Opal Aged Care has today announced the appointments of former Bupa Operations Director Ian Burge as Chief Operating Officer and Tamara Hitchcock as Chief Marketing Officer.

Sean Bilton remains Acting Managing Director following the resignation of former Managing Director Gary Barnier last November after a series of allegations made against him were aired by the ABC.

The allegations prompted an independent review “into clinical leadership, customer service and complaints management” by the Opal Board.

“I am pleased to welcome two experienced executives to our team, at a time when we’re focused on furthering our commitment to delivering customer-centric services, and securing our position as a leading aged care provider in an ever-changing landscape,” Mr Bilton said.

Ian Burge has more than 20 years’ experience in the aged care sector, balanced with strong financial and operational experience at a senior level. At Bupa he was responsible for operational performance of 72 homes.

At Opal, Mr Burge will utilise his extensive aged care expertise to execute on Opal’s growth strategy, oversee business projects that will continue to improve its delivery of services, and advance the development of over 7,500 people including the attraction and retention of key talent.

“Providers must focus on growth and innovation to improve aged care services and overall experiences for ageing Australians – this is critical for the industry. Our role in particular is to continue to strive for excellence, so we can deliver first-class care and services well into the future,” said Mr Burge.

Tamara Hitchcock has held several senior sales and marketing positions and has a strong track record in helping organisations across a number of industries engage with key stakeholders, build relationships and achieve significant business growth.

Most recently, as General Manager Marketing and Ancillary Products at leading travel insurance provider Cover-More, Ms Hitchcock was instrumental in redesigning the customer value proposition, repositioning the brand and working with key partners to transform customer engagement to drive advocacy and growth.

“The aged care sector is experiencing a great deal of change and like many other sectors consumer expectations are shifting. In response, we are taking an insights-driven approach to enhance customers’ experience through the entire aged care journey, aligning programs and services to meet their needs.

It’s an exciting time to join the business and lead this transformation,” said Ms Hitchcock.