Peter Jean August 01, 2012
Chief Executive of Anglicare, Peter Sandeman, at the Ginninderra Gardens Nursing Home in Page. Photo: Graham Tidy
The Anglican Church plans to spend $8 million on redeveloping the Ginninderra Gardens facility in Holt to provide specialised high-care and secure dementia care services.
The decision comes after a difficult period for the Anglicare-run home, during which it was temporarily banned from accepting new residents.
Sanctions were imposed in January after federal government officials found some patients were malnourished and terminally-ill residents did not receive dignified care.
But subsequent audits had confirmed Ginninderra Gardens complied with all government standards and it was accredited for 12 months.
Anglicare ACT chief executive Peter Sandeman said the events had led Anglicare and the Anglican Archdiocese to consider how Ginninderra Gardens could be turned into a leader in quality aged care.
The changes had been endorsed by the Bishop-in-Council of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn on Monday night. ''Our vision is to turn Ginninderra Gardens into a benchmark facility of which the Anglican Church and the wider Canberra community can be proud,'' Mr Sandeman said.
The upgrade would include enlarging residents' rooms in the nursing home building.
''We need to provide separate ensuites. Some of the buildings in the nursing home have share ensuites and that's not good practice for cross-infection and quality of life,'' he said.
The current hostel building would be upgraded into a dementia care facility.
''We would like to respond to the greatest need and the greatest need in aged care is dementia care,'' Mr Sandeman said.
''So we're going to be enlarging the hostel building by 15 places to have a 75-place secure dementia care facility which is sorely needed not only in Canberra, but around Australia.''
The redevelopment would occur in stages and some residents would be moved to other parts of the complex while works were underway in their current buildings.
But other residents would need to move to other aged-care facilities in the ACT while the work was undertaken. No timeline had been set for the project so that staff could work with residents and their families to ensure relocations were kept to a minimum and were handled sensitively.
''We need to deal with the residents who need to relocate and not put a tight timeframe on that,'' Mr Sandeman said.
The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, said the redevelopment demonstrated the church's commitment to providing high-quality, aged-care services in Canberra.
''The Bishop-in-Council recognised that this is not only important, it's essential. It underscores our commitment to aged care in this city and further across the diocese and to that end we are unanimous in our commitment to this project and to this plan,'' Bishop Robinson said.
Only about 110 of the 136 beds at Ginninderra Gardens are currently occupied.
Mr Sandeman said there had been dramatic improvements at Ginninderra Gardens since January.
''We're back on top,'' he said.