Thursday, 27 August 2020

Media Release: Casuarina Grove Jobs Lost – 27 Aug 2020

​Nearly 40 jobs lost on Central Coast as NSW govt privatises aged-care home for people with disabilities
Ability Options, the private provider taking over Casuarina Grove, a specialised aged-care facility on the Central Coast, is slashing jobs, a move the union fears will put particularly vulnerable elderly people at risk of neglect and COVID-19.
In an email on Tuesday, it revealed 37 roles would go at Hamlyn Terrace, including six enrolled nurses and 25 service support workers. These are important roles within the home that provide not only maintenance and housekeeping, but companionship and support for the residents.

The Public Service Association said it was shocked this could happen in the middle of a pandemic.

“It is unbelievable that the Berejiklian government has pushed ahead with privatising the services that our state’s most vulnerable rely on.

“The first thing the new operator has come in and done is cut jobs. How is that going to deliver a better outcome for the residents?

“This comes in the middle of a pandemic, and after we’ve seen how poorly the likes of Newmarch House, Epping Gardens and St Basil’s have performed makes whats happening at Casuarina Grove all the more alarming.”

A report by the University of Queensland commissioned by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that small aged care facilities run by state governments were the best quality for residents, beating not-for-profit and for-profit providers.

Casurina Grove is an award-winning, purpose- built facility that cost $35 million and opened in 2010. It has 100 beds for residents and is currently home to 57 people.

“We know that the best way to care for our elderly is through government-run aged care.  But NSW is the only state or territory that offers no government-run services or support to those living with severe disabilities.

“Under the FACS system no one is turned away, but private operators and NGOs have not made any guarantee. This means there is no accomodation of last resort, that guarantees someone will have a home.

“The people of Casuarina Grove all share the same need for well-regulated, well-funded, well-delivered services by people who care for them professionally and personally. They must be treated respectfully as people, not as customers.”

Media enquiries: Suze Metherell 0412 867 084
Troy Wright 0488 373 209