Landmark transfer secures future of Aged Care on Western Downs

1 April, 2022

Access to quality aged and community care services is secured across the Western Downs, following the completion of a momentous transfer of Western Downs Regional Council's health services to accredited aged care provider Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ).

From today (1 April 2022), all Council-run Residential Aged Care homes, Community Home Care services, and associated assets are now owned and operated by SCCQ, following joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations in November 2021.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the completion of the transfer will signal a greater confidence and certainty in relation to the availability of quality aged care services across the Region.

"Today's transfer is a win for the community. It's the culmination of our strong partnership with SCCQ and many years of hard work by Council to secure a specialist provider to grow and improve local aged care services in our Region," Cr McVeigh said.

"Our core focus has always been about ensuring our community has the ability to age in place by having access to quality aged and community care services, and this has been achieved through the transfer to SCCQ."

"As a values-based, not-for-profit provider of compassionate aged care for older Queenslanders for more than 40 years, Southern Cross Care Queensland embraces the opportunity to bring Tarcoola and Carinya Residential Aged Care homes and hundreds of Community Home Care clients in Chinchilla, Jandowae, Meandarra, Miles and Tara under the SCCQ umbrella," SCCQ CEO Jason Eldering said.

"We believe in the fundamental right of all Australians to age in the place they call home, which is why we already deliver services in many rural areas of Queensland. Today, we commit to partnering with the people of the Western Downs to help create communities where best lives are lived, now and into the future."

While this is a significant step forward, both Council and SCCQ believe this is just the first step towards securing an innovative regional strategy for sustainable aged care in country Queensland.

"The job is far from over, and Council – in partnership with SCCQ – will continue to advocate on behalf of the community for investment and action to address chronic health professional shortages, innovative models of care that meet current and future demands of people growing older in regional areas, and the creation of communities where best lives are lived in the places people choose to call home," Cr McVeigh added.

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