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Council’s exit to create jobs

Saturday, 28th May, 2016

HammondAtHome general manager David Martin says HammondCare is looking forward to providing new employment and services in Broken Hill as it expands its local operation. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel HammondAtHome general manager David Martin says HammondCare is looking forward to providing new employment and services in Broken Hill as it expands its local operation. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

By Darrin Manuel

Council’s gradual departure from community care services has prompted HammondCare to expand its operations and create new local jobs.

In April, councillors voted to cease its Home and Community Care services by July 2017 due to funding changes that will occur under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

In line with this move, Council will also step away from the Compacks Program, which is funded through the NSW Ministry of Health to provide six weeks of support for people transitioning from hospital to home.

Council was previously subcontracted to run the service by Community Operations Australia, however they have since selected HammondCare to take over the running of the service from July 2016 when Council’s contract expires.

HammondCare, an independent Christian charity group, already provides a number of community services locally, including dementia services, palliative care services and training, and a pain management and referral service.

With the addition of the Compacks Program, HammondAtHome general manager David Martin said the time was right for the charity to set up shop in Broken Hill.

Mr Martin said HammondCare specialised in dementia and palliative care, especially in the home, and would look at renting an office near the hospital with a view to purchasing a premises when the opportunity presents itself.

“We’ve made the decision to invest in Broken Hill and open an office in town which will be a focal point for those existing services (and Compacks), as well as growing the services,” he said.

“We’ll be employing staff in town, I think at this stage stage we’d be saying a program manager, a couple of case managers, a range of care workers, and I think we’d be looking to engage a dementia-specific consultant ... and that’s a start.

“For us this will be HammondCare’s (opportunity) to really create that local footprint and that local support for people in Broken Hill and the Far West Local Health District, especially now that we can pool all those services together.

“It just makes sense.”

Mr Martin complimented Council on their running of the Compacks program over the last few years, saying HammondCare had inherited a solid foundation from which to serve the community.

“Along with Community Options Australia, we’re very appreciative of all the work council has done,” he said.

“We’re privileged to have the baton handed to us in this manner, because they’ve left the service in really good shape.”

Meanwhile Council said it was pleased to see private providers embracing the opportunities created by Council’s exit from community care.

“Council looks forward to working with HammondCare through the transition process, and welcomes the extension of their services in Broken Hill,” said a Council spokesperson.

“It is positive to see such interest in providing services locally.”

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