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Southern Cross Care announces Mary’s Grange closure and Bupa South Hobart buy out

There had been signs that Southern Cross Care Tasmania (SCCT) was unwilling to commit to maintenance and renewal of plant and equipment, as well as restructuring their staffing, which ultimately led to the loss of all their clinical leadership team – a Facility Manager and 3 Level 2 Registered Nurses. On 1 July 2020, the ANMF wrote to SCCT asking if Mary’s Grange was to close. SCCT was evasive in responding, but in the past few weeks finally recruited a new Facility Manager from Victoria, who underwent 14 days of isolation prior to starting the new role 4 weeks ago. SCCT also hired a new Clinical Care Coordinator, Level 3 Registered Nurse 5 weeks ago. This recruitment gave members some confidence Marys Grange would continue and the ANMF met with the new team only 12 days ago who was very positive about implementing some fresh ideas to Marys Grange. Needless to say, none of the new management team were aware of the plan to close the facility.

Many of the staff at Marys Grange are long-serving employees and have had long-standing professional relationships with residents and family members. The ANMF appreciate this will be a very stressful moment for many and we will keep members updated and schedule member meetings over the coming weeks.

At the same time as the Marys Grange announcement, the SCCT Executive team was at Bupa South Hobart announcing the purchase of that facility. This change is equally surprising, and members at Bupa had no forewarning. The ANMF has a meeting scheduled at Bupa on Friday 30 October 2020, at 2pm to consult with members and we will keep members updated on any further news from either Bupa or SCCT.

The ANMF is still awaiting formal correspondence about these matters, although our understanding is that the changes will take place from 1 December 2020. SCCT has promised to honour the contracts and hours of all staff at both Mary’s Grange and at Bupa South Hobart, however, there is already concern from members about how this will be possible.

Regarding the relocation of Marys Grange residents, SCCT claimed at their Marys Grange announcement that Bupa had 20 empty beds. Members quickly confirmed that Bupa South Hobart is at maximum occupancy and has a waitlist of residents seeking placement. This all points to added stress for all staff at both facilities and represents an enormous upheaval for families and the residents (who are losing their homes).

We will continue to update members at both sites as information becomes available. In the meantime, if you need support around this matter, please contact our Member Support Team.

Updates correct as at 29 October 2020.
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary

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