Lyndoch Living has announced its third acting chief executive officer in a matter of weeks as another board director quits.
The Warrnambool aged care provider also announced a new chief financial officer and said it was in the process of finding a new director of nursing.
Lyndoch said it had appointed Ted Rayment to take over from Jamie Brennan, who had been seconded temporarily from South West Healthcare after the sudden absence of long-time CEO Doreen Power, who took leave as she and Lyndoch faced a range of issues.
Concerns have come from all sides over the past months, with aged care audits criticising staffing levels at Lyndoch, former staff condemning the workplace culture, resident family members raising serious questions about care, and the local state politician calling for the dismissal of the CEO and then the board, echoing a petition lodged in parliament that recorded more than 2200 signatures.
The announcement on Wednesday that Professor Rob Wallis had quit the Lyndoch board was the latest blow to the organisation. The Standard understands Prof Wallis' commitments on other boards are increasing, forcing him to step down at the 2022 annual general meeting, but he will remain involved at Lyndoch as a volunteer.
While the announcement of a third acting CEO did not address Ms Power's status, Lyndoch said Mr Brennan and the SWH team seconded with him had brought "significant stability" during their brief tenure. Lyndoch chair Sue Cassidy said the board was deeply grateful for the help.
"They have worked closely with the current senior leadership team to implement a number of important building blocks that will ensure staff continue to receive the support they need in order to deliver quality care to residents," a Lyndoch spokesman said.
The spokesman said Lyndoch had hired more than 40 new staff in the past four weeks and Mr Brennan had re-established a clinical leadership structure across the organisation, including four nurse unit managers and an interim facility management at the troubled May Noonan Centre. The spokesman did not say whether any staff had left over the same period.
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Lyndoch has also started implementing a 41-item action plan to address its various non-compliance notices from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. The Standard asked whether ADF members were still assisting at May Noonan, but did not receive a response.
New acting CEO Mr Rayment has 30 years' experience in the healthcare sector, including time as chief of Canberra Health Services, the Royal Hobart Hospital and Swan Hill District Health. Lyndoch did not indicate how long Mr Rayment would occupy the new role.
Lyndoch also said it had chosen Andrew Long as its new CFO after its chief operating officer resigned in July. Mr Long was CFO of the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in Melbourne from 2013 to 2020.
In a further announcement, Ms Cassidy said new board members would be selected at the 2022 AGM.
With the resignation of Prof Wallis the Lyndoch board is three members short. Ms Cassidy said the board was open to welcoming up to three new members in a "transparent" process.
"We recognise we always need to refresh the way we operate and as such we are actively speaking with and listening to stakeholders, current staff, residents, their families and the community to ensure we find the best people join us," she said.
"We will run a transparent and clear process, with opportunity for interested candidates to ask questions. I am looking forward to working with the community to attract new people and perspectives to our Board."
Some community members have criticised the Lyndoch board for rejecting more than 100 membership applications from the public. Lyndoch said prospective board applicants did not need to already be Lyndoch members in order to apply.
"Interested candidates will be required to submit a formal application to Lyndoch Living and short-listed candidates will be interviewed, with the panel recommendations presented to the board," a spokesman said.
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