EMPLOYEE CHANGES: Blue Care in Kingaroy is consulting with staff on work hour changes.
EMPLOYEE CHANGES: Blue Care in Kingaroy is consulting with staff on work hour changes. Bev Lacey

Blue Care Kingaroy nurses' future uncertain

THE future of nursing jobs at Kingaroy's Canowindra Blue Care facility is uncertain after job cuts were announced at Bundaberg's facility.

Blue Care met with employees at its Canowindra facility in Kingaroy on Tuesday to start consultation regarding proposed changes to work hours and the facility's service model.

The meeting came after an announcement that at least 11 jobs would be cut from the Bundaberg Blue Care facility.

According to the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union in August, about 11 of 17 nurses in Bundaberg lost their jobs and were replaced by personal carers.

A spokesperson for Blue Care was unable to confirm if jobs would be cut at the Kingaroy facility.

"As consultation with our employees has only just commenced, it would be premature to speculate on whether there will be position reductions,” the spokesperson said.

Blue Care group executive regional and remote services Alan Wilson saidthe aged care sector was undergoing unprecedented change.

"Blue Care must change, driven by sector reform and the necessity to create flexibility within our facilities to respond to the changing needs of our residents,” Mr Wilson said.

"Doing nothing in response to the changes faced by the aged care sector is not an option for our organisation.

"In our residential aged care facilities this includes training our personal carers to provide increased support to our registered nurses, enrolled nurses and residents.

"Our personal carers are responsible for the same basic care tasks that family members regularly undertake in their own homes when caring for a loved one.

"Blue Care personal carers do not and will not have responsibility for the administration of medication to residents and will continue to practice in accordance with all applicable federal and state legislation and regulations.

"Our RNs will continue to have special responsibility for the administration of complex and high-risk medications to residents.”

Mr Wilson said Blue Care was working to create a family-like environment at their facilities.

"We are working to improve the quality of care that residents receive by increasing the frequency with which the same Blue Care employees work with the same residents, creating a family-like environment,” he said.

"Our model of care is designed to meet the community's expectation of affordable access to high-quality, person-centred care from people who live and work within their local community.

"As a not-for-profit organisation, now more than ever we need a continued focus on finding ways of operating that ensure we can maintain sustainable health and community services. If we don't, we will not be able to respond to ongoing community need and expectation.

"Throughout periods of change like these, we continue to be guided by our values to make the necessary changes with compassion and care.”

Also in the aged care sector, Southern Cross Care announced wide-ranging cuts across 11 of their facilities in July.

About 200 nursing hours were cut at two South Burnett aged care facilities - Castra in Murgon and Karinya in Nanango.

South Burnett

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