Australian Unity corners home care market

Australian Unity corners home care market

Australian Unity is now one of Australia's largest home care providers after successfully acquiring a 42-branch government care division in a $114 million deal.

Australian Unity has finalised the transfer of Home Care Services of NSW (Home Care) from the NSW government, the company said in a statement to the ASX issued on Friday.

The deal will see the transfer of more than 4,000 staff and 50,000 annual clients from the 70-year-old Home Care to Australian Unity.

This is the first significant transfer of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to the non-government sector, the NSW government said in a statement.

"The government's key objective has been to select a provider who can deliver continuity of service and prepare Home Care for the national aged care reforms and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)," the statement said.

The Home Care business has a network of 42 branches with 107 office locations. Core services include domestic assistance, personal care and respite care, for seniors and people with a disability.

Under the agreement, Aboriginal Home Care will retain its "important and unique identity".

Derek McMillan, chief executive of Australian Unity's independent and assisted living, said Australian Unity's initial focus in this transition is on maintaining continuity for all clients.

"Australian Unity will strive for continuity of service with regards to home care operations and seek to provide increased levels of care as clients' needs change," Mr McMillan said.

"Central to this ambition is to build a business based on a true continuum of client-directed care. Combined with our better together model of service, we believe the transfer enables us to provide the best possible outcomes for both our new clients in NSW and, of course, additional options for our existing 'for personal use only' home care clients."

The official transfer follows the announcement in August 2015 that Australian Unity had successfully won the tender. It had met the NSW government's requirement of being a provider that could deliver continuity of service and prepare Home Care for the NDIS and the national aged care reforms.

Last year, Australian Unity acquired INS Health Care in NSW, the home care division of The INS Group.

Australian Unity is a 175-year-old mutual company, whose members are its customers and staff. 

Australian Unity corners home care market
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