Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2014 Contents www.australianageingagenda.com.au
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THERE HAVE BEEN seismic
shifts in industry ownership
across central Australia with
Frontier Services handing its aged
care operations in the Northern
Territory over to Blue Care, while
ECH Group announced it was
exiting residential care in South
Australia and the NT.
Blue Care announced on 31
March that the Uniting Church
had decided to transfer to it the
operation of Frontier Services'
aged care services in the NT.
Frontier's aged care services in
the Kimberley region of Western
Australia would be transferred
to Juniper, the Uniting Church's
provider in WA.
The transfer would take place
from 1 July, 2014, subject to the
approval of the Department of
The decision followed the
6 March announcement that
Frontier would close its Tracy
Aged Care Facility in Darwin.
Blue Care's executive director
Robyn Batten said that every
effort would be made to ensure
there was minimal impact on
residents, clients and staff.
"Locations will continue to
employ the same staff, provided
employees are happy to transfer
to Blue Care or Juniper," Ms
Batten told AAA.
In addition, Ms Batten said
that Blue Care would
provide support to all
care services administered
by Frontier Services
throughout the NT.
it was providing $5 million
towards a transition plan to
keep aged care services
available in the NT. Blue Care
told AAA that funding would be
used on vehicle replacement, ICT
infrastructure, developing staff
training, care governance and
the transferring of systems to
Blue Care and Juniper.
BUY ECH BEDS
Elsewhere, in an unrelated
development, ECH Group
announced on 1 April it was
exiting residential care in South
Australia and the NT.
ECH said it would dedicate
itself exclusively to "community-
focused services, including
increasing the options available in
affordable age-friendly homes".
ECH's 10 facilities and its
Hillside Gardens retirement
village in SA would be sold to
Allity, while the NT facility and
community-based services would
be sold to the McKenzie Aged
All of the almost 1,200
residents would maintain their
occupancy arrangements and
the 1,300 staff would be offered
continuing employment with Allity
and McKenzie Aged Care.
Chief executive of ECH, Rob
Hankins, said the sale would
free up significant funds as ECH
diversified its community services
and expanded its 97 retirement
villages around SA.
ECH said it would continue
to control $400 million worth of
retirement and community services
assets and would maintain a
workforce of more than 700 people.
"The Allity and McKenzie Aged
Care leaderships, their people,
care philosophies and values
strongly align with those of ECH.
We know that our residents in
the care centres, as well as our
community clients in the NT and
those of our staff who will move to
Allity and McKenzie Aged Care will
join exceptional organisations," Mr
Hankins said. n
AGED CARE NURSES report
high rates of workplace violence
including physical assault, physical
threats and emotional abuse from
residents and family members,
according to a new study.
The survey of 269 aged care
nurses conducted by Australian
Catholic University found that 36
per cent of respondents reported
being physically assaulted by a
resident or family member in the
past five shifts, a similar number
reported experiencing a threat of
assault and 29 per cent reported
being emotionally abused.
Between 13 and 15 per cent
of nurses said these forms of
violence had occurred frequently.
The study's authors, Professor
John Rodwell and Defne Demir
from the ACU's Melbourne
Faculty of Business, said the
findings were concerning and
confirmed previous research that
violence was at high levels for
nurses, and specifically for nurses
who cared for the elderly.
The authors noted these
reports of workplace violence
occurred in facilities (both acute
and long-term care) which had a
zero tolerance policy to violence.
The authors identified busy
and demanding workloads
and low levels of workplace
autonomy as potential factors
increasing nurses' exposure to
The study's results were
published in the The Journal of
Nursing Administration. n
Beds change hands across
One third of aged care nurses
assaulted: survey By Linda Belardi
6 | MAY--JUNE2014 | AAA
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