Residents’ future assured as Mercy Health shuts aged care home

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Melbourne-based Mercy Health, one of the country’s longest-serving aged care providers, is assuring about 40 residents that they will be cared for when it closes a dilapidated Mercy Place in Woree, Cairns, Queensland.

“No resident will be asked to leave Mercy Place Woree before affordable, suitable accommodation is identified and secured that meets his or her long term needs as assessed in accordance with the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth),” said a Mercy Health spokesman.

Mercy Health said it had made the “difficult decision” to close Mercy Place in Woree, Cairns, and combine its operation into its other facility in Cairns, Mercy Health at Westcourt.

“There are insufficient beds at Westcourt for all Woree residents to move there, should they wish to. We are meeting with all Woree residents and their families to ascertain their preferences. There are sufficient available residential aged care beds across all providers in Cairns and we do not expect any difficulty in helping all residents to find new suitable accommodation,” said the spokesman.

Staff at Mercy Place in Woree will be given an opportunity to move to the Westcourt facility.

“In consolidating our services into the one Cairns home, staff from both Mercy Place Westcourt and Mercy Place Woree will be consulted and invited to submit an expression of interest for a position at Mercy Place Westcourt. We anticipate there will be some redundancies throughout this process and we will support staff to find other opportunities where possible,” added the spokesman.

“We wish to reaffirm that the difficult decision to close Woree was not based on issues of funding sustainability or viability. The decision was made based on the age and limitations of the building, which has increasingly hindered Mercy Health’s ability to continue improving the safety and quality of care that Mercy Health residents deserve.”

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