CEO Update 20 May

CEO updates

I hope this update finds you well. As we head rapidly towards June and the shortest day of the year being only a month away, it is surprising that we still manage some mild days (weekends even) though nights are a different matter!

Life at Bayley House is busy of course. I am thrilled that after a year and more of working largely from home I will be able to return to being office-based at Middle Crescent shortly… my office having been returned to me from its secondary use as a ‘quarantine room’. I have had the opportunity to attend Middle Crescent several times in recent weeks and it is just such a delight to be back in touch with many of our clients. I confess it brought tears to my eyes and perhaps brought the real trauma of last year into clear focus.

Whilst on the topic of COVID-19 you may well have read or heard many references in the last week to the unacceptably slow pace of the vaccine roll out to people with disabilities. It seems that political pressure has finally had an impact as we received advice yesterday that our residential clients and staff would be offered the Pfizer vaccine in the near future. I understand that the first visit may be as soon as May 25th. Residential staff are working right now to ensure that information is up to date and hopefully that the process goes smoothly.

The leadership team has been working intensely over recent months to prepare the 2021/22 budget. Budgets are always a challenge, pitting what we would like to do or have against the reality of what can be afforded. Nevertheless, this year has been particularly challenging. And I want to be frank about this; NDIS revenues in virtually all of our activities continue to be squeezed by the NDIA (the government authority with responsibility for delivering the NDIS). The Bayley House Strategic Plan strategic planendorsed by the Board in December last year enthusiastically embraces growth and focus on delivering fantastic outcomes for our clients and families. We know we have the skills and drive to do that but there is no doubt that the unrealistic pricing imposed by the NDIA coupled with the constantly increasing cost of doing business with them proves very challenging. I want to acknowledge the efforts of the leadership and finance teams in particular in managing to meet those imposed constraints whilst ensuring we continue to deliver for our clients.

Part of the changes imposed by the NDIA in July last year were to the way in which group activities (Day Service) are both charged and delivered. In classic NDIA fashion, these changes bound together the good with the bad. The good is that group activities can now be provided by means of a model called ‘Programs of Support’. This structural change reflects lobbying by Bayley House amongst others that the activities we provide are developmental and that they need to be seen as part of a program over weeks; so, Programs of Support are developed over a (generally) 10 – 12 week period. The bad is that this welcome change is coupled to changes in the pricing of group activities; both the actual hourly rate as well as requiring us to separate out what is referred to as ‘non face-to-face time’. Again, let me be frank; this is a complete waste of our time, and yours, and only adds further to the cost of delivering a valuable service. My team will be in contact with all families to further explain the changes and to arrange necessary administrative amendments to agreements. I urge you to respond to their request promptly to ensure there is no unnecessary interruption to services for your family member.

The end of the tax year is approaching and you would be surprised if I did not take this opportunity to alert you to our Art For All fundraising appeal. The appeal will raise funds to help launch our new Arts Hub, which will provide us with the exciting opportunity to provide much needed and requested art programs and art therapy – far in excess of what we can offer in our space at Middle Crescent.

The appeal is open now and will culminate in a Giving Day on Tuesday 22 June.

If you would like to find out more or make a donation to the appeal, please click here. If you donate on or before 22 June, your gift will be matched!

If you would like to become a very special Matching Donor (enabling us to match community donations!), then please get in touch with Fiona, our Director of Philanthropy here or on 0427 303 346.

We need volunteers too! Telethon volunteers for the Giving Day on 22 June are critical to the success of our appeal. Please click here to find out more about the volunteer role – we hope to hear from you!

Stay Safe and Well.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House