The board of Lyndoch Living has defended its actions after concerned locals launched a petition on Sunday to remove all its members.
In a statement on Monday afternoon, the board said it had "observed with concern the escalating negative commentary about Lyndoch Living in some quarters".
"While we respect the right of community members to have and express views about our organisation, we do not believe the current criticism reflects the reality," the board said.
The most recent audits for Lyndoch's nursing home and hostel facilities were the worst on record in terms of non-compliance with national aged care standards.
The board said the aged care facility was "a community asset of which the community can be rightly proud".
"Our in-home and residential care services and our emerging primary health facility are building an age-friendly community which enables seniors to live the lives they choose with supports based on dignity and respect," it said.
"Many regional communities are crying out for the sort of facilities and services that Lyndoch provides."
The petition, launched on the Parliament of Victoria website with the support of Member for Western Victoria Bev McArthur, had close to 1100 signatures as of 5pm on Monday, 24 hours after going live. It argued the board should be vacated because it had "lost the confidence of the community it serves".
The board conceded Lyndoch's services and organisation were "not perfect" but argued "few (were)" and said the service faced "the same pandemic-induced workforce challenges that exist right across the aged care and health sectors".
"We greatly regret instances where we have not delivered on the rightfully high expectations of residents and clients and the community," it said.
The board also claimed it was "continuing to deliver safe and high-quality care and services while we work to address outstanding compliance issues".
"A key priority of the board is to hear and harness the lived experience of members of the community who are users and recipients of our services."
The board said its plans to set up a community advisory committee had been "put on hold" by the pandemic, but it hoped to pursue that soon.
"We know we need to do better in communicating with the community," it said.
The statement also encouraged people to use Lyndoch's internal feedback mechanisms to address any issues. "They include talking directly to the manager, (or) completing feedback forms," the board said.
"We understand and respect that there are strongly held views in the community about Lyndoch Living. We all share a mutual interest in Lyndoch's strength and success. As a board, we remain committed to working with the community to ensure that Lyndoch Living continues to deliver on its mission of providing the best care and support for seniors in Warrnambool and the south-west."
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