A “handful” of Northcott clients are still to move to new providers and will receive support in the interim, the organisation reports as the closure of its Dubbo operation looms.
The disability services provider reiterated its commitment to continue to support the clients beyond its planned shutting date of Friday March 15.
Northcott confirmed the shock closure of its Dubbo service on February 15, citing more competition in the sector resulting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a factor.
On Wednesday Northcott chief executive officer Kerry Stubbs vowed not to leave people in the lurch.
“Our planned closing date was 15 March, and we stand by our commitment that we will continue to support any of our customers beyond this date as they transition to a new provider,” she said.
“There are a handful of customers in this position who we are continuing to support.”
The Health Services Union (HSU) reported on February 15 Northcott’s decision would put 22 workers out of a job.
This week the Daily Liberal asked Northcott if all Dubbo staff had been offered a redundancy package.
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“Northcott is also supporting our staff and we have assisted them in making contact with other providers,” Ms Stubbs said.
“Our understanding is that many have taken that opportunity and will be continuing to work as disability support workers.
“Through this process we have followed the proper approaches outlined in our enterprise agreement.”
One month on from confirming the move, the Northcott chief again cited the impact of the NDIS on the Dubbo operation.
“The closure of our operation was a difficult decision, but reflects the strong and vibrant market created by the NDIS,” Ms Stubbs said.
“This rightly gives people with disability choice and control over who they select to be their service providers.
“That vibrant market means that our customers are transitioning to other providers and there are many opportunities for our skilled and experienced support workers to join other providers, of which many have already done so.”
When asked what plans Northcott had for its Quinn Street premises and would they be sold, Ms Stubbs said: “We don’t have any plans to sell our properties.”
The HSU, which went public with Northcott’s closure plan, had called for the organisation to reconsider its decision.
The mother of a Northcott client also slammed the organisation for failing to give more notice to allow for a “proper transition of at least three months”.
The NDIS was rolled out to western NSW in July 2017.
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