Aged care reform success: an updated plan

Industry expert Jennene Buckley says aged care reform success starts with a refresh of the company’s strategic plan.

In this first in a series of articles on the priorities that should be on the agenda of every aged care board, industry expert Jennene Buckley tells directors to start by refreshing the company’s strategic plan.

Priority one: is your strategic plan reviewed and renewed in 2022?

Jennene Buckley

To be honest, any strategic plan that is more than 12 months old is likely to be ready for the archive. As you know, constant changes and events continue to shift the strategic priorities of every aged care provider.


Our current workforce challenges have escalated beyond what we have seen previously. There are shortages in skilled workforce in care, operations, management and business support. It has now become every organisation’s most significant risk, greatest priority and needs to be front and centre of every strategic plan. We need a plan to manage through both the current workforce crisis and strategies to ensure a sustainable longer-term pipeline of talent to meet our ongoing service operations and future growth.

Reform agenda

The aged care reform agenda does not require incremental change, but instead a transformational shift for most organisations in the way they operate. The reform is turning aged care literally on its head. It is impacting service delivery models, funding models, new reporting, workforce design, compliance, quality, regulation and changing market dynamics. It will require organisations to re-imagine what they do as a company to create value.

The pandemic   

COVID has changed the world as we know it and has brought ongoing challenges and opportunities. This includes where we work, how we work and the expediting of telehealth and virtual care models that will support higher acuity clients to be cared for at home. Consumers now expect virtual care and service delivery models.  


Investment in digital transformation is no longer an option; it is a requirement for all aged care organisations to remain in business. This is to meet funder reporting and transparency requirement, and also to remain relevant to customers, create twenty-first century care models, meet client expectations and be competitive in the changing marketplace.

Your first priority should be an urgent review and resetting of your organisation’s strategic plan, translated into a roadmap of enabling projects and resourcing plans for 2022-2025. 

Jennene Buckley is founding partner at Enkindle Consulting, which provides business advisory, strategic and operational planning, and transformation service to the aged care sector.

Read next: A project culture

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Tags: aged care reform, COVID19, enkindle, ict, jennene buckley, workforce,

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