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April 22, 2021

Wommin Bay hostel set to merge

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Luis Feliu

The Wommin Bay Village community aged-care hostel at Kingscliff has been placed under interim management of local not-for-profit organisation Feros Care following the recent sudden resignation of two senior managers.

Late last year, the board of the Wommin Bay hostel had been considering merger options to ensure its long-term viability when CEO Helen Grant and clinical care co-ordinator Michelle Cowdroy-Murray quit, both leaving the organisation in December last year.

As a result, the board of the village approached Feros Care, a home-grown Northern Rivers community aged-care service provider, to run its day-to-day operations for three months with the view to a merger option in the longer term.

The hostel, which opened in 1994, provides care to 70 residents in five large cottages and has a 10-bed special-care unit.

The interim management arrangement is expected to continue until the end of this month when a permanent transfer is expected to be approved by both Wommin Bay and Feros Care members next month.

A local told Echonetdaily there were concerns that, once merged, Feros Care could sell the home and its valuable land as a windfall.

But Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley said that the land the village sits on is leased Crown land and cannot be sold and that the village would continue to operate and service the needs of the community.

Wommin Bay chair Anne Stewart said the reason the board of the village chose Feros was because it was like-minded and locally based and both were not-for-profit community organisations.

An explanatory leaflet by Feros Care and the Wommin Bay board given to staff and residents of the Wommin Bay facility late in December says the resignation of the two senior managers placed the Kingscliff aged-care home in a situation in which it needed provisional high-level management to ensure the stability of the home in the interim period.

‘However, it is also an opportunity for the board to review the long-term management of the hostel and put in place mechanisms that best strengthen the hostel’s survivability,’ it says.

Feros Care has supplied their senior management staff to the hostel to oversee management and clinical services to help with the transition period.

Feros Care began operations in 1990 with a 40-bed hostel in Byron Bay and also has a 64-bed nursing home in Bangalow, opened in 1997. It has grown its community-care services to around 3,300 clients a year between Port Macquarie and Bundaberg, Queensland.

It currently provides services for 500 seniors in their own homes in Tweed Shire. Its head office is in Coolangatta and its community-care regional office is at Pottsville Beach.

Ms Buckley said 23 per cent of its staff, including five of seven senior managers, live in the Tweed.



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