The end of Canning Lodge?

The end of Canning Lodge?

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Canning Lodge
Councillors sat on Tuesday night to determine the future of Canning Lodge. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen

The future of Canning Lodge hung in the balance on Tuesday night as councillors sat behind closed doors to consider shutting down the aged care facility.

The lodge, home to 30 residents, many with complex care needs, is one of two residential aged care [RAC] facilities operated by a local government, and has run at an operating deficit of between $600,000 and $1 million over the past five years.

Within the City of Canning there are seven RAC facilities, and plans for an additional three facilities to be developed within the city over the next five years.

Within a 10km radius of Canning Lodge there are 47 facilities, including the seven within Canning, offering a total of 3915 beds.

In April 2022, in an effort to reduce financial strain on ratepayers and improve outcomes for Canning Lodge residents, councillors voted unanimously to develop and implement an expression of interest process, inviting approved aged care providers interested in buying the Canning Lodge business and continuing to operate and manage the facility.

The results of the EOI were presented to council behind closed doors in September 2022.

Despite not being listed on the agenda forum last Tuesday, Canning Lodge slipped onto the confidential items listing of the city’s agenda for Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting.

The item contains four confidential attachments, entitled Key Personnel Legal Advice, Plan, Draft communications and Engagement Plan and Proposed Key Messaging.

Examiner Newspapers understands councillors were briefed on the item immediately following last week’s agenda forum, with the recommendation that the city shut down the facility.

City of Canning chief executive Michael Littleton revealed that the EOI had been successful, for a time, before a proposed deal fell apart.

“Since October 2022, Canning Council has been negotiating with a preferred proponent for the transfer of its residential aged care facility – Canning Lodge,” he said.

“Despite the best efforts of the proponent and the city, in January 2023 the proponent withdrew from the negotiations.

“The city has been considering its options with the main objective throughout being to ensure continued quality care of all current residents.

“The matter will be considered by council at Tuesday’s ordinary council meeting as a confidential item and we will be meeting with all Canning Lodge resident families and City staff in the following days.

“We would be happy to provide a further update on any decision taken by council once all families and staff have been informed.”