Sudden closure of service provider highlights duty of care issues

A disability support and aged care provider that serviced Canberra and the South Coast has gone into liquidation, raising questions about the Department of Health’s responsibilities to  recipients of government-funded care in such an event.

Vivere, a locally owned and operated business, unexpectedly closed its doors on October 26. It notified staff that day but failed to inform local brokers.

Two days prior, the Community Grants Hub was informed of the impending closure,  at which point “immediate action was undertaken to ensure the welfare of those affected”, a Health Department spokesperson told the Canberra Times.

The spokesperson said the closure of Vivere happened suddenly and was not expected, but no clients were identified as being at risk of in need of urgent services.

“Vivere staff advised that all clients had been provided with details of alternative providers to deliver their home support services and a phone number for clients to use if they had any concerns or were unable to source an alternative service,” the spokesperson said.

“The Department of Health sourced alternative providers to take on Vivere clients as soon as possible. Work to find a permanent and ongoing solution for all clients is underway.”

It is understood not all clients were able to source alternate care and those who have may not be compensated for their costs.


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