South West Healthcare executive director of service development Jamie Brennan has stepped in to lead Victorian regional provider Lyndoch Living following a month of negative commentary related to workplace and compliance issues and community concerns.
Lyndoch Living provides residential and home aged care, retirement living, and disability and allied health services in Warrnambool on the state’s Great Ocean Road.
Mr Brennan joins the organisation as acting chief executive officer on secondment from South West Healthcare, and with a wealth of experience in delivering health and aged care services in Warrnambool, Lyndoch Living’s board announced on Monday.
Mr Brennan will be supported in the role with additional South West Healthcare team members, who have strong and extensive aged care leadership with clinical, quality and accreditation process management backgrounds, Lyndoch Living said.
Mr Brennan replaces Lyndoch Living director of innovation and organisational development Julie Bertram, who the board appointed to temporarily lead the executive team last week while current CEO Doreen Power took leave.
Ms Power is on leave while subject to allegations of bullying and intimidation, the ABC reported last week.
When Australian Ageing Agenda asked whether Ms Power would be returning from leave, a Lyndoch Living spokesperson replied it would be inappropriate to comment.
However, about a month ago the Lyndoch Living board issued a statement saying it was concerned about the escalating negative commentary about the provider but did not believe the current criticism reflected the reality.
That statement came days after the provider announced it had received reaccreditation for the maximum three-year period following multiple non-compliance findings during recent audits, and a state member of parliament saying she had no confidence the home would address its workplace issues.
Mr Brennan said he was looking forward to meeting as many staff and residents on day one as possible to understand where things were at.
“My first priority will be to ensure staff have the support they need to provide outstanding care to residents,” he said in a statement. “There is a lot of work to be done but I am completely focused on putting residents first and ensuring they receive the care they deserve.”
Lyndoch Living board president Susan Cassidy said she appreciated the flexibility offered by South West Healthcare to second one of their senior executives and leading aged care experts.
“We are pleased to have Jamie join our team and lead our mission of providing quality care for our residents at Lyndoch,” she said. “It’s important we have stability and Jamie’s appointment provides us with that. It will allow our staff to focus on what truly matters.”
Ms Cassidy thanked all staff members for their dedicated service.