Council criticised for care services plan


Sarah Oliver

An in-principle decision made by Moorabool council on December 2 to cease aged care and disability services through council has drawn criticism from the Australian Services Union.

The decision was made as a result of the federal government’s aged care and disability services reforms which were announced in May in the wake of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The changes will impact the way aged care and disability services are delivered across the country and mean councils will receive less money to fund aged care and disability services.

In a statement, the union said: “When councils stop delivering in-home aged care services, carers are allocated less time with clients, and the continuity of care elderly residents rely on falls”.

Australian Services Union secretary Lisa Darmanin said the lives of elderly Moorabool residents and council staff who care for them would worsen if Moorabool exits direct service provision.

“The quality of services aged residents receive from council delivered in-home aged care is higher than when non-government providers deliver services,” Ms Darmanin said.

Ms Darmanin also said the union will be “lobbying councillors over the coming months about the importance of in-home aged care services to council staff and vulnerable residents”.

“We will also try to clear up some of the misconceptions that appear to be part of the rationale for this in-principle decision.”

Moorabool chief executive Derek Madden has responded to the criticism, saying the commonwealth’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care has “clearly indicated that council can no longer be a viable provider of aged care into the future, and as such, the in-principle decision has been made”.

“Council has clearly articulated its intention to be as involved as possible in sourcing a values aligned provider that it can recommend to the commonwealth.

“A key component of sourcing a preferred provider will be consideration of the provider’s history in providing quality services that align with the quality standards, support processes in place for clients and the industrial conditions in place for employees.”