Home > Features > Fifty-five years of Blue Caring

Fifty-five years of Blue Caring

Photo courtesy of Blue Care

Blue Care, formerly the Blue Nursing Service, started out in 1953 as an initiative of the Uniting Church and has since grown into Australia’s largest provider of community health and residential aged care. Modern-day initiatives and a shared mission to support the well-being of individuals, families and communities continue to keep this connection to the Uniting Church alive. So, what are these initiatives? And what values does Blue Care have that tie in with the church’s philosophies?

A strong sense of  mission
BLUE CARE Director of Mission Colleen Geyer said Blue Care staff and volunteers provide care for more than 12 500 people every day through nursing, allied health, personal care, domestic assistance, respite, social support, pastoral and volunteer services.
“This support is offered to people in their homes, in the community, and in Blue Care’s centres, clinics, residential aged care facilities and independent living units across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
“Our commitment to care services that express the Christian values of the Uniting Church and address clients’ physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs remains strong.
“Blue Care staff regularly go beyond what is expected, from our community nurses committed to clients in cities and regional Queensland to our residential care staff providing quality care every day for people who call Blue Care residential facilities home, as well as our volunteers supporting local services.”
Blue Care is an agency of UnitingCare Queensland, the health and community service provider of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Tackling the big issues
An Indigenous Care Strategy and Rural and Remote Strategy are among Blue Care’s flagship projects, just two initiatives that reflect the organisation’s mission.
Ms Geyer said she had witnessed incredible change in the organisation in the past two years.
“Blue Care currently has around 170 Indigenous employees and our goal is to have Indigenous employees make up 3.5 per cent of our entire workforce by February 2010, which equates to the current percentage of Indigenous people living in Queensland.
Blue Care is also leading the way in research to identify the issues affecting older people in rural and remote Queensland.
In 2008, the organisation began developing a Rural and Remote Strategy to identify alternative aged and community care service delivery approaches in rural and remote areas. The strategy is due for completion later this year.

Building partnerships
With Australia’s population ageing, demand for Blue Care’s services is growing and community support has never been more important.
“Our services are subsidised by the Australian and State Governments, however, as the costs of caring are substantially more than the funds provided, we rely heavily on support from the Uniting Church, more than 3000 volunteers and the community,” Ms Geyer said.
“They make such an important contribution to our community. Many of our programs would not be possible without them. The input of church members and volunteers enhances and raises the overall quality of care we can provide to the elderly and others in need of care.”

Committing to sustainability
At times, Blue Care’s mission may be considered at odds with standard business practices.
However, it is the foundations on which the not-for-profit organ-isation was built and its underlying values that motivate Blue Care management to maintain the organisation’s sustainability.
“First and foremost we are motivated by a desire to provide compassionate care to people across the community and we are committed to providing services for disadvantaged and marginalised people,” Ms Geyer said.
Blue Care’s services are available to all, regardless of socio-economic, ethnic, religious, or spiritual background.
“The people being served, rather than the profit margin, are the inspiration to continue to be viable, while good business practices and forward planning help make us sustainable,” she said.
For more information visit www.bluecare.org.au

Blue Care Fast Facts
Every day Blue Care staff and volunteers provide care to more than 12 500 people.
Every night more than 5000 people call a Blue Care nursing home “home”.
Every week more than 260 Blue Care centres open their doors to the community.
Every month 170 000 people rely on Blue Care’s community care services.

Photo : Photo courtesy of Blue Care