Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Nov-Dec 2013 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
concentrating on higher clinical outcomes is a goal. This has
become especially important as the community addresses the
rising tide of dementia: "We are talking about 1700 residents
a week being diagnosed so that pipeline has not even started
coming through." He adds that one in five people aged over 85
has some cognitive impairment.
"The sector has to be prepared with training and all of us in
the community have a duty to raise awareness of this epidemic
facing everyone. Support, understanding and teaching programs
Dementia is one of four key focus areas highlighted at the
company's national conference held in March on the Gold Coast
involving all of DPGs Facility and Clinical Managers. As a result
DPG has appointed a national co-ordinator to help build links
with other organisations such as Alzheimer's Australia and
develop specialist programs. DPG has recently entered into
a two-year agreement with Alzheimer's Australia to educate
every one of its 5000 staff. "It is not about treating or managing
dementia it is about achieving the best outcomes for the
resident. We need to be clear that residential aged care is part of
the dementia journey."
FACING FUTURE CHALLENGES
Consistent with its strategy to be a residential high care
specialist, DPG has a healthy pipeline of new homes and
refurbishment for the years ahead. Barnier says they had the
most residential projects approved in the last ACAR process of
any provider and have a goal to open 500 new beds a year. This
will be further underpinned by the recent announcement of a
new Joint Venture partner with AMP, resulting in new capital
In 2014, three new projects will open including the re-opening
of the Quakers Hill nursing home in March.
Barnier believes these are times of steep changes as the sector
deals with more time spent in resourcing its people and adjusting
to the new reforms.
"Almost everything we talk about in isolation has been done
before. What is different is the whole package. Together we have
taken a decision that we want to put our energies into a broad
package of elements, confident that we are doing as much as
anyone across a range of issues."
These elements will come together in a new look and feel
for DPG in 2014 through a brand relaunch, a project that has
already been 12 months in the making. Barnier says the work
reflects the feedback from residents,
families, staff and the community and
shows that DPG is different, whilst
supporting the clinical high care focus
and investment in staff. It also ties in
well with the intended implementation
timetable for reform to the sector,
a process which should result in a
more competitive and market driven
And when it comes to the aged care
reform process, the company claims
to be taking an industry leadership
position. "As a business we think the
Productivity Commission inquiry and
report was a great piece of work. We
strongly support keeping people in their
home for as long as possible and only
entering residential aged care when they
most need it." n
From the chair
After 18 months as DPG Chairman, Pat Grier reflects
on the new directions the company has taken since his
arrival. Grier, who retired as CEO of Ramsay Health Care
in 2008, speaks about the achievements and his mantra
to continue to bring more focus on staff at DPG.
"AGED CARE IS a different sector to what it was several years
ago. Then it was an industry with low margins and facilities
going backwards. The structure of funding made it difficult
to see how anyone could put the money required into their
operations and make a reasonable return.
Since then three things have happened: new reforms
combined with a fresh management team supported by
additional investment from new business partners. By taking
the positive sides of the reforms it will be up to us to make it a
better industry where the residents can be the winners.
In order to achieve the outcomes necessary for the
industry and for residents to gain from the new structures and
programs in place, our aim was to get the product right and the
management right. Then the return on investment ensues. It
does not start the other way around.
When I arrived the new team was firmly established and
clearly responsive to this innovative philosophy of business
management. My role has been to help them continue along
this path. We are all excited about the future.
Everyone is starting to feel part of a new organisation and
identify where the company is going. But there are challenges
ahead. As more funds flow into the industry better quality
programs, such as in dementia care will be installed. Residents
may pay more for these resources but this will drive the
outcome and quality of the services.
There is a huge shortage in healthcare staffing but aged
care feels it most because staff are not paid as much as
those working in acute care. But the time, effort and money
we are now putting into improving training skills will ultimately
pay off, resulting in better outcomes and a more motivated
workforce. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill from
staff in the aged care industry but it takes a very special person
to dedicate themselves to aged care. Quite often it can be a
Size is going to play a bigger role in the aged care sector in
the future. It all comes down to economies of scale and smaller
facilities in some cases will not have the resources or the funds
to put processes and training systems that are required in place.
Finally, we welcome the growth opportunities that follow our
recent partnership with AMP Life and a new investor, G.K. Goh
Holdings. Our new partner is coming in with additional capital for
expansion of our facilities and looking for additional purchases.
It is a strong validation of the strength of our business."
www.australianageingagenda.com.au | 45
Links Archive AAA Mar-Apl 2014 AAA Spt-Oct 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page