Disability support provider Eskleigh has appointed a new chief executive officer to drive its further expansion into group housing for clients in Tasmania as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme rollout.
The 42-bed Eskleigh, based at Perth, appointed former TasPrac Services general manager Dan Lowe to the role with the board impressed by his experience in expanding both private and not-for-profit organisations.
Group homes - which include two to five clients living in a smaller community-based facility - have become a preferred option as part of the NDIS rollout, which includes a shift away from the institutional care model.
Mr Lowe said it was a challenging time in the disability support sector, but he was looking forward to helping Eskleigh expand in the near future.
"Like all providers in the disability space, we've embraced the NDIS," he said.
"But it's not come without its challenges. The challenge ahead for Eskleigh is navigating the NDIS as it continues to evolve.
More on the NDIS rollout in Tasmania:
"The most significant changeis moving away from block funding to per-participant funding and needs-based funding. Certainly that presents challenges from a budget point of view."
Eskleigh already operates group homes in Launceston, Longford and Hobart, but the organisation was hopeful of reaching "critical mass" in the area in order to remain competitive.
Deputy chairperson Les Baxter said the changes could involve a "remodelling" of the services offered at the main Eskleigh facility in Perth, but he did not foreshadow bed reductions.
"We're looking to expand the business, and Dan has got some experience in doing that," he said.
"There's a whole lot of models from collaborating with other organisations to partnerships to working with property developers, a whole range of options."
Eskleigh was founded 71 years ago in the old 'Scone' homestead at Perth, where it has remained to this day as a provider of disability support accommodation.
The advent of the NDIS has proven to be the biggest change in the organisation's history, however.
Mr Baxter said the NDIS would improve the care for people living with a disability in Australia in the long run, but the transition period had obvious challenges.
He said there had already been a shift in the sector towards the group home model, and the NDIS had just sped up the process.
"It's driven socially and by the market, and the NDIS has really just focused it a bit more," he said.
Mr Lowe was appointed following the retirement of CEO of 18 years Dale Luttrell.