Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Spt-Oct 2014 Contents HealthX is not a nursing agency.
HealthX is not a recruitment company.
HealthX is an employer of RNs and AINs on a long term
HealthX has revolutionised the way nurses are employed
for aged care facilities throughout Australia and has a
proven success legacy.
The HealthX Long Term Secondment Program provides
greater stability, retention and continuity of care.
To nd out how HealthX Long Term Secondment
Program can assist your organisation, visit us at the
ACSA Conference stand 102 and speak to
Derek Irwin Director of HealthX 0458 283 239.
Registered Nurse and
Assistant In Nursing
Long Term Secondment Program
"From an internal
are also hampered
such as suitable
greatest ongoing challenges is recruiting
appropriately trained staff and professionals
to work in their remote services.
The Whiddon Group, a large non-
profit organisation, currently provides
1,397 residential places, 245 home care
packages (including 76 CDC packages)
and 363 independent living units in 26
locations across NSW -- including in some
of the state's most remote areas, such
as Condobolin, Walgett and Wee Waa. It
employs over 1,700 people.
Along with workforce, Irwin says that
the cost of goods and services in remote
areas are also notably higher than in
metropolitan areas and major regional
centres due to transport. This adds the
challenge of financial viability to the
table, she says.
"From an internal perspective, our
remote services are also hampered by a
lack of communication infrastructure, such
as suitable bandwidth, to provide telehealth
services for clients, and e-learning and
video conferencing," she says.
Asked for her opinion of the increase to the
viability supplement, Irwin says it is welcome,
but adds that "it came off a low base."
"For our services receiving this funding,
the viability supplement in our services
equates to approximately an additional
$12,000. This helps, but it will not offset
the provision of services in small remote
communities where the residential facilities
are between eight and 12 beds," she says.
Asked what further measures to
improve service provision in rural and
remote areas, Irwin highlights improved
communication services. This would
enable staff to be contactable when
providing community-based services,
while "e-solutions" could be fully utilised
for staff education and for clients to
communicate more easily with family and
friends, she says.
"The cost of care study, which is required
Services receiving Viability Supplement by remoteness*
and Torres Strait
Islander flexible aged
care services (as at 30
Services (as at
30 June 2014)
* Remoteness is Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 classification based on ASGC
for all aged care, will reflect the differences
in rural/remote and metropolitan/regional
centre locations. My suggestion would be
that the government utilises the provision
of annual accounts to thoroughly review the
viability of facilities operating in rural and
remote Australia, and match the viability
Irwin would also like to see
"encouragement and incentives" from
government to prompt aged care
providers and local health services
to work in partnership and provide
services such as respite care and training
in rural communities.
A 'VITAL' BOOST
Like Irwin, Robert Barden, the CEO of
Emmerton Park in Tasmania, cites the
greater cost of supplies and services
as among the major challenges his
He lists access to, and cost of, allied
health specialists, IT expertise, and
recruitment of senior management,
such as in HR and finance, as other
"Although we actively use Aged Care
Channel, the cost of facilitating training
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