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Plan now for the future of your aged care workforce

The growth and changes to the aged care sector have been the focus of much discussion in the last decade. With all of the various trends and reforms impacting on the aged care workforce, adapting to the changing sector will be key to maintaining high standards in service provision.

The recent Living Longer Living Better reforms have been a boost for many aged care operators. Some new developments are already offering gyms, pools, shops, cinemas and restaurants with flexible dining options. Pharmacy services and on-site medical and allied health services will also become common.

Many new aged care developments will look more like resort-style facilities than the traditional, hospital-like, nursing homes.

In addition, there is increasing demand from elderly people to be cared for in their home environment for as long as possible, rather than be relocated to a nursing home. This represents a high growth opportunity for aged care and health services.

Stacy Field heads up Workforce Planning at the Workforce Council, and says that it is inevitable that moving to person-centred care models will create a new landscape in the industry.

“Aged care service providers are starting to adapt to new demands from the market, like providing integrated models of community and residential care,” she said.

“One great example of this is Blue Care. In late 2013, when their Sunshine Coast cluster was able to undertake an organisational review through the Aged Care Workforce Innovation Network, or WIN, Blue Care identified Workforce Planning as an area that needed attention.

“They engaged the Workforce Council to undertake Workforce Planning, and over six months we were able to work with the Sunshine Coast General Manager, HR Manager, and all the Service Managers to identify their future workforce requirements. The inclusion of Service Managers in particular was really valued by Blue Care, and the process benefited greatly from the contribution and on-the-ground experience that they were able to provide.”

With the rollout of the NDIS being less than a year away, Stacy and her team have been supporting numerous services in the aged care sector to plan their future workforce.

“The sheer numbers of people requiring aged care is pushing an evolution of the industry, and it is essential that sound planning and strategising take place to be able to keep up with the changes.

“The workforce planning we do supports services to understand what their future will look like and plan the future of their workforce,” she said.

“We can help services through Strategic Workforce Plans, Workforce Development Plans, Workforce Plan Implementation and Mentoring, and many other planning solutions.”

To find out more about the Workforce Council’s tailored workforce planning solutions, please click here to visit our Workforce Planning Page.