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Hopes and priorities for 2020-21

1st July 2020

To mark the beginning of 2020-21 financial year, Benetas CEO Sandra Hills reflects on how COVID-19 has impacted strategic plans for the next year and what it has in store. As originally published by the Australian Ageing Agenda.

1) Where will Benetas' strategic focus lie?

    COVID-19 has had a huge impact across our organisation. We’ve intensified efforts and introduced significant measures to protect the health and safety of residents, clients and indeed our employees. With this being far from business as usual, we’ve been adamant to capture the lessons learnt and continue to ensure that our strategic plan remains fit for purpose.

    "Following a comprehensive review, COVID-19 has in fact made Benetas' Strategic Plan more relevant than ever.

    Our focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience for older Australians this financial year remains front and centre of all our considerations.

    2) How have recent events of COVID-19 impacted Benetas' future planning?

    The evolving situation has accelerated our need for agile management. As part of this we’ve now prioritised our top ten strategic projects for the next six months; we’ve streamlined internal processes and continue to remove systems and structure that are no longer adding direct value. Importantly, we’re also working to reduce hierarchy and increase accountability at different levels of management.

    "Within the space of a few months, we’ve also significantly improved our digital capacity, video-conferencing and Telehealth services which we will continue to build on.

    COVID-19 has also seen us strengthen our consumer engagement, helped streamline processes, and improved our approaches to keep customers at the front and centre of all decision making. These valuable organisation-wide developments are something we look to further bed down this coming financial year.

    3) What are you going to be most concerned about going forward?

      With heightened discussions on our sector’s financial sustainability, I’m most concerned about our the sector’s access to the adequate resources that will support us to meet the increased compliance requirements we now face with COVID-19.

      The last four months have also shone a light on the need for aged care take its rightful place as an essential part of our healthcare system. Stronger and clearer coordination between aged care and the wider healthcare system is going to be vital if we’re to provide older Australians with the care that they need.

      4) This has indeed been a challenging period for older people in Australia, and globally. What hopes do you hold most dear?

      Amidst the adversity, we’ve really witnessed incredibly acts of kindness and generosity towards older people in our community.

      "Many of our employees, families, carers and the wider community have gone above and beyond to support one another and protect those most vulnerable to the disease.

      Not only do I hope that at Benetas we can continue to harness the incredible dedication that we see across our colleagues and teams, but I also hope that as a community we’re able to break down the entrenched ageism that we continue to see across our society and health systems.

      I’m also incredibly hopeful that the Royal Commission into Australia’s aged care will help chart a positive way forward for our sector and those we serve. With it due to submit its Final Report this November, I certainly hope it helps steer us towards a stronger and more sustainable sector.

      Find out more about how Benetas has responded during COVID-19.