The newly renamed aged care, health and retirement living provider Bolton Clarke is planning to continue its growth and acquisition strategy to double its operations in five years, CEO Stephen Muggleton tells Australian Ageing Agenda.
The not-for-profit entity known as RSL Care + RDNS after the two providers merged in 2015 rebranded across its organisation on Monday as Bolton Clarke.
Since the 2015 merger, the organisation further expanded its service offerings through a range of acquisitions including a retirement village and home care service in NSW, a mental health team and international training provider Aged Care Channel (read about those acquisitions here and here).
Bolton Clarke delivers care and education services in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland and manages 1,000 residential aged care beds in China with a joint venture partner.
The growth of existing services and acquisitions of others will continue, said CEO Stephen Muggleton.
“Based on the growing aged population, we need to double in size over the next five years just to maintain market share,” Mr Muggleton told AAA.
“It is a pretty ambitious target.”
The organisation is planning growth across all service types, Mr Muggleton said.
There are 14 capital works projects underway to develop 1,500 new beds across residential aged care and retirement living.
Mr Muggleton said the recent smaller acquisitions have added to the range of services and allowed the organisation to provide complementary and supplementary support to people, such as in mental health and chronic disease management, while integrated sites in development were suited to rehabilitation.
“We are looking to map together that whole continuum of care to then provide more impact.”
Similarly, telehealth capability “is going to be a big investment” across the provider’s existing and new residential aged care and retirement living facilities, he said.
There will also be a focus on telehealth in home care to supplement care, Mr Muggleton said.
In China, Mr Muggleton said the organisation expected to expand from 1,000 to 3,000 beds within the next three years.
However, he said “we are keeping our hands off the Aged Care Channel” but that it was on a growth trajectory too.
“We have thrown a lot of our RTO staff into there [the ACC] and they will also benefit from greater access to our research institute,” he said.
“We think [the ACC] is a vital service to the wider sector, and of course we will benefit from it as they improve, but we are not actively managing it or actively hands on.”
The former RDNS Institute has been renamed to the Bolton Clarke Institute.
The new name
On the reason for moving away from a name that easily identified it as a care organisation, Mr Muggleton said “care provides the wrong sort of connotation” in the consumer-directed environment.
“More importantly though this brand enables us to scale across a number of different service offerings,” he said.
The new name honours two pioneers in community services who inspired the organisation’s work.
The first is Philanthropist Lady Janet Clarke (1851-1909), who became president of RDNS forerunner Melbourne District Nursing Society in 1889.
The second is Lieutenant Colonel William Kinsey Bolton (1860-1941), a returned serviceman who became the first president of the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ League – a forerunner of the RSL.
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