2018 LASA Excellence in Age Services “Organisation Award” Nomination - Berlasco Court
The 2018 LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards recognise excellence in the age service industry across three award categories of organisation, team and individual. The awards are judged at the state level and finalists for each category are invited to attend the awards ceremonies which are presented at the LASA state conferences. The winners from each state will be competing for the national awards to be announced at the LASA National Congress in October 2018.
The Queensland Awards ceremony was held during the LASA QLD State Conference on the 15th of March 2018 at the Star in the Gold Coast. Berlasco Court were nominated for the “2018 Organisation Award." This award recognises an age services provider who has made an outstanding contribution to care and services or provision of high level support to the aged by demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence. Berlasco Court General Manager Athena Armides has shared some of their care initiatives and achievements which have led to this prestigious organisation award nomination.
Berlasco Court is a not for profit residential aged care facility located in Indooroopilly, Qld catering for residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It was purchased by the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland in 1988 in recognition of the need for a specific multicultural aged care facility.
The home incudes 60 high care beds and a 14 bed dementia secure area. In 2016 the organisation was successful in applying for 48 additional bed licences as well as a $10m grant in the ACCAR round. There are currently plans in place to redevelop the service on site to accommodate a total of 108 beds with additional apartments and independent living units.
The residents at Berlasco Court represent over 20 CALD backgrounds, and staff speak over 56 different languages. They are supported with English literacy, language and cultural awareness training and education.
Quality Care Initiatives
The leadership approach based on the organisational Philosophy and Mission has resulted in a stable workforce with low staff turnover, very low usage of agency staff and consistently high staff, resident and stakeholder satisfaction levels.
The QPS Relative Experience & Employee Satisfaction Survey results have consistently performed higher than the QPS industry benchmark. Relative Experience has remained above 88% for 9 years and Berlasco Court has achieved a high and positive Relative Net Promoter Score® of +80. Employee Satisfaction has also remained higher than 83% over 6 years.
The consistent staff base ensures that the quality system is highly mature and change management is able to be implemented easily and quickly where required.
One of the areas considered critical in the ongoing resident care is social interaction, and inclusion in activities is supported by a program with appropriate staffing levels.
As a 60 bed facility with such a diverse range of CALD residents, the program was set up to ensure that residents could access activities and were supported to attend. The activity program commences at 06:45, finishes at 20:00 and the Lifestyle team is made up of 3 staff who work overlapping shifts during that time seven days a week for the general population of 46 residents. The dementia secure unit has 14 residents and 2 Lifestyle staff from 09:00 to 20:00 seven days per week. In addition, a Liaison person works between the personal care staff and lifestyle staff to assist with taking residents to and from the activities all through the day and evening.
The activities program includes (and is not limited to);
- art and music therapists (who have convened the choir to perform at events),
- use of technologies such as “Brain trainer” - computers with programs moving through varying levels of ability, tracking progress, as well as a computer that can read aloud from printed material in a range of languages,
- musical instruments, art supplies, and cooking activities on a daily basis,
- live in pets include dogs, a cat, chickens and a massive fresh water fish tank.
A comprehensive volunteer program headed up by a Volunteer Co-Ordinator has resulted in over 50 volunteers attending on a regular basis.
Agreements with local schools in the area offer community programs where students are involved for the duration of the program with many electing to continue to visit when the program concludes.
All attendees are surveyed at the completion of the program with the results demonstrating very positive experiences. Complimentary letters have also been received from family members.
The outcomes for residents are measured by high levels of satisfaction as per internal and external audits and the Consumer Experience Reports (CER) from the Agency during Accreditation.
Our Community Relationships & Partnerships
Sound relationships with external providers and community groups is considered essential for the ongoing health and well-being of residents and Berlasco Court has actively attained and maintained relationships with Indooroopilly seniors group, Indooroopilly men’s shed and circle of men for many years.
Palliative Care Program:
An active involvement in the Respecting Patient Choices program to provide early and comprehensive information in regard to End of Life care planning has resulted in less than 1 hospital admission most years. The quality of the palliative care program and well documented Advance Care Plan information has resulted in over 99% of residents passing away in their own room with no hospital admission, consistent with their wishes and resulting in satisfaction with the process.
This is facilitated by agreements/MOU’s/partnerships or relationships with various external organisations including palliative care services, hospitals and professors.
All of these services combine to provide comprehensive and easily accessible services for resident referral where required and have resulted in timely intervention, sound outcomes and high levels of satisfaction for residents and their representatives.
Athena Ermides, General Manager