Canning commits to personalised supported transition for aged care residents

27 March 2023
At the City of Canning’s Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday March 21, Council made the difficult decision to cease its residential aged care service at Canning Lodge in Willetton – with a commitment to personally support current residents through their transition to new care providers.

Prompted by the impacts of COVID-19, the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Report (2021) and financial considerations, the City reviewed its aged care services, arriving at the position that the long-term care needs of current and future residents would be best serviced by providers for whom residential aged care is their core business.

The City was recently unable to achieve a transfer of the Canning Lodge operations to a third-party provider, despite genuine effort by both parties to progress.

After further consideration of all options available, Council made the difficult decision to cease the service and will assist residents, and the families of residents, to identify and relocate to suitable care providers.

Council is confident that one or more of the 46 residential aged care facilities within a 10km radius of Canning Lodge, are better placed to provide the ongoing clinical expertise and high-quality care to these residents.
City of Canning Mayor Patrick Hall said the City had worked diligently to maintain a compliant and quality-focused aged care service, however given the complexity of residential aged care and increasing statutory requirements, coupled with the escalating financial commitment to maintain a facility of this type, it is simply not sustainable.

“Since the onset of COVID-19 we have struggled to fill our 42 beds, many in our community are choosing to stay at home longer in their own homes and this has been further affected by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“This decision is about people not money. The clinical care and well-being of these elderly residents has been our primary concern from the outset, and we are certain, given the recommendation presented to Council by the City’s administration, that our community will be better served by specialist residential aged care providers who have the scale, expertise, and sustainable financial models to deliver these critical services now and in the future,” said Mayor Hall.

“The inherent risk associated with running a high-care facility of this type has been a key concern of this Council for some years.

“Sourcing and retaining experienced clinical staff has been a significant challenge, as has been complying with the strict and frequently changing regulatory requirements for aged care facilities.

“We do not have the expertise to continue to run it alone, and there has been little interest from other aged care providers to take over its operations.

“Our focus is now on the smooth transition of these residents, and I am pleased that the City has already commenced liaising with local age care providers to identify suitable available lodgings.

“We will go above and beyond what is expected of us, to ensure that every resident is quickly settled into high-quality accommodation with a reputable provider of their choice.

“Those entering residential age care in the later parts of their life deserve access to the best quality nursing and clinical health care possible, and local governments are not best placed to provide it.

“The City is confident that there is a raft of alternative, approved provider organisations with good standing, readily able to deliver high-quality residential aged care services to their residents,” said Mayor Hall.

Canning Lodge was established in the 1990s as a low-care facility.

Over the decades, and more recently with more and more people choosing to stay at home longer, City of Canning staff have adapted to meet the increasing complex care needs of residents including dementia and palliative care, which are now core aspects of the Canning Lodge operations.

After a previous review of services, Council resolved to continue operating Canning Lodge in 2017 and City Officers have made every effort to improve the services offered by the facility, including making a number of financial, clinical, system and governance improvements since that time.

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