Tasmania aged care provider details reform

Tasmania's largest not-for-profit aged care provider is making major changes to services in response to a royal commission which heard harrowing tales of neglect at two of its homes.

Southern Cross Care (SCC) operates nine facilities across the state, two of which were subjected last year to non-compliance orders for not meeting care standards.

The commission, which delivered its final report with 148 recommendations in early 2021, specifically probed SCC's Yaraandoo Hostel and Glenara Lakes homes during public hearings.

A former Yaraandoo resident wrote in a submission he was treated like a "slab of meat" and was often left waiting on a toilet for more than an hour.

Judith King, the wife of Professor Neville King, a psychologist who was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia, told the inquiry she once found him "dehydrated to the point of delirium" at Glenara Lakes.

SCC CEO Robyn Boyd on Monday announced a "household" model of care would be rolled out in coming months.

She said the changes were the most significant in the organisation's 50-year history and were in direct response to the commission's recommendations, federal government reforms and resident feedback.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-imagine quality of life for our residents living within residential care," Mrs Boyd said.

The first stage of the new model includes flexible routines mirroring a homelike environment, the expansion of wellness centres and gyms and the re-commissioning of kitchens with qualified chefs in every facility.

Mrs Boyd said residents will co-design menus and be offered high-quality, home-style cooking.

Independent assessors will determine the care needs of each resident and there will be a bigger emphasis on residents being helped by carers, she said.

Mrs Boyd said the changes would impact 175 staff, about 14 per cent of the organisation's workforce, and discussions were ongoing with enrolled nurses about redeployment in other roles.

She said some would continue as carers and voluntary redundancies would also be offered.

At commission hearings in late 2019, then-CEO of SCC, Richard Sadek, apologised to residents and their families.

He said the organisation in 2017 tried to improve the financial viability of its facilities, resulting in Yaraandoo staff hours being cut and the home becoming isolated from clinical support.

Mrs Boyd said registered nurses and clinical care co-ordinators would remain front and centre of the new model and nurse-led clinics would provide one-to-one consultation and assessment for each resident.