Big plans to expand

One big provider has just splashed millions on a new property in north-west Sydney, and wants to more than double in size in two years.

Above: Cranbrook Care’s new site at Bella Vista in Sydney’s north-west (image: Cranbrook Care).

By Stephen Easton

Privately owned aged care provider Cranbrook Care has acquired a 2.1-hectare property in the north-western Sydney suburb of Bella Vista, where it will build its fourth aged care facility in NSW.

Cranbrook Care plans to use the $6.2 million site to build a brand new 140-bed complex aimed at meeting demand in the premium end of the aged care market, as part of a wider plan to expand from their current 212 beds to about 500 by 2013.

As part of its expansion plans, the group has promoted Kerry Mann from executive manager to chief executive officer, while former CEO and fellow board member, Campbell Meldrum, will continue working on the growth strategy as an executive director.

Mr Meldrum said the new facility would be similar to the group’s most recent development, Landsdowne Gardens, which has won multiple prestigious awards including the Property Council of Australia’s Innovation and Excellence Award for Best Retirement Living Complex.

“What we set about doing is really in line with what the PC has come up with,” he said, referring to the principles of individual choice, deregulation and person-centred care that underpin much of the Productivity Commission’s draft report, Caring for Older Australians.

“There really should be choice for residents and potential residents in where they live and the standard of accommodation they want. And we saw that in the premium end of the market, there was a gap there; Landsdowne Gardens was built to satisfy that premium end.”

“We always have ageing-in-place in all our facilities, so there will be dementia care, high care, low care and extra services; the new one at Bella Vista will be the same.”

Mr Meldrum praised the new site and said the facility to be built on it would feature independent living units, co-located with a residential aged care facility, right beside an existing golf course.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “It’s wrapped around the Castle Hill golf course and has views right through the fairways; it is a very unique site.”

“We’re continuing where we left off with Landsdowne Gardens, pushing the boundaries and making sure people have a premium option; we’ve got some great architects and a lot of consultants to ensure we get the right product.”

The Cranbrook Care executive said the group was “considering” whether to include on-site facilities for doctors and allied health professionals, as they moved towards lodging a development application for the new complex late in August. 

He also confirmed that the acceptance by the government of most of the PC’s recommendations, based on those in the draft report and the subsequent consultation process, would aid the provider’s expansion plans.

“Like everyone else in the industry, we’re eagerly awaiting the final report from the PC and eagerly awaiting the government’s implementation of that report. Really, it’s time for structural reform and we, like the majority of the industry, hope the government implements the whole report, and doesn’t just cherry-pick a few items.”

Tags: ageing-in-place, building, caring-for-older-australians, cranbrook, independent-living-units, productivity-commission, residential-aged-care-facility,

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