CEO Update 19 March

CEO updates

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations has commenced in Australia.  We know that it is a complex process involving huge logistics and supply chain challenges.  The sequencing of priorities is difficult to understand and what I can tell you is that the disability sector is not treated as one cohort.

Residential services are assessed as 1A and day services as 1B, reflecting the higher risk factor associated with any residential setting (disability and aged care).  So far, we have had only preliminary information from the relevant authorities, but we understand that vaccinations will be offered on a site-by-site basis for residential settings but not for day services.  Houses will be allocated times when vaccination teams will attend to vaccinate anyone who is present and has a signed consent form.  At this stage, I believe clients who are not in a residential service will need to access the vaccination through one of the approved GP clinics or the clinics being set up directly by the Commonwealth Government.

We appreciate that vaccinations are not something that some of our clients take to readily. Traditionally, with the flu vax, our staff have provided much support to make the process run as smoothly and with as little stress as possible.  We will do our very best to manage this process just as well, but it is fair to say that the size and speed of the rollout is such that our capacity to influence our clients’ experience may be limited.  You know we will do our best!

Our staff have been contacting families with the official consent form.  If your loved one is going to be vaccinated and you have not returned the form, I urge you to do so without delay.  I believe we may be given very little warning of the timetable for specific sites.  There is zero possibility of anyone being vaccinated unless the consent form is on hand at the time.  Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Last week we had quality audit assessors with us for three days for our Stage 2 Quality Audit.  This is our first full audit under the standards as laid out by the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission.  We are yet to receive the formal assessment but know that we will have some areas of improvement to work on.

Audits are a compliance requirement, but more importantly, they are an opportunity to stand back and see our service as someone else does and, most importantly, they are an opportunity to learn and to improve.  The quality assessors interviewed a number of clients and families as part of the process and in our closeout meeting with them last Friday, it was both wonderful and humbling to hear how positively those clients and families spoke of Bayley House.  Thank you.

Exciting news: at the February meeting, the Bayley House Board approved management’s proposal to establish an Arts Hub.  Consistent with the new Strategic Plan, this will be our first community–based hub and recognises both our appetite for strategic growth and our desire to share our expertise in the creative arts with more people.  We are presently negotiating the lease of a fantastic property close to Cheltenham Railway Station and will share more with you in the coming weeks and months.

So far, 2021 may not be what we would call a ‘normal’ year, but it is certainly looking more optimistic than this time a year ago.  I look forward to being in touch again soon – in the meantime, please stay well and safe.

Stay Safe and Well.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House