LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed today’s news that the Blue Care Redlynch Glenmead Village Aged Care Facility has been bought by an experienced national service provider, Regis Aged Care.
“This is a good news story for Cairns and is going to have a very significant impact on the availability of aged care places in our region,” Mr Entsch said. “The fact that Regis has committed to opening up the entire 194 beds, including the dementia beds, is fantastic news and long overdue.”
The situation at Glenmead Village has been a point of contention for some time, with 72 beds closing down last year (including 10 dementia beds) due to ongoing challenges such as the recruitment and retention of staff.
Mr Entsch said he had been working with Blue Care for some time to secure another operator and had hoped that a local organisation could take it on, however Regis Aged Care has been operating in Australia for more than 20 years, with 46 facilities and a workforce in excess of 5500.
“Regis Aged Care is also a large organisation with a national network and they have access to a pool of experienced staff, which is one of the critical issues up here,” he said.
“Not only will we see the facility restored to its full capacity of 194 beds and existing staff retained, but we’ll also see a significant local employment opportunity in that additional staff will be needed as those 72 beds are brought back online.
“It’s increasing capacity in an area that we desperately need and securing long-term jobs, together with opening up an opportunity for expansion with the possibility of further investment.
“I think a change in management and focus is the shot in the arm that Glenmead needs.”
Mr Entsch said the acquisition should take pressure off the Cairns and Hinterland Health Service, which has struggled to find residential aged care places for local elderly.
“I’ll be looking at this as an opportunity to relocate some of the people who have been displaced to remote/regional aged care centres because there were no beds available in Cairns,” he explained.
“I’ll be working with the new owners and Blue Care as they exit to see how we can get some of these people into aged care facilities that are closer to their friends and family in Cairns.”
Mr Entsch congratulated Regis on its acquisition and added that he was looking forward to continuing to work closely with Blue Care on the upgrade of the Star of the Sea Elders Village on Thursday Island.“This is a vital project that the Federal Government has recently allocated $19m for and it will make a huge difference to the lives of elders in the Torres Strait.”