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September 18, 2018

From the Chief Executive Officer, RSL LifeCare

Dear residents, clients, families and friends

Following the Four Corners report yesterday, and the announcement of a Royal Commission at the weekend, I wanted to write to you to reassure you of the seriousness with which RSL LifeCare takes the concerns being raised through these channels.

As the recently commenced CEO, it is already obvious to me that RSL LifeCare is a great organisation with a strong history of providing good care. Our staff are passionate about providing the very best care and support possible for the older people using our services.

However, it is also apparent that sometimes some providers have failed to provide an acceptable standard of care. Unfortunately, we have all been horrified by some of the things that we have seen in the media.

The Four Corners program raised issues concerning the food provided to residents in aged care. RSL LifeCare spends more than double the amount on food for its residents than the figures quoted in the media.

In addition, concerns were raised about the level of staffing provided in aged care. In a recent bench-marking exercise, RSL LifeCare rated as over 5% above the average care staff labour costs in the industry. Last year we spent over $3M on training for our staff to ensure that they are able to provide the very best care.

Four Corners also criticised the amount of incontinence pads provided. RSL LifeCare is pleased to say we do not ration continence pads. Based on an assessment of each resident, we provide what that person needs, and our pads have indicators on them that tell us if they need replacing.

In relation to supporting people who have dementia, we prefer to provide safe secure environments, with natural light, gardens and room to wander. Psychotropic drug therapy is a last line of management, and detailed behaviour assessment must support the need for such medication and must detail all alternative measures used before using this medication.

We continue to receive reports of high levels of satisfaction with our services and we constantly review complaints and compliments looking for areas of improvement. I encourage you to keep talking to the staff and making suggestions for improvements.

Our utmost priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of those who are using our services. If at any time you feel there is something in any of our services about which you are unhappy, please let the staff know.

As I get settled into the organisation over the next few months, I will be travelling out to all of our services and sites. I hope to meet with many of you and to hear first-hand from you what your experiences at RSL LifeCare are like.

Yours sincerely

 Laurie Leigh

Chief Executive Officer

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