CEO News December 2019
It seems as though December always sneaks up on us! I would say that 2019 has been a very challenging year for the aged care industry. The constant negative press has been disappointing to hear and read about; especially when you know that the staff and volunteers are doing everything they can to improve the quality of life for our Residents and Home Care Consumers here at MACS. We have tried wherever we can to paint a positive image of aged care and aging and to highlight the heart-warming and uplifting stories that happen under the MACS umbrella each and every day.
Whilst we welcome the injection of ½ billion dollars into the aged care sector announced by the Prime Minister recently, I remain deeply disappointed that there wasn’t an extension of the short-term 9.5% funding injection into residential care, tied to investing in staffing, training and other workforce matters based on local and organisational needs, until the Royal Commission’s broader recommendations can be considered at the end of next year.
I would also like to take a moment to thank our community for your patience and understanding during our recent telephone outage. It is important that I provide you with an explanation of what happened.
On Monday 18 November MACS IT staff performed a major network infrastructure refurbish upgrade. During the upgrade all associated technologies that rely on the network were required to be shut down, including our telephone system. After the network infrastructure refurbish upgrade was completed all services were turned back on and tested. Unfortunately our telephone system failed to restart correctly after a number of attempts, with experts called in early on Tuesday, it was determined the phone system software and hardware had failed requiring a complete rebuild.
After discussions at management level and all other parties it was considered quicker to put in a temporary solution and consider our options for not only now, but the future needs and requirements of our residents, staff and facilities. The irony in all of this is that we were just in the process of completing a tendering process for a new telephone system as we knew the current system was of an age that necessitated replacement. We have had high level information technology experts perform a thorough needs analysis and recommend the correct solution for MACS moving forward, allowing MACS to have more options and better communications.
We would certainly like to extend an apology for any inconveniences occurred during the outages and would like you to know that every possible solution was exhausted at the time, with people working around the clock throughout the night and well into the next couple of days looking for a solution.
During this time our emergency action plan was put into place with emergency phones distributed around MACS accordingly. At no time was the clinical care of our Residents, Home Care Consumers or care & medication software compromised. It has been basically business as usual, just very quiet! Our primary aim was to focus on the emotional well-being of our Residents and keep our communication up to you all.
As I walk the very Christmassy corridors of MACS and listen to Christmas carols being sung by our Volunteers and the general feeling of good will emanating around our facilities, I trust that however you will be celebrating your festive season it will be filled with lots of laughter, good friends, family and wonderful food.
Thank you for supporting the work we do, acknowledging the way we care and how we go about our work, it means a lot to us to have your confidence, trust and support.