City ad­dresses aged care beds short­fall

Kalamunda Reporter - - News -

A SHORT­AGE of aged care beds in the City of Kalamunda will be ad­dressed by 2021, says lo­cal MP Matthew Hughes.

Mr Hughes said the State Govern­ment would es­tab­lish a new cross-de­part­men­tal work­ing group in­volv­ing the De­part­ment for Lo­cal Govern­ment, Sport and Cul­tural In­dus­tries, the De­part­ment of Health, the De­part­ment of Plan­ning, Lands and Her­itage, and the De­part­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties and other spe­cific stake­hold­ers to make more land avail­able suit­able for res­i­den­tial aged care.

“I have spo­ken to many peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced the frus­trat­ing and emo­tion­ally drain­ing process in­volved in find­ing a place for a loved one in a nearby high-needs aged care fa­cil­ity, of­ten hav­ing to travel miles from their home and away from their com­mu­nity,” he said.

“The cross-de­part­ment work­ing group, will as­sist Mercy Health to fast track the ap­proval process fol­low­ing their com­mit­ment to ex­pand its aged care fa­cil­ity on land ad­ja­cent to the cur­rent 36 bed Villa Maria home in Les­mur­die. Con­struc­tion is an­tic­i­pated to start in 2018.

“With the cur­rent projects promised by ex­ist­ing and new providers in­clud­ing Parry House in Les­mur­die, Va­len­cia Nurs­ing Home in Carmel, Hall and Prior at Karin­gal Green in High Wy­combe and Ross Leighton at Gavour Road in Wat­tle Grove, the City of Kalamunda cal­cu­lates the need for aged care places will be met sub­stan­tially by 2021.

“This will in­crease the num­ber of beds avail­able from the cur­rent 208 by 470 beds to a to­tal of 678 beds by 2020.”

Mr Hughes said an­other short­fall would emerge by 2026.

“It is im­per­a­tive a whole of govern­ment ap­proach is adopted to keep the ap­provals process mov­ing,” he said.

“The De­part­ment of Health has iden­ti­fied a dozen sites it owns to be fur­ther in­ves­ti­gated for suit­abil­ity as fu­ture aged care sites, in­clud­ing sur­plus land next to Kalamunda Hos­pi­tal.

“Fur­ther ad­vice is also be­ing sought from the De­part­ment of Health as to which geo­graph­i­cal ar­eas in the State cur­rently have the high­est un­met need for res­i­den­tial aged care so that land may be able to be con­sid­ered in ad­di­tion to the sites al­ready iden­ti­fied.”

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