Lyndoch Living can no longer hide its financial fragility

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After years of poor care, poor decisions, financial decline and ongoing denial, Lyndoch Living can no longer hide its woes.

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

If we needed any sign that the mask of Lyndoch has crumbled – and the rot from the past five years is impossible to hide – it’s the events that have happened this past week.

First, the Annual General Meeting was to be closed to the public for the first time in Lyndoch’s 70 year history.

Second, the AGM was cancelled, again for the first time in Lyndoch’s history.

Third, the cancellation is reportedly linked to the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office wanting more information. VAGO is taking a deep dive into the finances and boy, I hope they keep diving til they hit the very bottom.

Fourth, the GP clinic – for which Lyndoch paid $1.3 million in 2019 – is down from 16 to just 6 doctors, most of whom are part-time.

Fifth, there is no buyer for the $22 million, almost-empty primary care centre because nobody is silly enough to pay millions for a building with no tenants.

Sixth, the GP clinic has also failed to attract a buyer. (See Point 4.)

Seventh, the acting CEO Jill Davidson has admitted that Lyndoch was in financial distress and care of the elderly was severely lacking when she took over in late 2022.

All of which comes as absolutely no surprise to any of the battle-weary and scarred whistle-blowers and community voices who tried to head this all off at the pass.

They knew Lyndoch’s new direction was a disaster in the making. They knew the numbers didn’t add up. They knew our elderly weren’t receiving proper care. They knew GPs would be hard to lure to regional areas, and – Jill – it’s not because they can’t fly home on weekends.

What still saddens and angers me is not the ongoing spin from Lyndoch – that’s predictable – but how it was left to the smaller voices in the Warrnambool community, and the brave Lyndoch staff, to fight this battle, despite being threatened, disregarded and maligned, and often at great personal cost.

You are all owed an apology …. and our thanks.

If Lyndoch survives, it’s because of you, not those now claiming the credit.

So I am going to use my last piece to say we (still) see you, and we thank you. We all did our very best.

* * * *

[I have taken up a role with Reconciliation Tasmania for six months, so this will be my last piece for the Terrier for some time. Thankyou. And see you down the road.]

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