If you believe the marketing, it would be fair to say that the vast majority of aged care providers are motived to provide excellent services to people in their later years. So why do we hear stories like the one aired on 4 Corners on 26 June, 2017, where a large retirement living and aged care provider was alleged to be taking advantage of vulnerable people through unfair contracts, churn targets, lack of care, and victimisation? Or May’s story about an aged care provider in South Australia first sanctioned in 2007 and finally closed down in 2017, after an investigation revealed inappropriate care, understaffing, abuse, secrecy and inaction. You might argue the stories are very different, and reporting is sometimes biased, but can you afford to ignore them? The public won’t!
Each time such stories are told by concerned consumers and family members, whether perceived or actual wrongs, they lead to significant reputational damage, financial losses, and distress for consumers, families, staff, community groups, business owners and government alike. As the demand for aged care, the cost of aged care, and the competition amongst providers increase, we can expect to see a rise in complaints in both the traditional and social media.
The best defence is always prevention. It would be timely for aged care boards to review their governance processes and do an organisational health check. To help build and protect your reputation, consider a journey on these 7 C’s:
Under the expectations of modern governance, those in oversight have an obligation to assure themselves that organisational practice is aligned with approved policies and expectations.
A good governance framework embeds a common focus throughout the organisation. It ensures that from top to bottom everyone is contributing to the common goals, delivering against agreed strategies and key performance indicators. Boards can then focus on setting the agenda and preparing for next month and next year.
If what I’ve described above doesn’t sound like your governance frameworks, then it’s perhaps time to review what you have in the context of modern governance expectations. Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more.
There’s no substitute for good governance!