Bolton Clarke, the new face of RSL Care + RDNS, has been recognised for innovation and as a leader in partnering with consumers from diverse backgrounds at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s 2017 Better Practice Awards.
The award, for the organisation’s Partnering with Consumers for Diversity Model, was announced in Sydney on August 17.
The Better Practice Awards recognise outstanding examples of high quality aged care initiatives that act as exemplars for other aged care service providers to assist and to encourage improvement to care and services.
The consumer engagement model, which was developed and tested over 10 years, involves collaborating with community organisations and working with focus groups of consumers with shared diversity characteristics to develop targeted information resources that help improve health literacy, health and wellbeing.
The model has been used on projects including the creation of a series of electronic talking books in English and five other languages.
The books were developed with contribution from 399 community participants in 18 focus groups and cover health topics including diabetes, dementia and medicines management in languages including accessible English, with support from the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association, Macedonian, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese communities.
Bolton Clarke Diversity Manager Jaklina Michael said the award recognised the importance of working closely with all consumers to identify and meet their information needs.
“At Bolton Clarke we have consumers with diverse needs and from diverse backgrounds. As an organisation we recognise that diversity can create disadvantage for consumers to participate in their care,” she said.
“For many groups of consumers with shared diversity characteristics, there are particular and specific barriers to accessing health and aged care services. The basis of our consumer engagement model is to identify consumers and actively engage them to contribute to the development of information.”
Ms Michael said it was important for the aged care industry and its workforce to learn from consumers about their health beliefs and perceptions around prevention, causation and appropriateness of treatments for any specific illness.
The work from the Bolton Clarke care innovation team should inform the content of consumer information so that the information is relevant and consumers can understand and apply the information to their care.
The award recognition follows the announcement made earlier this month that RSL Care + RDNS group, will now be known as Bolton Clarke, a name that honours two key pioneers in community service whose values helped to shape the organisation and continue to drive its purpose.
Today, Bolton Clarke employs more than 6,500 staff who make over 4 million client visits each year in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and China, supporting more than 22,000 veterans annually and over 5,600 residents in retirement living and residential care communities.