Patrick Herd

Condobolin Retirement Village taking new residents

Consultant Patrick Herd, Lachlan Shire General Manager Robert Hunt, RSL LifeCare Deputy Chief Executive Carolyn Kwok and Mayor John Medcalf. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

The Condobolin Retirement Village will take new residents during the transition phase between RSL LifeCare, Whiddon and Lachlan Shire Council (LSC).

RSL LifeCare Deputy Chief Executive Carolyn Kwok gave assurances that the organisation would be taking new residents at the facility at two public meetings held last Tuesday.

She also said RSL LifeCare along with Whiddon, would facilitate a plan to help local families, who had to source appropriate care for their loved ones in another location during the negotiation process, to find a place in the Condobolin Retirement Village, if that is what they wanted.

Consultant Patrick Herd gave an overview of what had led to this point and what stage the process was up to now.

“After the community meeting in May, the Council then launched a formal expressions of interest process,” he stated.

“We then contacted over 20 aged care organisations in and around the NSW region. Seven organisations showed interest and some visited the site for inspection.

“From that two lodged formal expressions of interest and LSC voted to accept the proposal from RSL LifeCare.”

Ms Kwok said RSL LifeCare had 27 nursing homes throughout the state and the ACT.

“We look after around 3,500 people and the majority of those are in country NSW,” she said.

“Our smallest facility is in Eden (27 beds) and our biggest is Narrabeen (800 beds).

“We are committed to being part of the Condobolin community. We have a policy of dealing locally if at all possible.

“Not much will change at Condobolin as all contracts between residents and the Whiddon Group will transfer over to us. Visiting doctors will also remain the same.”

Retention of staff was a more complicated matter, as LSC and Whiddon had to resolve their issues before contracts could be moved across to RSL LifeCare.  “We all want what is in the best interest of the community,” Ms Kwok said.

Seeking new Village management


Many concerned citizens gathered in the Council Chambers to discuss the future of the Condobolin Retirement Village at a public meeting last Tuesday. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) is seeking new management for the Condobolin Retirement Village.

Around 100 people crowded the Council Chambers to discuss the future of the facility at a public meeting last Tuesday.

Patrick Herd from  Community Business Australia, who has been employed by LSC as a consultant, chaired the meeting.

Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf announced at the meeting, Council was looking to an approved provider within the aged care industry to take over operations as early as July.

The Whiddon Group confirmed at the meeting that it will continue to manage the Village until a new provider is chosen and the transition process concludes.

A major concern for some, was the fact the Retirement Village would no longer be accepting new residents until this process is finalised. “My concern is that the people who will need it most during this time, will have to go out of town, and won’t return,” a concerned resident stated. Whiddon and LSC both confirmed no new residents would be accepted until all processes were finalised.

“Council plans to secure an experienced provider in a long term appointment to ensure ongoing quality care for residents, continued support for existing staff and to guarantee a sustainable future for the village”, Councillor Medcalf  said.

Two important questions remained unanswered after the meeting, after they were raised by coimmunity members.

Firstly, what was the “honest” reason for the breakdown of the relationship between LSC and Whiddon; and What would happen if no aged care provider could be found.

Expressions of interest will be evaluated by Council at a special meeting scheduled for mid-June, and the successful applicant will  be invited to present their proposal at a public forum shortly after.

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