Above: The new Warrigal Community Care team.
By Stephen Easton
NSW provider Warrigal Care has almost doubled its register of community care clients and increased its range of services, following the acquisition of fellow South Coast operator All Care In-home Services last month.
Warrigal has taken on 170 new home care clients who live along the stretch of coast immediately south of Sydney from Helensburgh to Ulladulla, and now offers new services to pre-existing clients including in-home respite care.
All Care’s former clients will now have full ‘priority access’ to Warrigal Care’s independent living, day respite and residential care services following the deal, announced on 23 May.
Warrigal Care’s executive manager of community services, Ian McClintock, said the transfer of staff and clients had “gone very well” so far, and that of the 32 former staff members, all of whom were offered jobs with the newly enlarged organisation, 25 had accepted. Those that didn’t, he said, “took it as an opportunity to retire.”
“We’re now delivering those services and the clients have experienced effectively no change; they’re still being cared for by the same person in the same way,” he said. “It’s all going very well.”
“All Care was a very good little company, but they could never offer the range of services that Warrigal Care could. They were a great company and there’s a very strong values-alignment between both organisations, which meant the transfer went through very smoothly.
“There is a lot of work involved in the transition but all of the staff have done a great job.
“Warrigal can now offer a greater range of services; we have brokerage contracts with a greater range of other organisations, so we’re able to be more responsive to clients’ needs now. We’re offering as many services as we can so that an older person whose needs change can ultimately stay with Warrigal Care.”
Mr McClintock said purchasing All Care had given the not-for profit Warrigal Care greater economies of scale and a wider geographical footprint, helping them to meet the needs of more people and demonstrating the strength of the not-for-profit model.
“We think [being non-profit] has a lot of advantages for the clients as well,” he said. “They can have some sort of assurance that we provide services that offer value, and that any surpluses go straight back into improving and expanding our services.”
The deal also means Warrigal Care has taken on contracts to provide community care services funded through the HACC program, originally signed between All Care and Wollongong City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Illawarra Carer Respite, Carelink and Homecare.
The organisation now provides care to almost 2000 older people across NSW, in seven residential aged care homes, seven independent living villages, two day respite programs and three community care services.