“Critical to sector reform”: Aged Care Guild announces it is disbanding to make way for new provider led reform group

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The nine members have called time on the seven-year industry association, declaring it will disband to allow the formation of a new network of “providers leading providers, without pre-existing constraints”.

The Guild was established in 2013 as a private club and an alternative to LASA and ACSA for the big private operators.

When it appointed its first CEO, Cameron O’Reilly, in late 2015, it had nine larger operators as members:

  • Allity
  • Arcare Aged Care
  • Blue Cross
  • Bupa Aged Care
  • Estia Health
  • Japara Healthcare
  • McKenzie Aged Care
  • Opal Healthcare
  • Regis Healthcare

But some members – including Opal Healthcare and Estia – have since departed, while Nicholas Brown has been acting CEO since Matthew Richter’s departure earlier this year.

In a statement, the Guild’s directors said the Royal Commission has been an opportunity for a community-wide conversation to reframe the concept of ageing and aged care.

“It is a once in a generation opportunity to comprehensively and holistically improve the aged care system,” they said.

“The aged care landscape has changed significantly over the last few years and the Aged Care Guild strongly supports the need for the sector to reform. We understand long-term change requires long-term commitment.”

The Guild says it has recognised that its current structure is “not best suited to delivering an effective, reform-oriented agenda”.

“The significant changes required will only be achieved through a broader effort led by forward thinking private, church and charitable providers working in unison.”

The peak says more details about the provider network and what it means at a practical level will be shared over coming weeks.

Discussion in the sector has been that the Guild struggled to get clear air when all talk was about Lamborghini-driving private operators – a comment referring to the owners of Heritage Care in the media at the peak of the second coronavirus wave in Melbourne.

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