Our Guiding Principles Linked to Workforce Competencies - Merrimac Park Private Care

Merrimac Park Private Care is located on the Gold Coast and it is owned by Superior Care Group, a family owned and operated company that has provided residential aged care since 1979. Merrimac Park is a modern 96 bed residential aged care service offering 64 general beds and 32 dementia specific beds.


The service was commissioned in 2011 and it has been using the QPS Benchmarking Program since 2012. Over this time our staff participation rate in the QPS competencies has increased however this year was the most dramatic. One example is the improvement we have seen in staff completing The Aged Care Competency, achieving 75% return rate in 2017 and 100% this year. Our team members also worked effectively to increase their knowledge to achieve their potential, improving the Aged Care Competency results from 88% in 2017 to 91% this year.

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How did Merrimac Park achieve these results?

From advertisement, interview and selection, new staff are inducted to the Superior Care Group Guiding Principles, which underpin our effective work behaviour with clear expectations of being one of our team.  The Guiding Principles of Courtesy, Respect, Cooperation, Consideration and Initiative are on the website, displayed in the service and they also feature in all handbooks. Evidence of the Guiding Principle of “Cooperation” being upheld came to light with all staff completing the QPS Aged Care Competency this year.  Our value of Cooperation was also demonstrated with staff then working together through the questions, having robust conversations in discussing the answers and sharing their knowledge and learning.


The management team also ensure the Guiding Principles are upheld in many ways including leading by example and utilising the Principles during counselling sessions and awarding those staff who have demonstrated aligned behaviours in their daily work. As a result, we have developed a culture of positive attitudes, action and team work, with staff demonstrating their initiative by actively participating and taking responsibility to improve their knowledge and personal performance.


From a management perspective, we recognise that staff time and input is valuable so we reward those who achieve 100% in answering the QPS Competencies. Communication also played a vital part so that staff knew when the Aged Care Competency was distributed and when it was due. Communication at Merrimac Park is multi-faceted and includes our newsletters, Facebook, texts, messaging through the Care Planning System and face to face.

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Positive outcomes have also been achieved in the Infection Control Competency, helping us to identifying specific needs and providing our Hotel services staff with additional education.  Our QPS Benchmarking Employee Survey has also been instrumental in engaging with our team, discussing our findings and sharing all the verbatim comments received. Stronger relationships and commitment with all members of the workforce has been achieved by management acknowledging and considering the feedback and involving staff in identifying and implementing ideas and solutions to improve.


Merrimac Park has a stable workforce with a low staff turnover so we know each other well and are a close-knit team. Our Guiding Principles define the skills, behaviours and attitudes we need to perform our roles effectively.


Claire Johnston, Centre Manager