Signs, celebrations and staff shortages: Lyndoch rolls on

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While the Lyndoch Living CEO and Chair celebrated an upgrade of May Noonan Hostel last Tuesday, shift shortages rolled on in the Lyndoch nursing home. Images: Lyndoch Living/supplied

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

Lyndoch Living can be a mind-bender, it really can.

Take, for example, the fact that Lyndoch will appeal the refusal of a permit for its big corporate sign.

Lyndoch has decided to challenge the decision by the Warrnambool City Council through VCAT.

This, you may recall, is the corporate sign that was installed just over a year ago by Lyndoch without a permit because it didn’t apply for one.

It then applied retrospectively for a permit in a classic “do it, then ask later” manoeuvre, but it was rejected by the WCC because the sign is too large under planning laws.

End of story? No way!

So now more aged care funds will be spent by Lyndoch on nurses, oops, lawyers to appeal a sign that was erected illegally in the first place.

And here is the mind-bending, “this-could-only-happen-in-Warrnambool” part:

Lyndoch is fighting a decision made by the staff of one of the board members of Lyndoch.

Andrew Paton, as we know, is a board member of Lyndoch and the Director of City Growth at WCC.

Mr Paton’s staff, who I assume he trusts to know the law, made the decision to reject this sign.

But Lyndoch is now spending aged care funds to fight that decision.

And the council – which employs Mr Paton – will spend ratepayers’ funds, in a roundabout way, defending that decision.

My head hurts.

My head also hurts, and perhaps yours does too, when I see the barrage of public relations pouring out of Lyndoch on its Facebook page at the moment without so much as a whiff of an update on how it’s dealing with its multiple challenges.

Last Tuesday, for example, there was a pile of happy snaps from the “grand opening” of new works at May Noonan Hostel in Terang.

It was all speeches and smiles, but not a word about May Noonan in July failing seven out of the eight national aged care standards – or almost half of the 42 benchmarks –  and the 19 specific areas it must address to avoid sanctions.

There was not a peep of an update on how the squad that has finally been assembled to help with May Noonan is actually performing.

Nothing to see here folks! Pass the microphone!

And on this same day that the Lyndoch CEO and Chair were celebrating the new furnishings at May Noonan, the Lyndoch nursing home (Lake Lodge and Audrey Prider Centre), had one of its worst days for staff shortages – about half of the staff required.

It was, I am reliably informed, a nightmare.

Some Registered Nurses at Lyndoch are now working nine to 12 hour shifts to help try and cover the shortages.

This, as we know, is a direct consequence of a culture that has taken root and eroded Lyndoch and left so many good staff on the scrapheap, wondering what they did wrong and why – after decades of service – they are being made to carry the can.

We know it, we read it, we hear it and we feel sick about it and I feel even sicker when I see the pap now streaming out of Lyndoch which is designed to cheer everyone up – as all good propaganda is designed to do –  but doesn’t fix anything.

What will fix it and turn Lyndoch around are serious interrogations by the authorities with the power to act, such as WorkSafe, which as of last week is now involved because of serious concerns around staff fatigue.

The Annual General Meeting this Tuesday is an opportunity for some truths.

We have lodged our 31 questions; let’s see if we get even a single answer.