Esperance Aged Care Facility ready to begin opening of new wing

New beginning: After months of recruitment challenges the Esperance Aged Care Facility will begin the staged opening of the new aged care wing before the end of the year. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
New beginning: After months of recruitment challenges the Esperance Aged Care Facility will begin the staged opening of the new aged care wing before the end of the year. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

After months of staffing shortage issues, the new wing of the Esperance Aged Care Facility will welcome its first two residents on Wednesday, November 13.

The facility has faced recruitment challenges since its official opening in March 2019, preventing the new 34-room wing from opening to residents.

Esperance Aged Care Facility board chairperson Toni Hawkins said the board was very pleased to be able to commence the opening of the new wing.

"It is something that the board and staff have been working towards for most of this year and certainly the community have been eagerly anticipating," she said.

Ms Hawkins said for the initial two residents, nine staff were required to fill all shifts and for four residents the staffing number would need to increase to 11.

"In order to manage the administrative and care tasks associated with new residents they will come into the facility in small numbers," she said.

Ms Hawkins said recruitment would be ongoing with the aim of a staged opening of all rooms in the new wing over the next six months.

"Esperance Aged Care Facility have been able to recruit a number of additional staff due to assistance received from the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Training, Max Employment," she said.

"Those new staff have been undergoing orientation and training over the past three weeks."

Looking forward, Ms Hawkins said as additional staff were recruited and trained more residents would be admitted until the new 114-resident wing was full.

"For optimum efficiency and for benefit of the new staff it is ideal to recruit and train in small groups of four or five at a time," she said.

The expansion received $3.1 million in construction support from the Federal Government and the WA state government contributed $3 million towards construction, through the Royalties For Regions Fund.