MARCH 2017 

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Today we launch our exciting new look electronic Staff Newsletter. Improving how we communicate with each other is really very fundamental and something we recognize we need to do better. Our intent with this newsletter is that it belongs to everyone and we welcome contributions from all staff. We aim to keep everybody informed, provide education, and share the good news and success stories. We haven’t been marketing ourselves internally well enough and we want to change that. Please take the time to give us some feedback on the content so that we can make it user friendly, engaging and relevant to you. We thank Sue McLeod for driving this initiative, however it will be a team effort that will make it a success.
Well I’ve been here for 6 months now and what a roller coaster ride it’s been.  I’ve got to tell you all, you are an amazing team of people.  Across the board.  Clinical and non-clinical staff.  I see every day your dedication to the Residents, their families and each other.  I’m so proud to be a part of what we do here at Benevolent.  There’s so much going on and I’ve had some trouble trying to decide what I wanted to talk about.  But here goes. 
Most of you would be aware of the beautification of the Mardy McKean Nurses Station.  This is just the start of some of the changes we’ll be making to the Home.  I’ve been talking to some of you about how we can de-institutionalise Benevolent and help Residents to normalise their lives and engage more freely in daily life.  We are starting small, but I’m very excited about this concept and am looking to you all to help us succeed.  All change takes time and this will be no exception, but what a benefit it will make to all of our lives.  Have a look at the photos of the Mardy Nurses Station – we were going for a country cottage look, hence the flower boxes and changes to windows. The Residents love it and apart from some complaints about the darkness of the window tint, I think Staff like it too.  We are currently trying to decide whether we go for an ivy look over the windows or awnings.  I’d love your opinions!!

  Aged Care is Changing and So Must We  

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would realise that Australia has an ageing demographic and the Australian Govt. has been introducing policies to try and contain the expenditure into our sector.  These policy changes as well as changing customer expectations are bringing about major changes:-
  • More Home Care Packages
  • De-regulation of Home Care
  • Elderly enter residential care older and frailer
  • Assistive technology to help people stay independent
  • Re-enablement care packages – to prevent premature admission
  • Possible deregulating of residential care
  • Asset & Income tests – higher user pay component
  • Baby Boomers – have more money & expect higher level of service
What do all the changes mean to BAC?
In a word – CHANGE!
  • More competition
  • Consumers will demand a higher level of service
  • Lifestyle model emerges – clinical model is obsolete
  • Our core business - palliative, dementia, respite/re-enablement cannot convey strongly enough that Benevolent needs to look at ways of becoming more competitive, more customer centric and less institutionalised.  We need to think of ways to keep our brand known as the premium provider in town.  
Change is difficult at the best of times and generally speaking people will resist, after all we have done things a certain way for many years. I liken it to trying to turn a big cruise liner around. It is extremely important that we involve our staff right at the beginning in a grass roots approach.   We are asking staff to start coming up with ideas to improve service and to develop ways to adopt a more lifestyle approach model of care.  We look forward to your suggestions.

 Staff Update 

We extend a warm Benny welcome to the following people who have joined our team during March:
  • Ashleigh JOHNSON (Support Services) - reporting to both Mitch Weeding & Colleen O'Donnell
  • Momota YASMIN (PCA)- reporting to RN Helen Cleary
  • Elizebeth (EJ) ADAMS (PCA) - reporting to RN Helen Cleary
  • Eileen NUUTIUNEN (PCA) - reporting to RN Cathy Barry
During the month we farewelled PCA Staff - Brittany CHAPMAN & Imogen WALKER

 Uniforms for Sale 

Brand New Polo Shirt - Size 16   ($30.00)
3 x Blouses - Size 14   ($67.00 each)
2 x Pre Loved Polo Shirts - size XL (donation)
Please call into Admin if you are interested in purchasing any of these shirts.

 Salary Packaging 

Make salary packaging work for you!
As a Rockhampton Benevolent employee you are entitled to participate in a salary packaging arrangement. Depending on your own financial circumstances and the amount you choose to salary package, you may be able to increase your take-home pay. A sample is below:
Entertainment Benefits are available in addition to the General Living Expense annual limit of $15900 - per FBT year and have a seperate limit of $2650- ($101.92 per fortnight).  The entertainment benefit allows you to salary package costs such as:
  • meals and drinks consumed in a restaurant, cafe or hotel
  • external supplier costs paid by you for catering private events
  • taxi fares
  • holiday accommodation (including a hotel / motel room; apartment or holiday house)
  • car hire whist on holidays
  • hire of a reception venue, private function room or marquee
Anyone wanting further information about these benefits, please see us in HR.

 Healthy Workplace Initiative 

A focus of the Work Health and Safety Committee this year is to introduce strategies to make Benevolent a Healthier Workplace.  Firstly we need to know what you would like.  Keep your eye out for a Health and Wellbeing Survey which will be circulated to all staff in the near future.  We urge you to participate in the Survey so we have an understanding of what you want.  We cannot do this without you!!     

 Resident Admission Policy Changes 

There have been significant changes in the Resident Admission Policy - with a complete redesign of the process. This was prompted after the absorption of the ACFI coordinator role and forms part of our Quality Improvement process. 
We ALL have a significant part to play when welcoming residents into the facility.
This is often a frightening and confronting time - people who have lived in their own home for years are now faced with staff assisting them with the most basic of daily cares.
Put yourself into their shoes for just a moment - I would like to be treated with kindness and understanding.
Smiling, asking if a resident needs anything and answering any of their questions is a great start, helping to break down barriers. Please email any feedback about the new process.

Quality Activities:
With a new year comes a new Quality Plan. This plan outlines all of our activities for the year - audits, policy reviews and reporting responsibilities.
In March the managers will be busy checking how the following processes are working:
- Oral and Dental Audit - investigating if the oral and dental needs of a resident is being met and maintained.
- Behaviour Management Audit - to evaluate whether the needs of residents with challenging behaviours are managed effectively.
- Shower/Over Toilet Chair and Wash Bowl Audit - determine the availability and condition of over toilet chairs/shower chairs and wash bowls in each resident’s room.

When was the last time you submitted a PINKY?
Are you a new staff member and have never completed a PINKY? What are you waiting for?
We are always on the hunt for excellent ideas and improvements. I can't wait to see one from you - all ideas are welcome!
If need help completing a Pinky, please contact me any time on ext 350 or

  New Mopping System  

Over the next few weeks cleaning staff will be trialing  a Microfibre Solution for Daily Cleaning on Level 1. Diversey are supplying an Microfibre Taski Jonmaster System which is designed to deliver results in damp cleaning. The Taski Jonmaster System incorporates Trolleys, Tools and Microfibre cleaning cloths.
Data collected below:  
  • Proven to remove 99.99% of bacteria from surfaces
  • Proven in tests by individual laboratories to eliminate up to 99.99% of bacteria
  • Microfibre mops and cloths are constructed from the highest quality materials
  • Damp cleaning with mircofibre eliminates the hassle of emptying and wringing mops and cloths
  • Reusable microfibre materials for environmentally friendly cleaning
  • Reduce the impact of your cleaning operations with reuseable microfibre materials
  • Reduced amount of cleaning chemicals are required to effectively clean surfaces    
  • Microfibre cleaning improve productivity by up to 24% compared to conventional wet cleaning methods
Watch the Youtube video here

 Power Saving Tips 

Due to excessive power usage throughout the facility and as per our CEO's instructions, we are asking all staff to try to be more power efficient and vigilant by checking the following:
  • Lighting in all rooms and hallways turned off when not required eg daytime lights when not needed
  • Air conditioners running when not occupied eg resident at activities.  Windows and doors left open with air conditioner on causes air conditioners to kick in and out using more power
  • Check air conditioner temperatures are set no lower than 24°c cold for summer and 18°c hot for winter

 Maintenance Forms 

Before you fill out a maintenance form please think about the item to be repaired. When it is a nurse call pendant or sensor mat not working you need to consider the following:
  • Check if the plug is pushed in correctly and test – quite often these are reported and the plug has been bumped and come loose
  • Nurse Call won’t turn off - check that the wheel of the bed or wheelie walker is not sitting on the mat
  • When using the Lifter in a room - try not to push the lifter into the wall as some walls have multiple damage from hits eg Room 115
Just a few stats. In the 6 month period Sept 2016 - Feb 2017, we have admitted 14 permanent residents to Benevolent and another 18 clients have enjoyed a respite stay. For the same period we have taken 174 enquiries for care. Accolades to all the wonderful staff who make new residents and their families so welcome and assist and support residents to settle in to their new home. Families go out into the community and speak highly of the care given at Benevolent. What a fantastic team!!

 Carmel Lewis 

When did you start working at Benevolent?
I commenced my new journey in my nursing career only recently on 28/12/2016

What would you do if you won the lotto?
First class ticket around the world and I suppose I'd better take my husband.
Where would be your favourite holiday destination?
I went to Disney in 1988 and would love to go back and take my girls. I can only imagine that there have been a few changes since I was there last.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Catch up with family and friends, read, go to trivia and watch movies; along with copious amounts of house work - but don't we all do that?

What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I was a young girl I was lying on the floor watching TV when I got my braces caught in the pile of the carpet.  As you can imagine the screams that flew out of me, not being able to move - I lived to tell the tale to this day. An embarrassing and scary moment indeed.

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
A nurse like my big sister.

What do you like about working at Benevolent?
Benevolent has a very calm and peaceful atmosphere, the residents and staff appear happy.
Everyone has been very welcoming and the residents are taken care of to a very high standard.
I look forward to working here for quite some time.

Tell us a little about your family
I am married to my childhood sweetheart and we have two beautiful girls. At the moment we are all living at home once again. Happy Days!!  Our eldest daughter works at Moore Eyes Optometry and my youngest has just finished school. My husband works out at Rolleston and is away four days on at a time - sometimes I think he's not away long enough.


Congratulations to Gaylene AUSTIN who recently completed her Cert III in Individual Support (Ageing).  Gaylene has been part of the Benny Team for approx 8 months and has become a valued member of our clinical team.  Well done Gaylene!! 

 New Website 

Have you checked out our new website yet??  We have revamped the website to give it a new modern and funky look.  Please take the time to have a look.  We would love to get some feedback!!  Please click on the button below to view. 
Benevolent Aged Care Website
If you scroll to the bottom right hand corner of the website you will see a Staff Portal Access.  When you sign in to the portal, you will be able to view staff newsletters and facebook feeds.  Eventually more information relevant to staff will be accessible from this portal.  We also invite staff to contribute articles to the Staff Newsletter.  To find out more about accessing this Portal and submitting newsletter articles, please click on the button below.
Staff Portal Instructions
We were featured in The Morning Bulletin for International Women's Day! Check out the full article below.
Read Article
Colleen O'Donnell is one of the Sequin Sisters. 
Read Article
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Benevolent Aged Care · 60 West Street · Rockhampton, Qld 4700 · Australia

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