Catholic Healthcare has announced it will close its St Mary's Villa home in Dubbo, which the not-for-profit provider has accepted is no longer suitable for the future care needs of the community.
Catholic Healthcare in Dubbo will now focus on providing care at its nearby purpose-built and modern Holy Spirit home, as well as through home and community services. Staff are now working on individualised plans with each of the 36 residents and their families. Some residents will relocate to Holy Spirit, while others will relocate to other aged care facilities locally or elsewhere.
Catholic Healthcare Acting Chief Executive Officer Josh McFarlane said that while the decision was a tough one to make, it was ultimately unavoidable.
"This has been a difficult decision but a responsible one. Prior to belonging to Catholic Healthcare, the St Mary's Villa building was used as a men’s refuge. St Mary’s Village is just not a suitable building for higher acuity residents and will not be able to meet the future care needs of the Dubbo community," Mr McFarlane said.
"The rooms are not designed for infrastructure like mechanical lifters which we need to support our residents with high care and specialist dementia care needs. When residents don’t have the appropriate amenities in aged care, they are more likely to be transferred to hospital, which of course places additional pressure on the health system.
"By contrast our other Dubbo home, Holy Spirit, has large single rooms with ensuites, more useable outdoors spaces, and a specialist dementia unit. We are now working through individualised plans with each of our 36 St Mary's Villa residents and their families. We're deploying extra staff to St Mary's Villa to support a smooth transition for residents.
"We are also working to redeploy as many of our employees as possible to either Holy Spirit or elsewhere in the Catholic Healthcare network. If we are unable to redeploy a staff member within the Catholic Healthcare network we will offer redundancy, support, and outplacement services.
“We understand how challenging this is for residents, families, staff and other members of the St Mary’s Village community. But we will help each and every one of the residents to transition into a new home. St Mary’s Villa, Dubbo will continue to operate until all residents have secured suitable accommodation.
“We also remain committed to the Dubbo community and will continue to provide quality residential aged care at Holy Spirit, as well as our home and community services throughout the region.”
Mr McFarlane said while it was always difficult to make the call to close a facility, aged care providers needed to be clear sighted and responsible in the current environment.
"We have exciting plans for how we can improve our aged care services in the future, and that means ensuring we offer the most appropriate accommodation, now and in the future," Mr McFarlane said.
For media enquiries, please contact the Catholic Healthcare Media team Manager Lisa Harmer on 0466 419 820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org