Gummun Place Could Have Brighter Future

Filed in Just In by January 30, 2020

ON Tuesday night Upper Hunter Shire Council moved a motion to examine options for the future management of Gummun Place, the aged care facility in Merriwa.

For several years under Council management, the facility has had a string of non-compliance issues and been on the verge of sanction.

However, Council’s decision may bring fresh hope for the facility to be managed by an aged care specialist and set it on a firmer footing for the future.

Jo Bailey, who operates Quality Care, said Murravale in Murrurundi was a great example of how small aged care homes could flourish. 

“Murravale is also a small facility, but it has a community board and is thriving,” said Ms Bailey.

Murravale in Murrurundi shows small aged care can be viable with community boards.

“These smaller facilities are often not big enough for large organisations to consider viable, but Murravale proves they can be when the community supports them,” she said.

“The community of Merriwa are also really supportive of keeping their local aged care, because it is so much better for older people to stay in their home towns and Council’s decision could actually be a really positive move for the community,” she said.

Jo Bailey has assisted Council in recent years to address non-compliance at Gummun Place and said there is resourcing they could share with Murravale.

“It can be difficult to attract specialised staff such as registered nurses to small facilities, especially in regional areas, but when smaller facilities work together they can share those resources and expertise,” said Ms Bailey. 

“I understand people in the community might be worried about change and Council looking at alternatives to run Gummun Place, but I also think there is a great opportunity for Gummun Place to have a brighter future and the community can look to their neighbours in Murrurundi to see that these facilities can flourish,” she said.

“Aged Care is such an incredibly specialised area and the regulations are becoming more stringent all the time, it is difficult to keep pace with if you aren’t an aged care specialist and I actually think Council is being sensible by looking for how the facility can be run better,” she said.

“The most important thing is to find the brightest future for Gummun, so that local residents can be cared for in Merriwa for a long time to come and I think that can happen,” Jo Bailey said. 

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