Focus of Aged Care Royal Commission’s Tasmanian hearings in the spotlight again

Posted on
July 24, 2020
Media Releases

HACSU was appalled to learn this week that Southern Cross Care (SCC) has made the decision to potentially compromise care for vulnerable aged care residents yet again by altering shifts, cutting hours in key areas and making other positions redundant across its Northern residential care facilities.

Glenara Lakes, which has previously been heavily sanctioned by the Aged Care Royal Commission, was the only Northern facility to be the subject of hearings during last year’s Aged Care Royal Commission hearings in Tasmania.

HACSU understands cuts will not be limited to Glenara Lakes, with SCC’s other Launceston facility, Mount Esk of St Leonards, also set to have some key services reduced. We understand cuts will be spread, and staff will be increasingly shared, across both facilities.

SCC have made the inexplicable decision, with COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple mainland facilities, to increase the flow of staff between Glenara Lakes and Mount Esk. While other aged care employers have sought to reduce risks, this move undermines workers’ ability to minimise their movements and exposure.

HACSU calls on SCC to heed community concerns and restore hours and services at both Northern facilities.

The Royal Commission heard that previous cuts to care hours in January–October 2018 had hurt care at the facility and caused terrible cases of suffering, with a succession of Facility Managers saying enough was enough and leaving the organisation.

A staff survey showed Glenara Lakes had the worst blame culture of all SCC facilities and it seems nothing has changed.

Judging by the reports HACSU has received, SCC has clearly failed to learn its lesson from the Royal Commission in making this decision to take the axe to services yet again.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting older Australians most of all, now is the time to promote quality care, not undermine it.

Despite its commitment to detail the full extent of the changes to staff by Thursday, SCC has failed to come to the table.

HACSU has lodged an urgent dispute with Southern Cross Care and will be meeting with members to try and chart a course to reverse these changes.

HACSU Assistant State Secretary Robbie Moore will be available for comment at 1.30pm today in the carpark at SCC Glenara Lakes (390 Hobart Road, Youngtown).

For comment or further information contact Robbie Moore on 0427 471 031.


For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form