Hills care short­age

Midland Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

AGED care re­mains in cri­sis in the City of Kala­munda, with a new re­port show­ing the re­gion is now more than 400 high-care beds short and de­mand in­creas­ing daily.

Re­port to Friends of Aged Care Spring Up­date 2017 au­thor Iris Jones said of the seven top sites for a fu­ture aged care fa­cil­ity, two were now off the ta­ble.

This in­cludes Pick­er­ing Brook and Wilkins Road af­ter the WA Gov­er­nor re­voked a rec­om­men­da­tion to re­zone the site.

“Our best chance for a new fa­cil­ity now re­mains with Hall & Prior’s Karin­gal Green de­vel­op­ment in High Wy­combe,” she said.

“It has taken 11 years for this 160-bed pro­posal to progress de­spite the fact the land was al­ready zoned for aged care.

“Hall & Prior ex­pect the pre­ferred ten­derer will be ap­pointed next month and con­struc­tion will start in Fe­bru­ary 2018.”

Mrs Jones said a 120-bed fa­cil­ity on Gavour Road in Wat­tle Grove was the next best chance for a fa­cil­ity, but was at least two years from com­ple­tion.

“This was first pro­posed 10 years ago and unan­i­mously en­dorsed by coun­cil twice,” she said.

“In June, the State Gov­ern­ment fi­nally agreed for it to pro­ceed and com­pre­hen­sive plans are be­ing drawn for lodg­ing with the City.

“The pro­po­nent is fine-tun­ing plans for the nurs­ing home to in­crease the num­ber of beds given we are fac­ing a tsunami of de­men­tia pa­tients.”

Mrs Jones said it was im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine when other po­ten­tial sites, in­clud­ing the Kala­munda Hos­pi­tal site, Mercy Health pro­posal in Les­mur­die and Va­len­cia pro­posal in Carmel, would come to fruition but they were still vi­able op­tions.

“The fact re­mains aged care is still in cri­sis in this mu­nic­i­pal­ity and will be for some years to come,” she said.

“We need 435 beds by 2021 and this is just to catch up.”

Fed­eral Aged Care Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att said the de­lays were frus­trat­ing.

“While I was pleased to see 277 new res­i­den­tial aged care places al­lo­cated to Perth’s eastern ar­eas in the 2016–17 Aged Care Ap­provals Round, I am frus­trated by the de­lay in pro­gress­ing sites and projects in Kala­munda,” he said.

Kala­munda MLA Matthew Hughes said there was scope for new beds at Sun­shine Park in Les­mur­die.

“Own­ers Roshana are seek­ing to ex­pand their op­er­a­tions util­is­ing ad­ja­cent land and I ex­pect an an­nounce­ment be­fore the end of the month,” he said.

Mrs Jones said ad­di­tional beds al­lo­cated to Villa Maria, Parry House and Va­len­cia were just the be­gin­ning.

“Pro­po­nents now have to raise the money to build the new fa­cil­i­ties to house these beds and progress draw­ing plans through coun­cil,” she said. “The turn­ing of the sod for these al­lo­ca­tions could be three to four years, or on past ex­pe­ri­ence, it could take much longer.”

She said there was no per­fect site in the City for an aged care de­vel­op­ment.

“The per­fect site is close to sew­er­age con­nec­tion and has no con­ser­va­tion is­sues or lo­cal res­i­dents who will ob­ject,” she said.

“It helps if it is flat, bush­fire safe and close to shops, doc­tors and buses.

“There are no known sites which tick all these boxes.”

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