The following comments are in response to recent media articles about staff reductions at TriCare’s aged care residences:
- 7 aged care employees have been made redundant (3 staff at Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence and 4 staff at Toowoomba Aged Care Residence).
- These redundancies are a consequence of reduced occupancy at these two residences, partly attributable to the impact of COVID-19. This decline in occupancy is consistent with a small, but steady decline in occupancy across the aged care industry.
- TriCare currently employs 1,629 staff across our aged care residences. While the loss of a job is difficult and challenging for every employee, these 7 redundancies represent less than 0.5% of our workforce.
- Changes to some employees hours and days of work at our Mt Gravatt and Toowoomba aged care residences have occurred, but these changes are broadly increases or decreases of less than two hours per week.
- Some casual staff at our Sunnybank Hills Aged Care Residence have been converted to permanent part-time status. This benefits both our residents with improved continuity of care and our staff with better security of employment. Minor amendments to the roster have resulted in an overall increase in staff hours.
- The recent opening of a 20-bed extension at our Upper Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence will result in an increase in staffing at that residence as occupancy increases in the coming weeks.
- All significant changes to rosters (including the abovementioned Mt Gravatt and Toowoomba changes) include consultation with the affected staff.
- Staffing at all our aged care residences is determined by occupancy, resident needs and ensuring the appropriate mix of staff over the 24 hour period. Smaller residences like Annerley Aged Care Residence and Upper Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence have higher staff hours per resident.
Finally, TriCare would like to express our deep gratitude to the significant sacrifice Australians have made in response to COVID-19. The nation-wide restrictions to minimise community transmissions has undoubtedly saved many aged care residents’ lives.