Chairperson's Annual Report 2014
During this period we have again witnessed a change of government. That usually brings changes in legislation and, not least of all, changes in priorities for funding. And yes, aged care has already been the target for a reduction. As an example, recently the supplement for dementia was withdrawn, which will have a negative impact on our finances. In addition, for individuals, it is obvious that the move towards ‘user pays’ is progressing. Changes of this nature took place on the 1st July 2014. In many cases this ‘user-pays’ principle can be justified, but there are always the anomalies and the question is – ‘who looks after them?’ LHI is, and has always been, a Public Benevolent Institution, and that status is achieved by being generous and taking care of those who are financially disadvantaged. To remain viable, there is a limit to what we can do, however wherever we can, we will do our best to accommodate those who are less fortunate. Whatever the circumstance of government and individuals, our priority is caring for people and that is where our priority will stay, regardless of any situation. We pride ourselves on delivering the best possible standard of care and all our endeavours will be focused on maintaining that level.
The past year has again had its challenges, but I am happy to report that we have completed another very successful year and we thank God for the very rich blessings He again provides to our organisation, through governance, staff, volunteers, and through prayers. We are indebted to all those who have helped us to achieve our goals.
The 37 units in Bowillia Court have been completed and fully occupied. We thank all those involved in bringing this project to a very successful close.
Upgrade of Glynde Residential Care Rooms
The Board assigned an amount of $3.4 million for the upgrade and refurbishment of 40 high-care rooms within the Glynde Residential Care Facility. This work is progressing well and will continue over the ensuing years until completed.
Glynde Community Centre
Negotiations resumed with the Glynde Congregation during the year and we are delighted that the congregation have decided to assign the land where the Community Hall currently stands, for developing a new facility which will include the community centre. This will be a real boost for the Glynde Community, as they have been looking forward to this project for some years. Planning with the congregation and the residents’ committee will continue over the ensuing months. As with all projects which require regulatory approvals, this will take some time, but we commit ourselves to working hard to bring this project to completion sooner rather than later. On behalf of LHI and the Glynde Community, I express our thanks to the congregation for this fine gesture which will allow the project to proceed.
LCA North Adelaide Project
Initially, LHI was contacted to provide input into the planning of this project. However, LHI has not been invited to have any further input during this period. We understand that planning continues and that aged care may be a component of the project. If that is the case, and whether LHI is approached to be involved in the provision of that aspect of the project, remains to be seen. So we await any further contact which may eventuate and will consider further involvement when that occurs.
Realising that the demands of chaplaincy were beyond the resources of one person, the Board approved the appointment of an additional chaplain at Glynde. Together with Chaplain Pastor John Gerhardy, a job specification was developed and advertising and interview procedures carried out. This process resulted in Chaplain James Ziersch being appointed to the role. James has settled in well and his input has already been well accepted and highly regarded. We thank Pastor John Gerhardy for his willing cooperation and assistance in carrying out this task, and we look forward to the two chaplains working cooperatively together to serve the spiritual needs of our people at Glynde. May God richly bless their work.
The ever-increasing cost of Workcover premiums was, and still is, a concern to employers generally. We became aware of an alternative option, which could mean a reduction in our premium. However, to introduce such a scheme meant that we had to take on a greater responsibility in managing the whole area of events which result in worker’s compensation claims. As a result, we employed specialist staff to carry out this role and to ensure that we work closely with Workcover to ensure that we comply with their requirements of the new ‘Retro Paid Loss’ scheme. After twelve months under this new arrangement, it is pleasing to note the improvement in reducing workplace accidents and the resultant reduction in premiums. Several hundreds of thousands of dollars have been saved during the first year of operation and, as future years progress, we trust that this new scheme will provide us with savings that we can continue to ‘plough-back’ into our care programs.
With the assistance of the management team, the Board has developed a report which provides them with regular updated data to manage critical areas of our operation. This report will continue to be developed as we determine further areas which need close oversight, to ensure that we remain ‘on-track’ in being a viable and vibrant organisation.
Our efforts to secure the services of new people to serve on our Board continue. We are finding, as others have also found, that it is difficult to recruit new people to serve, because of the onerous responsibilities that legislation continues to place on those who serve on governing bodies. However, as we continue our search we trust that appropriate people will emerge to serve our organisation.
In accordance with recommendations arising from the Board review, an evaluation of the CEO’s performance was carried out. The positive outcome of this review was very affirming of the CEO’s performance and confirmed that we are being led by a very capable and dedicated person. We congratulate Tim on this outcome and commit to him our full encouragement and support.
Management Salary Review
The Board has never undertaken a salary review of our management team. We believed that our pay scales were in line with other ‘like organisations’, however, until a process of this nature is undertaken, we could never be sure that our salaries were appropriate for the roles being carried out by the management team. We secured the services of Workplace Horizons to carry out this review and we were pleased to find that our salaries aligned very closely to the recommendations which arose from that report. In fact, no adjustments were necessary.
We are blessed to have such wonderfully dedicated and committed staff. So often we receive letters of commendation from relatives and friends of those whom we have cared for. These letters of appreciation are always most praiseworthy of the staff, particularly mentioning the loving care and attention provided by them. To all of our staff we say – we are proud of you and all your efforts to tend to the needs of those in our care. We thank God for you and may He continue to ensure that you are a blessing to others as you tend to their needs.
To those in the management team, we also express our sincere thanks for their ongoing leadership of the respective departments. It has often been expressed that the trust that has developed between this team and the Board is quite unique and, through that, our organisation benefits greatly. It is a joy to work with you in service to our organisation and we look forward to a continuation of the same in the future. In particular, I express our thanks to CEO Tim Gray, who is the conduit between Board and Management. Thank you again Tim for your outstanding leadership, your dedication to LHI and its people and your guidance and wisdom in advising the Board on so many occasions. We look forward to your continued leadership well into the future.
Our Board continues to serve in a voluntary capacity and I thank them all for their contribution during this period. To those who lead the respective sub-committees of our Board, I especially say thank you for your leadership in those areas. I am aware that many of you hold very responsible positions in your chosen vocations and that it is difficult to make time to serve LHI in this way. Thank you for sacrificing time to lead our organisation. I look forward to your continued input into this very important work.
Yes, it has been another very successful year and for all that we have achieved, we thank God. May He continue to richly bless all of our efforts.