Loading
Anger over aged care moves

February 18th, 2022Anger over aged care moves

HEPBURN Shire Council’s in-principle decision to outsource the delivery of aged and disability services to more than 300 local residents has sent shockwaves through the community, causing anger and concern for many receiving the services, their families and carers.

HEPBURN Shire Council’s in-principle decision to outsource the delivery of aged and disability services to more than 300 local residents has sent shockwaves through the community, causing anger and concern for many receiving the services, their families and carers.
Council made its decision in November last year behind closed doors at a council meeting, with no public consultation ahead of its decision.
In a press release at the time council said the transition to outsource aged and disability care services would not affect service quality or availability. It stated that the decision was “necessary given the continuing reforms being placed on providers by the Commonwealth Government”.
But community outrage forced council to backflip and community input was sought.
Hepburn Shire CEO Bradley Thomas said if a change to a new provider occurred, council had committed to ensuring the interests of clients, families and carers, staff and the community were met.
“A final decision has not been made, but the in-principle decision triggers consultation and communication with staff, clients and their families, stakeholders and the community. This is not a decision that council has taken lightly, and it is committed to identifying community impact and ensuring that any future pathway is well managed, and risk mitigated.”
Resident and community advocate, Michelle Clifford labelled the in-principle decision as appalling.
“These residents have paid their rates for many years and these services allow them to remain independent in their own homes,” she said.
“There was no community consultation, it was done quietly without accountability. This is appalling. Privatisation does not work.”
Council stated its consultation and communication with staff and clients has included formal written communication, meetings and individual conversations and follow-up calls.
If the council decides to outsource the services, it will vet potential suppliers, with the Commonwealth having the final say.
Residents can still have their say, until the March 15 council meeting, online through council’s website www.hepburn.vic.gov.au, email shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au or 5348 2306. Words: Narelle Groenhout



Leave a Reply

More Articles

Back to top