RSL Care + RDNS rebrands as Bolton Clarke

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Steve Muggleton’s RSL Care + RDNS has taken the bold step to finalise the merger of the two organisations, with 6,500 staff, under one new brand – Bolton Clarke.

Lieutenant Colonel William Bolton led the first landing at Gallipoli at age 55 and was a founder and the first President of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League – the origin of the RSL.

Lady Janet Clarke was a Melbourne philanthropist and President of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (later RDNS) for most of 20 years. She was also the first President of the National Council for Women.

Muggelton explained to us that they did not want something “trite or constructed”. The staff needed “coherence” in the brand and Bolton and Clarke provided the homage to each of the organisations’ heritage.

Repositioning for the group has two drivers – the need to grow by 100% within five years to simply maintain market share; and ‘consumer directed care’, the changing consumer and market for doing business.

The RSL brand had limitations on the territories the Queensland organisation could operate and RDNS has strong recognition in Victoria but less so in other territories.

Additionally, the word ‘care’ had to be put to rest, given the growth of home ‘support’ services.

The group is also moving into younger age groups, being active in mental health in conjunction with beyondblue, targeting early signs of anxiety and depression plus they have strong capabilities in chronic disease and comorbidity.

On questioning, Muggleton acknowledged that the 40+ market is now their focus of operations rather than the narrower ‘aged’.

The rebranding has a cost – Muggleton estimates it at around a $3M investment.

Their Hong Kong and Chinese businesses will not be rebranded. They are known as the Royal Australian Seniors Care Company, with over 1,000 residential aged care beds under management.