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Padman Health Care

Padman Health Care

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A spirit of caring, a tradition of excellence

Padman Health Care

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Dynamic duo

In 1984, Padman Health Care established its first residential aged care facilities in South Australia, not knowing that it would soon grow to be the one of the largest and most respected private operators of aged care services in Australia. PHC offers various accommodation options with both high and low care service options available. PHC is currently under the management of owners Viv and Florence Padman. “I studied economics and I was involved in the linen supply industry and I joined this industry, acquiring our first facility in 1984 – and I did so because my wife had a background in nursing. Today, she is our Executive Director of Nursing,” says Viv Padman, the Managing Director at PHC. Viv and his wife each bring their own knowledge, skills, and personality to the company and together they have been able to build PHC to what it is today. In addition to his background in economics, Viv also serves on the board Aged Care Association at the state level and he also represents the state at the federal level. At this time PHC has 12 facilities in South Australia and two in Queensland, as well as 3 additional facilities which are currently on the drawing board. “We’ve acquired the land and we are drawing plans,” says Viv. All facilities offer the same services however they do vary in size; while some are large enough to accommodate up to 130 residents, some can only accommodate 40 beds. Despite size, all PHC facilities have one thing in common – quality care at all levels.

A luxurious experience

“In this industry there are ordinary facilities and what is known as extra service facilities – these are the categories of residential aged care that are permissible under the Aged Care Act,” says Viv. The newer facilities that PHC has built are much more luxurious and include a full range of services for residents. “They’re more like five star hotels than conventional facilities.” Accommodation levels vary based on the needs of their residents therefore different clientele are able to participate at different levels, based on their abilities. Many residents are able to take full advantage of some of the very interesting activities that PHC offers whereas the more elderly residents tend to find it beyond their ability. Within the PHC facilities there are gyms, theatres, hairdressing salons, and internet cafes among other things. PHC facilities also plan different types of recreational activities and outing for their residents ranging from visits to restaurants and happy hour to yoga, bingo and other board games.

Trends and challenges

As the demand for aged care facilities has grown over the last few decades, PHC has noticed that both clientele and their relatives have become rather selective and their expectations have increased significantly. In the past, when PHC first joined the industry it was rather common to have multi-bed wards, however, nowadays the minimum standard of accommodation is single bedrooms with en suites. The industry as a whole is leaning much more towards quality care and comfort for residents, which is definitely a positive change that PHC has embraced and is in support of. The supply in the industry has increased quite a bit which means that PHC, among other facilities will have lower occupancy, due to the choices that consumers now have. “The average occupancy across the country 20 years ago was 99 per cent and it is now down to 93 per cent,” says Viv. Incoming residents have much more choice as to which facility they choose and which one best suits their needs. Additionally, there have been substantial investments in the industry, therefore greatly improving the quality of accommodations that are being offered.

In regards to challenges within the industry, many changes will soon be taking place as the Australian Government has commissioned a study into the industry by the Productivity Commission. The Commission is interested in the current structure of the industry. “It is a much regulated environment,” says Viv. “There are licenses required to operate aged care facilities and the fees and charges are all controlled by the Commonwealth Government. In the draft proposal of the productivity report that has been released, they have recommended significant deregulation of the industry and this will be a major change.” The final report is currently with the Minister for health and aging and will be made public in the months to come, with significant changes proposed for the industry.

Technologically advanced

As technology changes day after day and year after year, PHC has found countless ways of implementing it into their everyday practices to improve their communication and service to residents. In comparison to only 5 or 10 years back, the communication between staff and residents is much better. “All of our staff carry decked phones so if a resident rings a bell, the staff member can speak to them wherever they are let them know that they’ll be there in five minutes or one minute or whatever it may be,” says Viv. “We find that that has really helped to keep residents calm.” Most of PHC’s facilities are now equipped with Skype which allows both audio and visual contact with relatives – particularly those that are overseas. Additionally, nursing notes are now al computerised whereas they were all handwritten in the past which is great for both organisation and referring back for any reason. Lastly, PHC has implemented a camera monitoring system which is reviewed by head office. These cameras ensure that the head office can view what is happening at any facility at any given time which not only improves the security of residents but is useful in ensuring that the residents are receiving the care and treatment they deserve.

PHC currently has 1000 staff members, across a variety of different divisions of their facilities. PHC understands the importance of their care givers to their industry which is why it is an area that they take continue to invest in. “We have a huge investment of skilled staff based at our head office who are actively involved in two areas – one is education and the other is monitoring quality and implementing improvements,” says Viv. PHC has encountered some problems with attracting suitably trained staff so they met this challenge by developing their own training school of nursing. They are a registered training organisation (RTO) and they train their own caregivers. PHC has a huge focus on the quality aspect of their facilities which starts with their care givers. “All of our facilities have received the maximum accreditation period that is available and they have all met the 44 out of 44 standards that are required by the aged care standards agency,” says Viv.

The future of PHC

PHC has been very much focussed on construction over the last several years which is why after the completion of their next three facilities they will be placing their attention elsewhere. “We would like to focus further on care delivery and look at adding value to residents’ lives. We would like to do some research and explore whether residents could interact with the community in some more ways than they are doing right now,” says Viv. PHC is definitely doing their part to make sure residents are getting the most possible value out of their stays at PHC.

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