Mary MacKillop Care Auckland announced it will be closing its doors, after the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart made “the difficult decision” to move away from providing residential aged care.
Sister Ann Neven, the Sisters’ Trust Board Chair, said the Mission Bay facility is the last of its type to be run by the Sisters and the closure is in line with the decision to move away from providing residential aged care across both New Zealand and Australia.
“There has been considerable soul searching from the Sisters as we look to the future. The aged care sector is vastly different from when the facility was registered in 1990 companies now running a number of large facilities. It makes for a challenging environment for small not-for-profit facilities like ours,” Sr Ann Neven said.
The decision was made known to staff and residents on August 14. The site and buildings are owned by the Sisters, while the service is run by Mary MacKillop Care Auckland Ltd. No actual date for the closure had been given.
Sister Ann Neven said the Sisters are very aware that this decision has a significant impact on the residents, their families and staff, and the decision was only made after careful consideration.
The facility is home to 29 residents, including Sisters of St Joseph and residents from the wider community, along with those from other religious orders.
Mary MacKillop Care Auckland Ltd NZ Acting Chairperson Katherine Lester said all the residents and staff will be well supported in the lead up to the closure. The implementation team working on the closure will work closely with the Auckland District Health Board during the transition period.
“We want to make sure the residents and their families have support available to make the move to their new home as smooth as possible.
“Sadly the closure does mean our staff, who have provided high quality care to our residents, will no longer have jobs. We are committed to providing any assistance we can to help them find new employment, including providing specialist employee assistance support and counselling,” Ms Lester said.
The closure will also result in a restructure for the housekeeping and kitchen staff employed by the Sisters, and work is underway to help those affected through the process.
Sister Ann Neven said the immediate focus is very much on supporting those affected by the decision to close the facility.
“The Sisters have also been looking to the future care of our own ageing Sisters and we have a vision to care for them in supported accommodation on the Mission Bay site,” she said.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph administration office will continue to be housed on this site, along with the Retreat Centre conference room. In the interim, the Sisters will not be able to provide on-site accommodation for people on retreat.