Cypress View Lodge focused on future-proofing its care facility

Today, Cypress View Lodge Limited (the Lodge) President Lynne Stuckings and Facility Manager Karen Hodgson met with employees, residents and their families to announce it is proposing to transition out of delivering aged care facility, independent living units and home care packages.

The Lodge is proposing to invite expressions of interest from other suitable not-for-profit approved providers to acquire the Lodge in order to secure the future of quality age care services for the residents of Coleambally and surrounding towns.

“We’re incredibly proud of the Lodge, our place in the community and the quality of care we provide. However, our size, rural location and increasing governance and regulatory requirements are inhibiting our ability improve the services we offer, such as providing higher levels of care to enable our people to stay in the community they know and love,” said Ms Stuckings.

“A larger provider is better placed to respond to these changes with centralised systems, a broader income base and dedicated teams to oversee governance, internal policies, employ clinical staff and implement changes.”

There is a robust plan in place to guide the sale and there are a number of non-negotiable terms which will be included to ensure there is minimal disruption for our residents, their families and our employees and that the quality of care is maintained. As part of the terms of sale, current residents’ tenure will be guaranteed, and all employees will be retained with all their benefits and entitlements transferred to the new owner.

Non-negotiable terms of sale:

1.   the purchaser must retain all employees and honour all entitlements and benefits;
2.   the purchaser must be an approved not-for-profit aged care provider with the same values as Cypress View Lodge Limited;
3.   the facility must remain in Coleambally, bed licenses cannot be sold off;
4.   current residents’ tenure is guaranteed;
5.   at a minimum, the level of care is maintained, and the purchaser demonstrates their ability to provide high-level care;
6.   Home Care Package clients are assured of continuity of service delivery if they choose to remain with the new provider;
7.   lease agreements will continue under current conditions and there will be no increase in rental rates for at least 12 months for residents in independent living units and places will continue to be prioritised for elderly tenants, those with special needs and financially disadvantaged;
8.   a local advisory committee will be established to oversee the transition and remain in place in a consultative capacity;.
9.   the sale will be on a walk in walk out basis;
10.   the sale of the facilities is progressed as a matter of high priority to lessen any uncertainty for the residents, families and staff;
11.   the transfer of the facilities is completed as harmoniously as possible; and
12.   the sales process will abide by all relative legislative and regulative requirements.


How will the sale strengthen the care provided?
We operate in one of the most highly regulated industries and legislation that governs us is constantly changing.

A larger provider is better placed to respond to these changes with centralised systems, a broader income base and dedicated teams to oversee governance and internal policies.

Have you explored any other options?
We’ve explored a range of possible options. The Board has determined transferring ownership is in the best interest of residents not just for now, but into the future.

The Greater Hume Council went through a similar process with two facilities at Jindera and Holbrook, which has been a smooth transition and well received by the residents, employees and the community.

Why don’t you just get bigger?
We’ve explored options to increase our number of bed licenses however we do not have a large enough population to secure Government funding for more beds.

Are fees likely to increase?
Fees for our aged care facility are set by the Government and these will not change.

Rental fees for our independent units will remain in place for at least 12 months following the sale.

When do you anticipate the sale to go through?
If a suitable purchaser is selected, we anticipate the change of ownership will take place on
1 July 2019.

When will the Lodge be placed for sale?
We will commence outreach to suitable not-for-profit approved providers in February.

If you get multiple offers, how will you decide on the successful bid? What’s the process for tender and selection process?
There are a number of non-negotiable terms as part of the terms of sale. Each EOI will be assessed against a selection criteria which will include these terms. The top organisations will be shortlisted to interview.

What happens if you get no suitable offers?
We’ll continue with business as usual. We’re taking a proactive approach to futureproofing the Lodge and will continue to explore other options and suitable purchasers.

We will also continue to advocate for more assistance from Government.

How can you be sure they will prioritise high care?
Most larger facilities already invest in high care due to the growing demand for this service. This is also a key consideration for us when selecting a suitable buyer, that they are in a position and are interested in delivering this level of service.

Will employees lose their jobs?

A condition of sale is that the new owner must retain all employees and honour all entitlements and benefits.

What will you do with the funds from the sale?
Proceeds from the sale will be quarantined for future local community projects which will be transferred to a suitable local community group to manage.

What will happen with the Healthcare Centre funds raised by the community that Cypress View Lodge Limited manages?
The Healthcare Centre funds are not part of the proposed sale and will be transferred to a suitable local community group to manage.

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