Supporting sustainable aged care in our remote communities

Supporting sustainable aged care in our remote communities


An Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation operating in remote parts of Australia delivers services through health clinics and an aged care facility. The aged care service enables frail elders to remain on their land in proximity to family members whilst receiving a high standard of care.

A sustainable financial future was sought for the valued aged care service

The residential and in-home aged care service had been successfully delivered for many years. At the time the work was conducted the organisation received National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care and Commonwealth Home Support Programme funding. Recent regulatory changes and rising costs had rendered the financial future of the service uncertain as was evident in the most recent financial reports. Moreover, given the remoteness of the service there would be no clear alternative service provider in circumstances that it was discontinued for financial reasons.

A part of our Community Partnership Scheme, Nous undertook preliminary analysis to inform advice about future scenarios for the aged care service.

Our analysis identified potential savings and alternative revenue sources

Nous analysed the aged care service’s financial predicament to identify specific areas for improvement, including areas of potential savings and possible additional revenue sources. Specifically, we:

  • provided expert advice on the aged care regulatory framework, noting where opportunities were available to reconsider the service’s administrative approach
  • identified costs that were growing at the greatest rate and potential solutions to reducing costs to a manageable level
  • identified alternative revenue sources
  • engaged with key internal stakeholders on the circumstances, priorities and needs of aged care clients
  • examined and compared other aged care providers operating in remote Australia.

Our findings provided a pathway to continuing a highly valued aged care service

We identified several areas of potential savings and alternative revenue sources that could meaningfully reduce the operating deficit for the highly valued aged care service. Our report set out the steps to precisely quantify and deliver savings and revenue that were necessary to establish longer term financial viability.

What you can learn from the experience of the aged care service

  • Aged care management must take into account a changing regulatory environment; forward planning will minimise the detrimental impacts of regulatory change.
  • In a complex regulatory environment there may be options to restructure service provision to improve efficiencies and align with funding models.
  • Effectively managing relationships between not-for-profit organisations, funders and regulators is important for ensuring long term sustainability of a high quality service.