The number of aged care homes that have closed in Australia has been on the rise in recent years, and the trend is only getting worse. In the past year, there have been at least 12 closures impacting around 350 beds.
The latest closures come as a growing number of aged care providers are struggling to meet the Federal Government’s new 24/7 nursing requirements, which went into effect on July 1. These requirements stipulate that all aged care facilities must have at least one registered nurse on duty at all times.
As reported earlier today by The Australian, the planned closures of Carinity Summit Cottages in Mount Morgan and Petrie Gardens Aged Care Service in Tiaro are just the latest examples of how the new nursing requirements are forcing providers to close their doors.
Both of these facilities are located in regional areas, where it is already difficult to attract and retain qualified staff. Providers are also becoming more reliant on agency staff, which in the long term is not financially sustainable.
In a post published on Linkedin, Russell Egan, CEO of Superior Care, who operates two facilities in Southern Queensland shared,
“The reality of legislated minima, which leave Directors on the hook for sanction, financial penalty and banning orders means that the stress, reputational and financial risk are now too much for many organisations to withstand. In the face of profound nationwide nursing shortage, there is a real fear that punitive measures will apply to anyone who fails.”
Many operators are still waiting for exemptions to be granted for the 24/7 nursing targets. Whiddon’s Chief Executive Chris Mamarelis claims that they are still waiting for exemptions applied for more than six weeks ago.
Recently announced closures include:
Carinity Summit Cottages in Mount Morgan, Queensland.
Petrie Gardens Aged Care Service in Tiaro, Queensland
Lyndoch Living residential aged facility in Terang, Victoria
Allambi Elderly Peoples Home in Sydney, New South Wales
Wesley Mission Sylvania in Sydney, New South Wales
Wesley Mission Carlingford in Sydney, New South Wales
Wesley Mission Narrabeen in Sydney, New South Wales
Brightwater Care Group Joondalup in Perth, Western Australia
Brightwater Care Group Huntingdale in Perth, Western Australia
Brightwater Care Group Mandurah in Perth, Western Australia
Southern Cross Care NSW & ACT – in Bombala, New South Wales
Southern Cross Care NSW & ACT – in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales
Anglican Care – in Bulahdelah, New South Wales
Anglican Care – in Mt Hutton, Lake Macquarie, New South Wales
Amaroo Aged Care – in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland
Catholic Healthcare – St Mary’s Villa, New South Wales