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RSL Care + RDNS rebrands with ‘ambitious target’

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.

Stephen Muggleton

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.

He said:

“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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6 Responses to RSL Care + RDNS rebrands with ‘ambitious target’

  1. Barbara Macleod August 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Just a couple of thoughts came to mind following my read of this article.

    Firstly, I hope you realize that Australia does not have the same Health Care Framework like in the USA. Large growth and aquistions work well in a fully privatised system.

    Secondly, you must at all times put ‘quality’ before ‘profits’!!!

  2. carly August 9, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    I am in agreement with you Barbara, remember there are people who work within these organisations that have become Bolton Clarke and are very unsure of the future, as they think Privatisation is the next option. Quality of care is paramount, but unfortunately that does not seem to be on the agenda.

  3. Monika August 14, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    I agree quality of care must be number one priority. Clients should be first and being able to meet their needs and not the hip pocket so speak. The staff must be compassionate empathetic and dedicated in their role. If we have staff just doing it for a job it will affect clients and loss all round. Yes there business to run but without clientele and qualified staff there is no business. For each domain of care ; budget; area and utilise resources wisely. Each state should be on equal care.

  4. Taj August 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    Already we have an entitlement based care system. Home care, Commonwealth Home Support, Chronic health home supports, NDIS, Centrelink, PBS, Dental, Public Health etc.are all pretty much in the open market. Many, like the CHSP are keenly looking at direct payments or vouchers to consumers to buy their care from whom they like an drive down quality regulation to choice. People will still try the $2 shop because that is out nature but how else do we fund the 20% of our community that is aged and 20-25% with disability and/ or mental health needs of support?

  5. Ted Wards August 18, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    We are now finding in the aged care industry that bigger does not mean better, in fact it leads to all sorts of issues. Many former clients of both companies are now changing ot smaller companies. If you want to be a number in a vast system that’s what you’ll end up as with this company.

  6. IanG August 28, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    Oh dear, why do I get a creepy feeling every time I hear this corporate speak with its strident assertions devoid of actual meaning. Like others of you I agree big does not equal better, staff matter a lot and maintaining quality, not expanding, is better.

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