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Collapse Issue 486:<br />20 Jan 2020<br />_____________Issue 486:
20 Jan 2020
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Umina power blackout on 43 degree day
Council approves plans for IOOF housing site
Australia Day celebrations to be held at Woy Woy
'Business as usual' despite factory fire
'We're not guilty,' says aged care provider
Busy day for Marine Rescue
Ettalong to get a spruce-up
Fire at Woy Woy tip took 90 minutes to locate
Call for more council funding for free open-air film nights
New proposal submitted for six-storey development
Hardware store proposal criticised by neighbours
Woy Woy CWA donates to Disaster Relief
Free emergency accommodation offered
Ministers' association holds prayers for bushfire victims
CWA branch delivers donations to South Coast
Community raises $14,000 for Pearl Beach fire brigade
Sewing bee to help injured wildlife
Arboretum receives second $20,000 grant
Group plans to plant 100 trees
New community garden in Umina
Talk about tree hollows as habitat
First Bays' breakfast of the year
Rotary club chooses exchange student
Free putt putt golf for children
Titanic theme for Pearl Beach dinner
Cinema under the stars
Taking part in breakfast program
Councillors need to say no to destruction of our lifestyle
Turn down temperature in the Peninsula oven
Council has forgotten it is there to ensure equal rights
Council should pause and question population targets
Why do we bother with council and its elected officials?
Permanent budget needed to keep waterways open
Act on dredging and bad driving, but not roundabout
Find time to toast success
Watering grass and concrete
Constructive political action is needed
Climate action rejected for 40 years
Men's activities result in improvement to well-being
Prosthetic limbs donated to 29 children
Cricket club raises $519 for cancer support
Film about gut health to be shown in Ettalong
Hospital staff provide drought aid and firefighter support
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Aboriginal history group shows four films
Choir holds registration day
Young singer wins music competition
English singer at folk club
Teachers' photos in social media campaign
Fun fair to show centre's program
Aged care course to be held again
Jemma Smith wins silver in debut appearance
Netball player conducts training session at Woy Woy
Graded Pairs held at Umina
Bowling clubs name Club Persons

'We're not guilty,' says aged care provider

The chief executive of the Peninsula's largest aged care facility has criticised findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care for their generalised nature, while defending his own organisation's performance.

Peninsula Village chief Mr Shane Neaves said the commissioners had described testimony about the aged care system as "a shocking tale of neglect".

"Frankly, I do take some offence to the report's comments that are aimed as a generalisation of our industry," he said.

"The report paints a terrible picture suggesting that all providers are guilty of the same neglect as those examples that have been voiced at the Royal Commission hearings.

"I wholeheartedly believe that there are shortfalls in our industry, but it is truly challenging to motivate a team of hardworking people when they are constantly being told they aren't good enough.

"To state that the sector is 'unkind and uncaring' towards older people must be corrected.

"I do admit that Peninsula Villages isn't perfect and we do make mistakes, but we are not, in my opinion, unkind or uncaring towards our residents.

"These comments really impact those of us who work in the sector and are truly committed to the delivery of quality care and understanding of residents' needs.

"We do our best in an environment that has its difficulties.

"I honestly believe the staff here at Peninsula Villages are one of our biggest assets and are confident our beloved residents would agree with this sentiment.

"To therefore, be generally labelled as being unkind and uncaring, is just not appropriate.

"What is disappointing however is the throw away statement by the Commissioners that has an impact on all aged care providers,' Mr Neaves continued.

"We admit mistakes occur but to say the sector as a whole is 'substandard and unsafe' is an unfair critique of the industry and those who are working hard to maintain it."

"All in all, I would personally consider the report to be an inaccurate overview of the industry as a whole and I do feel a little disillusioned with its outcomes."

Mr Neaves defended the performance of Peninsula Villages.

"As chief executive of Peninsula Villages, a position that I take very seriously, I can assure you that together with my team we endeavour to deliver the best care to our residents.

"I am confident that we do this well and we do this because we care.

"As you may be aware, we were recently awarded the Outstanding Employer of Choice by the NSW Business Chamber for the regional Central Coast awards.

"This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our community organisation and highlights the appreciation we have for our staff.

"I am in agreeance with the fact that the access to aged care services is hugely complex," Mr Neaves said.

"Here at Peninsula Villages we endeavour to do our best with the limited funding we are provided.

"Our commitment to resident focused care, that we are currently rolling out across the organisation, proves that we are focused on our residents' needs.

"Peninsula Villages has a strong clinical governance structure in place which addresses any shortfalls in service delivery.

"Our team, the executive and our board take this extremely seriously.

"In regard to the comments in the report regarding 'underpaid, undervalued and insufficiently trained workforce', we certainly acknowledge that the award rates within the sector are poor and in no way reflective of the dedication of those who work within it.

"At Peninsula Villages we pride ourselves on providing staff with additional benefits beyond wages.

"We have an encouraging and flexible employee program that aims to motivate and support our team.

"We also assure our staff that they are not undervalued, not by management or our residents. "Our monthly chief executive officer afternoons are dedicated to recognising our team.

"We celebrate staff anniversaries. We reward our team through service awards and, most of all, we look at ways of implementing initiatives throughout our organisation that have, at their core, a focus on our team.

"In terms of training, you only need to look at our recent annual report to see the commitment we make as an organisation to training and education.

"I would consider that we do better than most in our industry in this area."

Mr Neaves placed many of the problems of the aged care industry at the feet of government.

"The report looked over government action around the aged care industry, finding that in many cases the government barely implemented recommendations suggested to them over numerous inquiries, and, in some cases, didn't respond to inquiry reports at all," he said.

"Due to the funding model that we work under, we cannot deny that there are limitations in services.

"In our annual report, I commented on the Aged Care Financial Report that stated residential aged care expenses increased by 5.4 per cent and our government funding (income) rose by only 1.3 per cent.

"That means that while more expenses are incurred across residential aged care, less income is received.

"We know something has to give, and here at the Village we are lucky enough to have other sources of income to subsidise our aged care services.

"Once again, this is due to a strong commitment by the Village and board to do our best," Mr Neaves said.

Mr Neaves acknowledged that the Commissioners had found that there were serious instances of substandard care and unsafe practices.

"This certainly is a problem," said Mr Neaves.

"I know that shortfalls in service provision in the industry is common.

He said the report stated: "The recent interim report has found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of older, vulnerable citizens.

"It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them.

"The neglect that we have found in this Royal Commission, to date, is far from the best that can be done.

"Rather, it is a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation."

Mr Neaves said: "Commissioners describe in the report the many problems that older people and their families have in trying to get access to aged care services.

"This included service shortfalls, the dispiriting nature of residential care as well as serious substandard care and unsafe practices.

"It also identifies the underpaid, undervalued and insufficiently trained workforce and isolation of young people with disabilities," he said.

"I hope everyone involved in the sector who has pride in the delivery of service we provide, supports each other and continues to work hard for our residents who know us best," Mr Neaves said.

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