AdventCare Victoria has announced its Warburton aged care facility will remain open, after an initial decision to close the home in August 2016.
Victorian Conference president and chairman of AdventCare Victoria, Pastor Graeme Christian, delivered the news last month, unveiling a strategy to renovate the home into a fully 9C compliant 42-bed aged care centre for the community.
“After careful, prayerful consideration, the AdventCare Board of Directors has decided to keep the Yarra Ranges facility open,” said Pastor Christian. “This is an exciting announcement that represents the culmination of efforts by so many particularly over the past few months, and I wish to once again thank those who have contributed and those who have helped us find a path forwards.”
The initial August closure announcement was made due to the room sizes no longer complying with Australian standards and requiring significant renovation, the Federal Government’s funding cut to the sector, and an analysis of bed demand showing an oversupply of beds in the region.
"For the first time in more than eight years, we now see a viable path forward for this important community facility."
But new plans include a complete renovation of the east wing, as well as an upgrade to the reception and administration areas. The 16 existing rooms in the west wing will be refurbished into 13 rooms that are compliant with government standards. A fixed price contract has been negotiated with ABE Construction Pty Ltd, and it is anticipated that works will commence soon.
Pastor Christian said there were a number of factors that led to the decision, but stressed that the AdventCare Board had not bowed to public pressure from an opposing community.
“Mission is the prime reason for AdventCare’s involvement in aged care,” he said. “The positive community buy-in has been significant, as has the helpful work of the local church committee. Rather than a sympathy vote, a careful evidence-based evaluation of future operations has led to the decision.
“Public pressure doesn’t change the viability of a facility, nor does it change the bottom line in an operating statement. Rather, it gets in the way and slows down negotiations. The positive contribution of the Warburton-based committee and the successful negotiation of a fixed price quote that addressed all specific concerns was pivotal in the decision to renovate and continue to operate the home.”
The Yarra Ranges Aged Care Facility will remain open during the refurbishment works, with new residents already moving in.
“For the first time in more than eight years, we now see a viable path forward for this important community facility, and it is an exciting future which will provide residents and staff with refurbished, modern and more importantly, fully compliant facilities and excellent care,” Pastor Christian said. “We recognise there’s a lot of hard work ahead but we’re delighted to have found a positive way forward.”