A national expression of interest process is now underway aimed at identifying a leading specialist aged care organisation to take over ownership and operation of two residential aged care homes, at present operated by Snowy Monaro Regional Council.
The homes are Yallambee Lodge (Cooma) and Snowy River Hostel (Berridale).
Council’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Bascomb said the call for expressions of interest, which opened in mid-May and closes on June 25, was the first step in a two-stage assessment process.
“At its meeting last week, Council endorsed a set of comprehensive evaluation criteria for the expression of interest process,” Bascomb said.
“Organisations that meet these stringent criteria may be invited to lodge a formal proposal for Council’s consideration.
“Criteria include a demonstrated track record in delivering quality care, a commitment to retaining existing staff, alignment with council and community values and a capacity to invest in additional care facilities in the region, by developing a new facility to service Jindabyne.”
In an effort to ensure that the process delivers the best result for residents and staff at the homes and the community, the EOI evaluation panel will include an independent member of Council’s Community Services Advisory Committee.
Organisations taking part in the process are bound by legal safeguards that protect aged care residents when there is a change of ownership.
“Residents have legal security of tenure. Their resident agreements, including the fees set out in them, continue. Residents cannot be asked to pay a new or higher residential accommodation deposit,” Bascomb said.
He added that the council had engaged leading national advisory firm Ernst & Young (EY) to conduct the market sounding process as it believed that a larger, specialist aged care organisation would be in a stronger position to continue to provide the quality care that residents expected and deserved.
“We want to ensure that seniors across our region can continue to access high-quality residential care in their communities, now and into the future,” he said.
Two rounds of meetings with residents, families and staff at the aged care facilities have been held and Council will continue to keep the community informed as the process continues.