Jo Cavill guest speaker at Rotary Alexandra 
Jo Cavill drew heavily from History of Kellock Lodge, compiled by Rotarian Maurie Pawsey in researching her talk to Alexandra Rotarians. This is available in hard copy, or eBook for revised edition.
Kellock opened in 1984 with 29 beds, on land gifted by the Kellock family, under the guidance of a board which over the years has included Rotarians Ian Davis, Maurie Pawsey, John Sharwood, Bill Rollason (who was the first Board Chair of Kellock Lodge, from 1986-1996) and Ian Gibb. It was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken in the town, which over the years has grown to 50 beds, plus independent living units.
Ageing in place policies have changed the resident demographic. It is no longer viable for a facility to have only low care residents, so Kellock transitioned from providing hostel accommodation to nursing home type care.
In 2018 the community rallied for local ownership of the facility in the face of proposed merger with St John’s Village Wangaratta, initiated by the Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta.
Jo was appointed CEO under the new board in Jan 2019, and by July 2019 Kellock Lodge achieved Approved Provider status and was able to become independent; Jo feels honoured to have played a part in the transition.
Residential Aged Care is complex as it involves providing a home together with the medical management of 50 people with differing needs, and navigating funding arrangements with the Commonwealth.
Since Independence Day, Kellock has achieved accreditation, and is due for an unannounced 3-day site visit any time now. Accreditors will talk to staff, residents and family members during their visit.
Occupancy currently sits at 98%, after a lull due to Covid last year. Rooftop solar has been installed, beneficially affecting power bills. Kellock is in receipt of a $375,000 grant for systems improvements which will be used for IT upgrades, and overhead tracking for all rooms to facilitate safer manual handling.
Staff management is also important - need the right number of skilled staff. Students from VET and VCAL do placement at Kellock, and we also participate in Murrindindi Age and Disability Workforce Development Program, that involves training of Personal Care workers (PCAs) and hosting of PCA apprentices.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care has exposed failings at many facilities, problems which are not present at Kellock. Complying with the Commission recommendations will see changes to the workforce structure, as more Registered Nurses (RNs) are employed. Providing 200 minutes of care/resident/day, including 40 minutes of RN time to comply with Royal Commission recommendations will create some headaches in terms of employing the right mix of staff. At Kellock Lodge we have employed some overseas born/ trained RNs and PCWs who meet this need.
During COVID-19 the safety of residents and staff has been of utmost importance. A by-product of the isolation has been a decrease in the number of cases of flu. All residents have been vaccinated against Covid, and staff immunisation is proceeding.
On the maintenance front, IT system upgrades are on the horizon, as well as providing residents with a greater range of TV options including Netflix.
The Future: Financial Benchmarking exercise shows that more than 58% of aged care facilities face financial stress. Hopefully recognition of this may lead to more govt funding. Kellock employs over 70 staff, supports local education, purchases food and supplies locally where possible. Pre-Covid, volunteer services were used, and it is hoped this can be resumed.
A very informative talk, appreciated by all.