APPENDIX 3

Summary of committee site visits related to the inquiry

This appendix contains summaries of the committee's visits to:

Site visit to IRT College, Wollongong NSW

Introduction

On 6 March 2017, Senators Siewert, Duniam and Polley travelled to Wollongong NSW and participated in a site visit to IRT College.

IRT College is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) operated by IRT Group, which provides accredited and non-accredited aged care, home and community care and other community service courses that have been developed by industry specialists.

IRT College has been operating since 2012, and is based in Wollongong. IRT College also offers online courses to meet flexible learning needs. In the 2015-16 financial year IRT offered 24 full qualification courses, including Certificate III courses in Aged Care, Home and Community Care.[1] A total of 280 students enrolled in full qualification courses in 2015-16.[2]

In February 2016 IRT College launched a pilot traineeship program to encourage young people to join the aged care sector. Sixteen year 11 students were employed as trainees in the two-year training program, and will gain a nationally recognised qualification and paid employment for a minimum of 700 hours.[3]

During the site visit, the Senators had the opportunity to:

Site visit to Juniper Guwardi Ngadu Residential Care

Senators Siewert, Dodson and Reynolds participated in the three site visits held in WA on 8 June 2017.

Introduction

On 8 June 2017 the committee travelled to Juniper Guwardi Ngadu Residential Care (JGNRC) in Fitzroy Crossing, WA to conduct a site visit. The committee was welcomed at the airport, transported to JGNRC and provided with a tour by Ms Elvira Even, Facility Manager at JGNRC. JGNRC provides residential care services, respite care for up to four weeks, and a bus service to provide residents transport to participate in community activities and cultural observances, such as 'sorry business'. JGNRC also provides catering for meals on wheels services under the Home and Community Care program.

Description of the facility

Juniper Guwardi Ngadu Residential Care consists of 10 residents' rooms which can accommodate up to three residents per room, allowing for 23 residents in total. The facility consists of a ring of buildings built around a central courtyard and communal eating and activity areas which includes some undercover and seating areas and a fire pit. The buildings surrounding this area consist of:

Figure 1.1 & 1.2 (from left to right): View of the central outdoor area, including fire pit; and view of residents' room.

Figure 1.1 & 1.2 (from left to right): View of the central outdoor area, including fire pit; and view of residents' room.

Facility staff

JGNRC employs 28 staff, including eighteen multi-skilled care staff, a registered nurse/clinical care coordinator (full-time), three enrolled nurses, a cook and kitchen hand staff. JGNRC also has casual employees who it uses to fill gaps in the roster.

Specialists, such as a dietitian and podiatrist, also visit the facility approximately once per month. The vision van visits the local hospital, which residents are transported by JGNRC to access. The local WACHS hospital does not provide allied health services for the residents at JGNRC.

Staff accommodation is limited, with three staff members living on-site in beds in the facility (it was pointed out that these could be used for further respite if there was more appropriate staff accommodation) and a further eight staff living in the workers camp, which is located approximately 2.5 kilometres away from the facility. JGNRC is currently in the process of seeking approval to build staff accommodation that will house up to 12 staff (including couples) on a block adjoining the facility. Such accommodation would free up beds in the facility, providing up to eight additional beds for community respite.

Facility residents

Residents at JGNRC ranged in age from 28 years and above. All residents are from the Fitzroy Valley, but come from five different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups.

Art plays an integral part of the residents' daily lives, with six residents being world renowned artists. The local arts centre, Mangkaja Arts, displays work by several of the residents, and provides JGNRC with art supplies so that residents can create their artworks. Residents can also visit the arts centre and complete artwork there, and participate in educational activities, such as showing their artwork to school students who visit the centre.

Two of the residents also participate on the local radio station, and are provided with transport by JGNRC to do that.

Figure 1.3 & 1.4 (from left to right): Senator Siewert speaks to residents and artists about the baskets they are creating, while Senator Reynolds speaks with Leslie who participates on the local radio station; and image of former residents' art on one of the pathways in the facility.

Figure 1.3 & 1.4 (from left to right): Senator Siewert speaks to residents and artists about the baskets they are creating, while Senator Reynolds speaks with Leslie who participates on the local radio station; and image of former residents' art on one of the pathways in the facility.

Key challenges for the facility

During the tour, staff members of JGNRC told the committee about the key challenges JGNRC faces in attracting and retaining qualified staff, including:

JGNRC staff noted that it is particularly difficult to attract staff during the 'wet season' when temperatures are high and the community is effectively 'cut-off' for a period of time.

Acknowledgments

On behalf of the committee, Senator Siewert explained to the staff and residents at JGNRC the purpose of the committee's visit and thanked them for warmly hosting the committee.

Site visit to Halls Creek Community Care

Introduction

Following the committee's visit to Juniper Guwardi Ngadu Residential Care on 8 June 2017, the committee travelled to Halls Creek Community Care (HCCC) in Halls Creek, WA to conduct a site visit. The committee was welcomed at the airport, transported to HCCC and provided with a briefing by Ms Kaye T Rangitutia, Coordinator, and staff of HCCC.

Services provided by HCCC

HCCC provides a range of services to people living in and from surrounding areas of Halls Creek, including:

In addition to these services, HCCC also hosts activities, including picnics, barbeques and bus trips.

Clients can access up to three days of support at HCCC, and two days home care per week. Clients can also receive meals on wheels packages five days per week.

HCCC's on-site facility consists of:

HCCC also has two vehicles, a bus and a car, which it uses to transport clients.

HCCC staff

At the site visit, the committee had the opportunity to meet five of HCCC's key staff members (pictured below). HCCC employs staff from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including employees from Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

Figure 1.5: Photo of Senator Siewert, Senator Dodson, and Senator Reynolds with HCCC staff (from left to right) Ms Penaisia (Patsy) Burton, Mr Peter Jenkins, Ms Kaye T Rangitutia, Ms Leanne Reynolds and Ms Eileen Lightning outside the main office.

Figure 1.5: Photo of Senator Siewert, Senator Dodson, and Senator Reynolds with HCCC staff (from left to right) Ms Penaisia (Patsy) Burton, Mr Peter Jenkins, Ms Kaye T Rangitutia, Ms Leanne Reynolds and Ms Eileen Lightning outside the main office.

HCCC clients

At the time of the visit, HCCC was providing residential support services to approximately 23 people in Halls Creek. Such services included meals on wheels, assistance with transport, shopping and banking and home cleaning services, for example.

HCCC's clients come from four different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups and range in age from 18 years up to about 75 years.

Key challenges for HCCC

During the briefing HCCC told the committee about the key challenges it faces in providing quality care to aged care clients in Halls Creek, including:

During the briefing, HCCC told the committee that timely ACAT assessments are difficult to obtain as an assessor only comes to Halls Creek once per month. This creates difficulties for HCCC in providing quality care, and means some clients go without crucial support (such as walking frames) until an assessment can be done. In some instances assessments are carried out over the phone by the Regional Assessment Service team based in Broome.

HCCC also told the committee that it has recently applied to be a registered provider for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), as there is a gap in disability support in Halls Creek, with no registered NDIS providers. If successful, this would enable HCCC to expand some of the services it already provides to some of its clients.

HCCC is in the process of establishing a small team to start to provide aged care services to Yiyili, a remote community that is not currently receiving any services. It became apparent during the discussion that there are a number of remote communities where elderly residents are not receiving aged care services.

Visit to Yarliyil Arts Centre

Following the briefing, Peter, bus driver and support worker at HCCC, drove the committee to Yarliyil Arts Centre so that the committee could view some of the artwork created by some of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in the local community and better understand the important role art centres play for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in aged care.

HCCC told the committee that the arts centre has a significant role in aged care in maintaining culture and connection to community and country.

At the arts centre the committee learnt about a project that is currently underway to boost the morale and reputation of the Halls Creek Community. The project involves the painting of old car bonnets and rubbish bins which will be placed around Halls Creek, and is aimed at attracting tourists and improving the image of Halls Creek. Staff at the arts centre told the committee that numerous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples utilise the facilities and have their artwork displayed at the centre.

Figure 1.6 & 1.7 (from left to right); Senator Dodson speaks to the manager of the Yarliyil Arts Centre about the centre's current community project; and photo of some of the artworks which will be placed around Halls Creek.

Figure 1.6 & 1.7 (from left to right); Senator Dodson speaks to the manager of the Yarliyil Arts Centre about the centre's current community project; and photo of some of the artworks which will be placed around Halls Creek.

Acknowledgments

On behalf of the committee, Senator Siewert thanked the HCCC staff for warmly hosting the committee's visit.

Site visit to Menkawum Ngurra, Halls Creek People's Church Aged Care Facility

Introduction

Following the committee's visit to Halls Creek Community Care on 8 June 2017, the committee travelled to Menkawum Ngurra, Halls Creek People's Church Aged Care Facility (Halls Creek ACF) in Halls Creek, WA to conduct a site visit. The committee was welcomed and provided with a briefing and tour by Ms Patricia Williams, Facility Manager at Halls Creek ACF. Halls Creek ACF was established in 1978 and provides residential care and respite care to aged and people with disability in the Shire of Halls Creek.

Description of the facility

Halls Creek ACF consists of a 28 bed facility. At the time of the visit, Halls Creek ACF had 21 permanent residents, the majority of which were high care patients.

The facility consists of:

The residential rooms accommodate up to two people, and consist of female or male only rooms.

Facility residents

Residents ranged in age from 40 years up to 104 years, and came from a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups.

Training initiatives

During the briefing Halls Creek ACF staff told the committee about its partnership with the local TAFE which focuses on training local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in aged care. Loretta Andrew, the local TAFE coordinator, told the committee that 23 students had recently completed their Certificate III in Individual Support through the partnership initiative and would soon be graduating. The course students undertook through the TAFE included training in 13 core areas of competency, including dementia care. Students also completed a total of 120 field hours in order to qualify for graduation.

Key challenges for Halls Creek ACF

During the briefing Halls Creek ACF staff told the committee about the key challenges it faces in attracting and retaining workers, and providing quality care to aged care clients in its facility, including:

A major concern for aged care staff in Halls Creek appeared to be access to secure accommodation, safety and adequate remuneration to pay for the higher cost of living expenses associated with living in a remote area. To assist with these costs, Ms Williams told the committee that Halls Creek ACF provides staff with subsided daily lunches and food hampers once per fortnight (with costs deducted from staff wages).

Figure 1.8: Photo of Senator Siewert, Senator Dodson, Senator Reynolds and Secretariat staff, Ms Jeanette Radcliffe and Ms Amelia Hurd with Facility Manager, Ms Patricia Williams, and TAFE Lecturer, Ms Loretta Andrew, seated in a communal area at Halls Creek ACF.

Figure 1.8: Photo of Senator Siewert, Senator Dodson, Senator Reynolds and Secretariat staff, Ms Jeanette Radcliffe and Ms Amelia Hurd with Facility Manager, Ms Patricia Williams, and TAFE Lecturer, Ms Loretta Andrew, seated in a communal area at Halls Creek ACF.

Acknowledgments

On behalf of the committee, Senator Siewert thanked Halls Creek ACF staff for warmly hosting the committee's visit.

Site visit to Southern Cross Care, Germanus Kent House

Introduction

Prior to the committee's public hearing in Broome on 9 June 2017, the committee travelled to Southern Cross Care (SCC) in Broome, WA to conduct a site visit. The committee was welcomed and provided with a briefing and tour by Mr Nick McGregor, Manager at SCC. Senators Siewert, Dodson, Pratt and Reynolds participated in the site visit.

SCC provides residential care and respite care through Germanus Kent House as well as Home and Community Care (HACC) services and packages through Southern Plus and the co-located Bran Nue Dae Centre.

Description of the facilities

Germanus Kent House

Germanus Kent House is a residential aged care facility that provides accommodation and support for up to 55 residents. It also offers short term respite accommodation ranging from one day to a number of weeks.

At the time of the visit that facility had 48 permanent residents and three residents in respite.

Bran Nue Dae

Bran Nue Dae is a co-located facility that provides day centre activities and a breakfast club. SCC transports, showers and administers medication to clients as part of the breakfast club.

The facility also provides 150 packages, including HACC packages, and provides meals on wheels services seven days a week.

The facilities consist of:

Figure 1.9 & 1.10 (from left to right): photo of indoor communal area; and view of outdoor communal area, including fire pit where family members can come and visit residents and participate in ceremonial activities.

Figure 1.9 & 1.10 (from left to right): photo of indoor communal area; and view of outdoor communal area, including fire pit where family members can come and visit residents and participate in ceremonial activities.

Facility staff

SCC employs a total of 6 staff in its facility, and 14 staff in Community. During the briefing Mr McGregor told the committee that the facility has difficulty attracting adequate numbers of staff to cover shifts, especially during the 'wet season'. To boost its workforce during the wet season, SCC relies on a mix of casual staff and migrant workers with varying areas of expertise (such as personal care, and social work).

Figure 1.11 & 1.12 (from left to right): Senators Siewert, Reynolds, Dodson and Pratt, and Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, committee Secretary, speaking to Mr Nick McGregor, Manager; and Senator Siewert, Senator Reynolds and Senator Dodson speaking with staff and residents in the activity room.

Facility residents

The majority of residents are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds (variably representing 50 to 70 per cent of residents), and are aged anywhere above 40 years. As well as aged care residents, the facility also accommodates a number of people with disability and persons with an acquired brain injury (ABI). Mr McGregor noted that the facility cares for a larger than usual number of residents with an ABI.

Residents are able to access 52 days leave per year to return to country and participate in cultural observances such as 'sorry business'.

Key challenges for SCC

During the briefing SCC told the committee about the key challenges it faces in attracting and retaining workers, and providing quality care to aged care clients in its facility, including:

Acknowledgments

On behalf of the committee, Senator Siewert thanked SCC staff for warmly hosting the committee's visit.

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