Aged care provider alliance Apollo Care has acquired intergenerational community-owned service Yackandandah Health Limited – which has primary, aged care and early learning facilities in the Yackandandah Valley in north-east Victoria.
At a special general meeting last Wednesday evening, YHL members voted in favour of Apollo Care becoming the approved provider of its operations – which includes the community’s 84-bed aged care facility Yamaroo, a general practice clinic and an early learning centre called Little Yaks.
The yes vote follows the board’s decision at the beginning of the year to exit the sector due to financial and governance struggles, and concerns raised by doctors about an Apollo Care takeover, as reported by the ABC in June.
Apollo Care is an alliance of independent not-for-profit brands that manages seven other aged care facilities – all of which were in some form of distress before joining the group.
All staff, residents and children at YHL facilities retain the same terms and conditions prior to the acquisition, said Apollo Care chief executive officer Stephen Becsi.
“We’re committed to the success and longevity of all three services and to supporting excellent intergenerational care in the Yackandandah community,” he said.
YHL brings with it 70 permanent and nine respite residents at Yamaroo, six residents in the independent living units, the families of 44 children at Little Yacks, the regular users of its GP clinic, and 140 employees.
“It will be business-as-usual across all operations,” said Mr Besci, who added Apollo Care would de-risk YHL by funding its operations and investing in improvements. “Yackandandah Health Limited – the community’s not-for profit entity – will continue to operate the three services while we progressively invest in staff, systems and buildings to upgrade services and improve governance.”
YHL chair Patten Bridge said the board was confident Apollo Care would ensure high-quality care was provided to residents. “It has proven residential aged care management expertise plus the capital to improve the operations and resident amenity. Apollo Care can support expansion of the early learning centre and medical services,” he said.
Mr Bridge said Apollo Care also understood the challenges of residential aged care in regional settings and valued the role played by local communities in delivering essential care services.
Mr Becsi agreed. “Our innovative operating and financial models will strengthen Yackandandah’s services while ensuring they retain their strong local community identity,” he said.
A new not-for-profit Yackandandah Community Association has been established to guarantee preservation of the Yackandandah community’s values, purpose and ethos. It has appointed two members to sit on the YHL board and will appoint another to sit on Apollo Care’s community advisory board.
Apollo Care is a privately held approved provider and professional manager of aged care communities, retirement villages, home care services and affordable housing. It is owned by high-conviction private, community and church investors.
Its other seven aged care facilities include New South Wales homes Bundaleer in Wauchope, Charingfield in Waverley, Harden Grange in Harden and Vincent Court in Kempsey plus Queensland sites PresCare Alexandra Gardens in Rockhampton, PresCare Groundwater Lodge in Maryborough and PresCare Yaralla Place also in Maryborough.
The transfer of Yackandandah Health to Apollo Care took effect on 29 September 2023.
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