UnitingCare Queensland, a large non-profit health and community service provider has taken bold and progressive steps to ensure its success in the disruptive aged care, health and disability sectors.
The health and community care sectors are undergoing significant changes which commenced some years ago. Increasing competition from for profit providers, increasing cost pressures in health, contestability of government contracts, National Disability Insurance Scheme and the transfer of government funding from organisations to consumers has turned the non-profit sector on its head.
UnitingCare Queensland Chief Executive Officer Anne Cross said the level of sector change is unprecedented in her 30+ years experience in the industry.
“UnitingCare Queensland knows there will be a transformed world of health, aged and community care and that working even more closely with our customers to deliver the care and support they need will be critical in the future,” she said. “At the same time, people in regional and remote communities need models of support that responds to the unique challenges in those communities.”
“We have been working for some time now to ensure we remain relevant and fulfil our mission to improve the wellbeing of people; supporting our clients to have the best possible lives, whatever their circumstance, wherever they live and whatever service they use.
“This means that the traditional way of delivering community services needs some rethinking. We have looked at our structures, systems and processes to ensure we are ‘fit for purpose’ in the changing, increasingly competitive and commercial environment.
“The redesign work is underpinned by our mission as part of The Uniting Church and our core values, which are the foundation of all that we do.”
The new UnitingCare Queensland will be characterised by business streams organised to respond to the highly competitive aged care and disability sectors in south east Queensland, the different needs of people in regional and remote Queensland and the Northern Territory, specialised services for vulnerable children and families and the delivery of hospital services.
“The proposed new structure allows us to be on the front foot; to truly be a customer-led organisation,” Anne said.
“Yes, it’s big, but it is also very exciting and presents many opportunities to respond to the more complex needs of the community.
“Our organisation employs over 15 000 staff and works with approximately 9 000 volunteers at any one time. Our revenue exceeds one billion dollars and we touch the lives of thousands of individuals and families every day of the year through our well established brands of Blue Care, Lifeline, The Wesley Hospital and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane.
“We’ve been providing support in the community in some form for over 100 years. People rely on us. We have to make sure we are here for another 100 years to provide the care and support that people need. Unfortunately the demand for our services never gets smaller.
“It continues to increase each year,” Anne said.
UnitingCare Queensland will begin the implementation of the new executive structure in early July. A number of executives who have been part of leading the redesign work will now take the opportunity to move onto the next professional challenge.
Robyn Batten, the current Executive Director of Blue Care and Australian Regional and Remote Community Services will be joining the Borderless Healthcare Group in the middle of this year and Bob Gilkes the current Executive Director of UnitingCare Community is also set to explore some new opportunities in the second half of 2016. The new leadership team will include a Group Executive for Customer Services to strengthen our focus on customers.
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