COTTESLOE not-for profit aged services provider Shine could end up looking after some 87 Fremantle residents whose support stopped when the port city scrapped its own Home and Community Care (HACC) scheme last month.
“It’s a business opportunity for us, and Shine would look at what of its services its could provide for a large number of Fremantle’s clientele,” Shine chairman Andrew Cuthbertson said.
He said “a lot of poverty-related” issues in Fremantle would have to be considered, compared to the tailored services for the over-65s provided by Shine in western suburbs and as far as Joondalup.
In December, Fremantle Council decided to get rid of its in-house Home and Community Care (HACC) service that provided social support and transport for the elderly, including group activities, excursions and taking people to buy groceries.
An outside provider will now take up the role as part of the emerging and more centralised Commonwealth Home Support Program run by the Federal Government.
Mr Cuthberston said the changes, including the new National Disability Insurance Scheme and Consumer Direct Care, had made many councils consider continuing in-house aged services.
Last year, Subiaco Council decided to close its services, before some of that city’s aged care staff and 184 clients joined Shine, which offers its 900 clients any of four specially-tailored care packages.
Shine’s origins lie in the TAPPS aged care service created by Cottesloe Council 37 years ago.
It is 25 per cent funded by Claremont, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park councils, with the remainder coming from Canberra and a full-profit brokerage service.
“All four councils are happy with what we do,” Mr Cuthbertson said.
He said Shine “understood its costs”, after changes including a new board and installing a former BHP finance officer, and it could fill gaps created by some councils scrapping aged services.
“We’re investigating opportunities for us in Cambridge,” he said.
HACC referrals finished in Fremantle on January 1, before advertising for expressions of interest for a new social support service start before June 30.
“The changes in the funding model make it very difficult for local governments to offer the same quality of services which larger organisations like Silver Chain and Mercy Care offer,” Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said.