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Rural Northwest Health has been recognised nationally once again for its outstanding work in aged care.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency has presented RNH with two Better Practice awards. The agency presents awards each year for projects, initiatives or programs that act as exemplars for other aged care services to assist and encourage improvement.

Both of RNH’s aged care facilities won awards. The Hopetoun campus won its award for organising a beach holiday for residents and family members, an experience that ultimately resulted in one wheelchair-bound resident being able to dip her toes in the sea for one last time.

Yarriambiack Lodge at the Warracknabeal campus, received its award for resident outcomes in the Wattle memory support unit.

RNH CEO Catherine Morley said the awards were a fantastic achievement.

“Yet again our small rural health service has been recognised nationally and it really is testament to the wonderful team we have looking after our residents,” Ms Morley said.

“This was a huge accomplishment because there are 770 aged care residential homes in Victoria and only seven better practice awards were handed out … and we got two of them,” she said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of both groups.”

Better Practice Awards are designed to recognise and showcase Australia’s home care services and aged care homes that succeed in moving beyond minimum levels of compliance to demonstrate innovative and inspirational aged care practice. The ultimate goal is to celebrate service providers who contribute to the quality of life for consumers, their carers and families.
“Rural Northwest Health doesn’t introduce these services and programs to win awards,” Ms Morley said.
“It’s about improving lives and providing healthier outcomes for our residents,” she said.
“But it’s so nice to have all the hard work recognised by your peers.”

Ms Morley said the Wattle team had many helpers including DHHS funding, local support such as Walk For Wattle and support from other RNH departments.

“There was Anne Kelly’s specialty training and leadership from the board and throughout the team on the floor which includes environmental services, maintenance, nursing, leisure and lifestyle, administration, rehab therapist and of course the executive team,” she said.

“We are privileged to work alongside our older community members and all the Rural Northwest Health team should be very proud that we are making a difference to the lives of these community members and allowing them all to have something to look forward to and something to do.”

RNH has featured heavily in key state and national awards recently. The organisation was a finalist for the Employer Excellence in Aged Care award at the Regional Achievement and Community Awards presented at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
Earlier, two RNH programs were finalists for the 2015 Victorian Healthcare Association Annual Award. The award had only four finalists from throughout Victoria.

Picture caption: The RNH team which was finalist at the Regional Achievement and Community Awards at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium included from left, Wendy Walters, Bronwyn McIntyre, Irene Perry, Leo Casey, Betty Bartlett, Catherine Morley, Ngareta Melgren, Wendy James and Cheryl Reid.

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