For Laurent Berger, Secretary General of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), “If the situation is the one described in the book, it’s a pure scandal”. The Federal Union of Private Health of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) denounces “for years the working and care conditions of residents in these establishments”, “without anything changing”.

Socialist deputies want to audition the boss of Orpéa and create a commission of inquiry, announced the deputy Boris Vallaud in a tweet.

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The World with AFP