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Statement on Bridgewater Aged Care Service: Federal Government protects residents.



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AAP

THE HON JUSTINE ELLIOT MP

Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

26 May 2008

STATEMENT ON BRIDGEWATER AGED CARE SERVICE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROTECTS RESIDENTS

In response to a 107-resident Melbourne nursing home going into administration, the Department of Health and Ageing is meeting today (May 26 at 3.30pm) with its administrator — Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC).

On Friday, May 23, Stephen Long ley, David McEvoy and Tim Cuming of PWC were appointed administrators for Bridgewater Aged Care Service — also known as Vitality Care Commissioning Pty Limited and Vitality Care Operations Pty Limited — at Roxburgh Park.

Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot said: "The welfare and well being of residents is my primary concern. They come first."

"Residents and their families can be guaranteed that they will receive appropriate care and their bonds will be protected. We guarantee residents are looked after and their families have peace of mind," Mrs Elliot said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Ageing has a contingency plan to protect residents' interests.

As part of the plan, the Department intends to propose to PWC that it identify, appoint and fund a Nurse Adviser.

In addition, if necessary, the Department's comprehensive support plan could also include: • care and support staff; •

cleaning, laundry, catering and consumables; and • a relocation adviser and case manager for each resident.

In addition, the Department has set up a dedicated telephone number — 1-800-078-709 - for family members and residents to provide information and assistance.

The Department and the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency are working closely with the home to ensure that the ongoing care and well being of residents is protected.

Should there be need to relocate residents, the Department will ensure there is a

safe, convenient and orderly relocation of the residents to other aged care facilities.

The Department advises that there are potential places in other aged care facilities nearby and across Melbourne near individual families.

Accommodation bonds are also protected under the Accommodation Bond Guarantee Protection Scheme should the provider become insolvent or bankrupt.

The General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme is a safety net to protect entitlements when a company is unable to meet its obligations to its employees and becomes insolvent.

Media contact: (02) 6277-7280 or Ruci Fixter 0415 359 023

Facts:

Over the past five years, the Australian Government has provided funding of $188 million under the Australian Health Care Agreements to the states and territories for palliative care.

The National Palliative Care Grants Program has also helped community-based groups around Australia, with $34 million over six years to improve access to and the quality of palliative care in local communities.

CareSearch has been developed over three years by researchers at Flinders University—the centre of the Australian Palliative Care Knowledge Network project.

Media contact: Ruci Fixter - 0415 359 023