Aged Care

Brightwater Care Group to close aged care facilities as staffing mandate looms

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Brightwater Care Group is closing three of its Perth facilities due to difficulty in meeting the new staffing mandate, requiring registered nurses on-site 24/7, affecting 75 residents and offering staff positions at other sites.

Perth Aged Care Provider, Brightwater Care Group, has announced it is closing three of its facilities next year.

This is a result of the new staffing mandate that requires residential aged care homes to have a registered nurse on-site 24/7, which is difficult for Brightwater to meet. The affected facilities are Joondalup, Huntingdale and South Lake. 

Brightwater CEO, Professor Catherine Stoddart, said in a statement that modelling of their rosters to meet the new minimum staffing requirements showed that the smallest facilities would not be best placed to deliver the quality of care that they pride themselves on, in a financially sustainable way. Additionally, the age of the facilities, built in the early ’90s and their design, which was not suitable for the increasing care needs of residents, were also factors in the decision. 

The closure of these sites wasn’t an easy decision, said Professor Stoddart, but it is critical for the ongoing delivery of their business. Brightwater staff will work with the affected residents to move them to new homes, either within the Brightwater group or other homes that will meet their long-term care needs. 

Related: Wesley Mission to close three remaining aged care locations in Sydney

Brightwater has assured its 160 staff that they will be offered positions at other sites. The decision follows news last week that not-for-profit provider Wesley Mission is closing all three of its Sydney aged care homes by the end of May, affecting hundreds of staff and residents. Once again, workforce challenges and aged care reforms were given as the reasons for the closures. 

Moving forward, Brightwater remains committed to the long-term sustainability of its remaining nine aged care homes across Perth. The company recently opened a 128-bed facility in Inglewood, which creates opportunities for staff. The closure of these sites will enable the company to focus on providing high-quality care to the residents of its remaining sites. 

Professor Stoddart said Brightwater was “confident” about its larger facilities. “The rest of our facilities are around the 60 beds and above and we are confident that we’ll be able to meet those requirements, with some rethinking about how we have to model this,” she told ABC.

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