6 March 2012

The University of Queensland and Blue Care have teamed up to offer an aged care management course which will up-skill aged care staff to help meet the growing demand for quality aged care in Australia.

The course is the first of its kind being offered in Queensland and is believed to be the second of its kind in Australia.

It was the brainchild of Blue Care's Residential Services Director, Richard Olley, who approached The University of Queensland/Blue Care Research and Practice Development Centre and the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery to develop and see it to fruition.

"The development of this course demonstrates the effectiveness of strong ties between the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery and Blue Care, a leading provider of residential aged and community care in Australia," Senior Lecturer with UQ's School of Nursing and Midwifery Dr Anthony Tuckett said.

Dr Tuckett said, Blue Care and the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery were one step ahead of the Productivity Commission's recent report into aged care when, in 2010, they began to develop the tertiary course specialising in aged care management.

"The Productivity Commission's report highlighted the need for management courses specific to the aged care industry, which is exactly what we are offering," Dr Tuckett said.

With the aged care sector in Australia expected to grow rapidly during the next 40 years, there is a crucial need to develop a skilled workforce to deliver quality aged care.

"The skills required to manage a community centre or aged care facility are very different to the skills care staff need in their day to day work," Dr Tuckett said.

Dr Tuckett said the course will bridge the gap for aspiring managers and enhance their skills so that they are equipped to manage a facility.

Dr Tuckett explained the course is also designed to be useful for current managers, as it will ground them in what they are already doing and deepen their knowledge and skills in contemporary management.

"Through our link with Blue Care we have been able to ensure the course has both theory and vocational elements giving it a strong practical focus on the day-to-day operation of an aged care service.

"Topics covered include industry-specific financial modelling, planning and performance; service delivery theory and models, along with current and future workforce issues. This will provide graduates with the capacity to pre-empt and respond to changes as they emerge."

Media: Lya McTaggart at the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery at (lya.mctaggart@uq.edu.au or on 07 3365 5084) or Samantha Marsh at Blue Care on (07 3377 3312 or s.marsh@bluecare.org.au).