Nov 15, 2022

Overhaul of operations: ENs redeployed under new care model

15_11_22 SCCT

Enrolled Nurses (ENs), lifestyle officers and servery staff at Southern Cross Care Tasmania (SCCT) could be offered new roles or voluntary redundancies as part of the provider’s operations revamp.

Due to roll out early next year, this change is expected to impact 175 workers across all nine SCCT facilities who will be debriefed on their options for redeployment within the organisation, which follows the Federal Government’s decision to fund ENs as carers instead of nurses.

SCCT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robyn Boyd, said some staff will continue on as carers but some may choose to leave.

“We are engaging in what this means to everyone right now,” she said.

“We will offer other roles in the organisation where we are expanding our operations, such as wellness centres and case managers for home and community services.

“Voluntary redundancies will also be offered.”

But Health and Community Services Union’s (HACSU) Industrial Manager, Robbie Moore, told ABC News that staff had not been consulted on these changes and that this move jeopardises job security for staff and, in turn, the quality of care being provided to older people.

“We are seeing the largest aged care provider in Tasmania making a move that is jeopardising the job security, the care that we’re providing to older Tasmanians… without any justification,” he said.

“To announce it without even having spoken to their staff is absolutely unacceptable.

“Staff are absolutely shocked by [yesterday’s] announcement, the fact that it has come from nowhere [and] they have not been consulted and talked to in any way.

“They are trying to spin this that it will be better for residents. It will be diabolical for residents and [Southern Cross Care] need to back down.”

Ms Boyd told ABC that the consultation about the new care arrangements will occur over the “weeks and months to come”.

After receiving notices for failing to comply with minimum aged care standards at three SCCT facilities in recent years, the provider is reforming its operations to a new “Household Model” of care.

The first stage of implementing SCCT’s new care model was a direct response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Government’s five-year plan to reform the sector.

This model is aimed to improve the lives of aged care residents by creating a “home-like environment”, with flexible routines and schedules which allow them to make choices around their activities of daily living.

It is also said to see wellness centres and gyms expanded, kitchens recommissioned with chefs in every facility and an option for residents to co-design menus and eat when they like.

“As the largest not-for-profit aged care provider in the State, we will lead this change that is being demanded by the community for aged care residents, and we are taking that challenge head on,” said Ms Boyd.

On October 1, 2022, the model for aged care funding changed to the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) which focuses on residents and their choices, instead of what care and services facilities can provide.

Following this change, the new care funding model will lean on independent assessors to determine the needs of each resident based on their individual care needs while a bigger emphasis will be put on care provision by carers to allow residents more flexibility.

“The carer will get to know each resident under their care and their routine and be able to be flexible to changes,” Ms Boyd explained.

“They will work in ‘households’ across the residential care facility, which are smaller pockets of community within the facility, and the staffing will be more consistent in each area.” 

She added that Registered Nurses (RNs) and clinical care coordinators would remain at the forefront of the “Household Model”. 

Nurse-led clinics will also operate to provide one-to-one clinical consultation and assessment for each and every resident.

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  1. What a joke. EN’s spent thousands of dollars to get that qualification only to make a choice to work as carers etc due to the organisation’s incompetence. I fear this will follow on to other Aged Care facilities as an excuse to get rid of them snd employ more RNs.

  2. Please when will you ever stop calling care or PCA’s “nurses? ” The misuse of this title confuses the public and residents. They are not nurses. Nurse is a title protected by legislation!
    EEN are qualified nurses who work under the direction of a licensed nurse or doctor.
    Thank you.

  3. If anyone should go it should be the top heavy administration in all Nursing homes, It will still remain more like a multi national factory than a home. ENs are an invaluable part of the trained staff. Will it be the RN to go next ?? Better for residents? Who asked the residents? no way. Once again it is treating our elderly more and more as ” consumers ” not residents. Not for profit????? Are you going to raise the standard of care by giving the so called “carers ” some basic training and regulated as are ENs and RNs ?? I doubt it For the elderly in our country near enough is good enough. Words can not describe what I am thinking as a Senior . No “Nursing Home ” for me ever………. Why do you need my email if it is not going to be published??

    1. Dear Barbara

      I do agree that a lot of funds are spent on large salaries for board members ,CEO’s and investments by providers in empire buildings in real estate and buildings and less on trained staff and training as part of an apprentice ship situation where by carer’s work with an experienced EN not just one who has passed an online course, but one who has had some experience in working with an experienced EN and RN . I have found that many carer’s would make great EN and Nurses if they could do an apprenticeship and be paid for days on the job assisting and learning from the trained registered staff plus do some subjects on line. At the moment training of those who care and have ability is too expensive for a large number that should have access to apprenticeship training and earn some money given that they would be an extra pair of hands to assist with and learn at same time re profession and be credited at end of 12 twelve months as an EN or also go on enrolling in a Geriatric Registered Nurse Studies for further two years and while working as a registered EN etc.

      the courses for carers and EN seem to be profit driven and not fit for purpose for encouraging a great deal of siutable persons who simply cannot afford the fees for these courses hence they get carers jobs without any chance of learning or supervision. Not all “ENs and registered nurses with uni degress only 9without experience are suitable to even be mentors for carers. Carers untrained and unsupported are the ones who give up because of they are unable to provide the care and support on their own without help and mentoring from other staff.
      I recently spoke to a carer who was in tears because she was given so many care recipients to look after. One was a family member who was a level 4. she was so caring and good to him. I suggest to her that I would get a registered nurse to come daily to assist with his care. With tears in her eyes she said to me “don’t get a registered nurse …get a carer”. I believe like myself it was difficult to know the diffference between registered nurse and an EN as both seem to be one and same no difference was made when asking for a registered nurse!

  4. Given the Royal Commission into Aged Care, many Aged Care providers reputations haven’t been cloaked in glory. But here we are, another provider quick to race to the bottom to remove Enrolled Nurses and others to employ staff who cost less. They will tell you ad nauseam it’s always about the care. It is not. It is about the bottom line no matter how they might like to dress it up.

  5. All about the dollars as usual. EN’s studied hard to get their diplomas. They’ve had to pay registration and do professional development the same ad RN’s and you dismiss them. Shame on you.

  6. At least they are offered the choices of accepting other positions or taking redundancy.

    I don’t even have that choice.

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