Boneham Aged Care Services (BACS) announced a close to break-even result for the year ending June 30 at their recent annual general meeting.
The result is a substantial turnaround from the $1.135m net operating loss recorded for the 2022 financial year with this years operating result recording a $66,000 loss.
A combination of strategies has been credited for the financial turnaround including high occupancy of more than 98 per cent and maximising funding available through the newly introduced Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) model.
Changes to AN-ACC funding has resulted in a 25 per cent increase to BACS core funding and further rises introduced this year will result in an increase of around $1.3m per annum.
A substantial portion of this increased funding will be allocated to the 15 per cent pay rise for aged care workers mandated by the Fair Work Commission from 1st July 2023.
As stated in the report, BACS is anticipating a modest surplus in FY2024.
The facility reported a number of covid 19 outbreaks during the 2023 financial year which have incurred additional costs.
Applications have been made through the Commonwealth Covid support grant program to recover costs relating to both the 2022 and 2023 financial years and these are expected to be recovered early in the 2024 financial year.
The facility’s successful aged care traineeship program, in conjunction with GTE, continues to expand with 26 new trainees recruited during this reporting period.
22 of those are actively working while completing their study or are now working as personal care assistants following the completion of their study.
BACS is currently GTE’s largest host employer and the largest employer of aged care trainees in the Limestone Coast.
Despite the successful traineeship program staff retention and attracting registered nurses to the region is a challenge.
BACS CEO Michael Filsell said there were a multitude of factors making staff retention difficult including interstate transfers and other opportunities around the state, people leaving the industry or retiring, and finding suitable accommodation locally.
“With the new introduction of mandated 24 hour nursing and the 40 minutes that is required we are focussing a great deal, in terms of recruitment, of new registered nurses,” he said.
“That is a nationwide issue, not just for Boneham and not just the regions.
“It’s also the metro areas that are finding there are not enough nurses in Australia at the moment” Mr Filsell said.