CEO News January 2020
Another year is upon us and I look forward to working with you all as we care for our community. I am mindful that we are still celebrating Christmas here with the Orthodox Christmas festivities to take place on Wednesday 8 January and New Year on Tuesday 14 January. I trust that for those who have already celebrated it was an enjoyable time.
I would like to thank you again for your patience and understanding with our telephone outage in early December. We are now back operating with an interim solution and in the process of finalising the purchase of a new fully integrated system that will include not only a telephone system, but linked into our pagers, nurse call and emergency response system.
One of the things that we will continue to implement during 2020 will be the notification to you of significant events via text messages. For example if we were to experience a “gastro” outbreak and needed to “shut down” one of our Houses to visitors. We found this a quick and effective way to get a message to the nominated representative during the telephone outage. What we will be seeking is that representative then takes responsibility of notifying other members of the family and or close friends of the situation. For those who do not have mobile telephones of course we will continue to phone you. Any concerns in relation to the care of your loved one will also continue to be made by telephone by staff to ensure that you have input to the discussion.
Throughout the year we hold a number of “whole of staff” staff meetings where I update the staff on a whole range of matters and they have the opportunity in a more formal setting to ask me anything. At a recent meeting in December, we also invited a resident to join us to discuss the impact on her when she was told from a medical perspective that she could no longer do something. It was a powerful presentation and staff were able to get a better understanding of the emotional toll this decision had on her and how her decision making and choice was taken away, her dignity eroded and her wish to take risks denied. There are times when we as an organisation get so caught up in negating all risks that we forget about the real reason we are here, and that is for our residents.
What is in store for MACS in 2020? This month we will be opening up 2 new beds in Borrela House taking our total bed numbers to 103. The walking track will also be re-opened at the same time. We are planning for continued growth within our Home Services Team, with 10,000 new home care packages being made available by the Prime Minister in December following the release of the Royal Commission Interim Report into Aged Care and Quality titled “Neglect.” With a trial of an electronic feedback system ‘Tell Touch’ taking place in Bella Chara over December and January, we are hopeful after evaluation to roll this out across the organisation. This will replace the paper based system we have used for many years, which actually only captured a “moment in time”. Our aim is for people to be able to “Tell us early, tell us often.” You will have the ability to download an “app” and complete a feedback form from your mobile at any time. More information will follow on this after the evaluation is completed.
During 2020 we will also be commencing mandatory education for all our staff on the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation. It is an emotive topic, but it is important that all staff are made aware of this issue and their responsibilities. Directors will be the first members of MACS community to receive the education session that our Educators will be delivering at their annual planning day in February.
I believe we will continue to hear uncomfortable stories as the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Quality continues well into 2020 and again offer you any support you may need if you have concerns. Please just contact me.
2019 was a big year for MACS celebrating our 25 years of service to the community. Many happy functions were held throughout the year, culminating in our Dinner Dance on 6 December with 218 people attending. You could literally say, everyone danced the night away!