Only days from its expected forced closure, the Lithgow Aged Care home has found a lifeline, with a new owner and an extension to its accreditation likely to mark a new chapter for the embattled centre.
- The Lithgow Aged Care home was placed into voluntary administration last month after the facilities accreditation was not renewed.
- A not-for-profit company will take over the management of the facility.
- The residents of the home will be able to stay at the facility which was due to close at the end of the week.
Around 70 residents have been in limbo since the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner decided not to renew the home’s accreditation beyond April 16 after it failed 38 of 42 industry standards.
The home was then placed into voluntary administration last month in a bid to attract a buyer.
The not-for-profit organisation Respect will take over the facility at the end of the week.
Respect operates 12 aged acre facilities across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.
The chief executive officer and managing director, Jason Binder, said there were “significant challenges” with taking over the home but he was confident the site could become compliant “very quickly.”
“We’re particularly excited for the residents who now don’t have to move to another home.
“I’m delighted that Respect can ensure their home will remain their home for as far as the eye can see,” Mr Binder said.
A spokesperson from Ernst & Young said most of the residents at the Lithgow Aged Care Home have remained on site during the administration process and will stay on when Respect takes over.
“Discussions with those residents who left the facility during the administration period have been positive with most indicating they would like to return if a successful sale was achieved,” said the spokesperson.
Ernst & Young said the new owners would retain the “vast majority” of the current employees.
Respect said once the facility was compliant they would work to expand the facility to include 108 rooms and a specialist dementia area with 30 rooms.
The Lithgow Aged Care Home also recently had its accreditation extended beyond the looming deadline of Friday April 16.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson PSM, said the original decision to allow the home’s accreditation to lapse was due to an “immediate and severe risk” to the health and safety of residents.
The commission undertook a formal reconsideration and decided to extend the home’s licence until July 16 2021.
Respect will have to satisfy the commission that it can safely operate the facility beyond that date.
The Mayor of the Lithgow City Council, Ray Thompson, said it was a massive relief for the “virtually doomed” aged care facility.
“It’s certainly a facility that the community of Lithgow couldn’t do without so it’s really, really exciting,” he said.