Aged care centre growth approved

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup endorsed the project management plan for the expansion of the Tuia Lodge Frail Aged Facility.
Camera IconShire of Donnybrook-Balingup endorsed the project management plan for the expansion of the Tuia Lodge Frail Aged Facility.

The construction of 10 new dementia units and one palliative care unit is a step closer after Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council endorsed the plan.

More than $2 million in funding has been allocated to the expansion of the Tuia Lodge Frail Aged Facility.

At last week’s council meeting the project management plan for the expansion was endorsed by councillors.

The plan will include the construction of the extra wards as well as the instalment of a reticulated fire suppression system.

Shire president Brian Piesse said the 40 units at the lodge met the relevant building specifications but the council felt it appropriate to install the new fire system for the safety of residents.

“Council decided that in terms of making the right decision towards the safety of current residents that this system was best,” he said.

“There has been situations throughout Australia where fire has been a major issue in terms of aged care facilities, as the residents in the facilities aren’t as mobile.”

Councillors noted that the expansion was due for completion by March, 31, 2021, under the Commonwealth grant conditions.

Councillors also gave in-principal support for a proposal to establish a purpose-built Community Home Care facility in the Donnybrook Health Precinct.

Cr Piesse said the building was on the main street but it made sense for the business to be located in the precinct, which currently includes the lodge, Donnybrook Hospital, Donnybrook Medical Services and St Johns.

He said residents raised concerns over the relocation of the centre and questioned if it would affect future expansions of the lodge.

“A question was asked of council if it would limit the opportunity to expand the 50-bed Tuia Lodge facility and the answer was no,” he said.

“There’s probably enough room there to double that in size.”

Councillors moved a motion to request a development application and lease negotiations from Community Home Care.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails