City of Kalamunda addressing shortfall in beds for aged care

Stock image.
Stock image.

A SHORTAGE of aged care beds in the City of Kalamunda will be addressed by 2021, says local MP Matthew Hughes.

Mr Hughes said the State Government would establish a new cross-departmental working group involving the Department for Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the Department of Health, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, and the Department of Communities and other specific stakeholders to make more land available suitable for residential aged care.

“I have spoken to many people who experienced the frustrating and emotionally draining process involved in finding a place for a loved one in a nearby high-needs aged care facility, often having to travel miles from their home and away from their community,” he said.

“The cross-department working group, will assist Mercy Health to fast track the approval process following their commitment to expand its aged care facility on land adjacent to the current 36 bed Villa Maria home in Lesmurdie. Construction is anticipated to start in 2018.

“With the current projects promised by existing and new providers including Parry House in Lesmurdie, Valencia Nursing Home in Carmel, Hall and Prior at Karingal Green in High Wycombe and Ross Leighton at Gavour Road in Wattle Grove, the City of Kalamunda calculates the need for aged care places will be met substantially by 2021.

“This will increase the number of beds available from the current 208 by 470 beds to a total of 678 beds by 2020.”

Mr Hughes said another shortfall would emerge by 2026.

“It is imperative a whole of government approach is adopted to keep the approvals process moving,” he said.

“The Department of Health has identified a dozen sites it owns to be further investigated for suitability as future aged care sites, including surplus land next to Kalamunda Hospital.

“Further advice is also being sought from the Department of Health as to which geographical areas in the State currently have the highest unmet need for residential aged care so that land may be able to be considered in addition to the sites already identified.”