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Providers announce merger, detail next steps

BlueCross and Sapphire Care have announced they are set to merge. The companies will combine business operations in the coming months and anticipate completion later this year.

The two providers made the announcement via a joint communiqué penned by BlueCross chairman David Eccles and Sapphire Care chairman Tony Battle. They said boards of both organisations believe that the merger provides a strategic platform to leverage growth and market opportunities to meet the needs of ageing Australians.

Current BlueCross chief executive Alan Lilly will lead the newly merged company. Lilly, a registered psychiatric nurse by background and adjunct professor with Australian Catholic University, said both providers have a strong focus on culture and added, as a result of the merger, the team will be able to pick the best systems that BlueCross and Sapphire Care are currently using.

The joint company will own and operate thirty-five residential services across metropolitan Melbourne, Phillip Island and Kilmore. The provider has more than 2630 residential care beds and a pipeline of more than 500 new beds to become active in the next two years, as well as a home care service delivering care to more than 1000 community clients.

Lilly confirmed that frontline services will remained unchanged and that head office will see the most change, as the team streamlines systems and processes.

“We have set up a streamlined process for issues and questions to be escalated in a timely manner and we’ve already provided staff with FAQ’s which will be updated regularly,” he added. “We will support staff during this change, regularly consult and communicate with them.”

The new amalgamation is anticipating significant growth in home care and respite services, as well as continued growth in specialist services.

“We’re aiming to be an Employer of Choice and our new EBA for the first time includes provisions for parental leave and we have also introduced a salary packaging program for our staff which is fully funded by the organisation,” Lilly added.

He said the team is focussed on ensuring the merger is successful and will do whatever it takes to get there. “Our culture will define us and we’re committed to being a great place to learn and work. Living our values is at the heart of what we do every day.”

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