Guest: Linda Summerton
Presenter: Tabetha Moreto
Guest Bio: Linda Summerton is the Managing Director and co-founder of Advanced Care Australia, which commenced in 2003. The company provides in home support for individuals with a disability, the elderly, and those recovering from illness or injury – enabling them to remain in their own home. A Registered Nurse with over 20 years experience, she developed skills in both acute and aged care nursing, and progresses to key management roles in healthcare in the later half of her Nursing career. Since inception the company has gone from strength to strength under Linda’s leadership – providing over 300,000 hours of service in the Sunshine Coast region and Brisbane. Advanced Care were the recipients of the 2014 Sunshine Coast Business Excellence Award in the Lifestyle and Wellbeing category, and were recipients of a Bronze Award in the prestigious ‘International Women in Business Awards’ (aka the Stevie Awards) in the United States in 2014. Linda has herself been a nominee in the Australian Leadership Excellence Awards on 2 occasions, and is currently completing the highly acclaimed ‘Advanced Leadership Program’ through the Women in Leadership Association.
Segment Overview: In this segment, Linda Summerton, the Managing Director of Advanced Care Australia joins the program to promote her company and the exceptional services that they offer. Advanced Care Australia is Sunshine Coast’s premier Disability and Aged Care Support agency. She states that the one thing that sets her company apart from other home care agencies is that their staff are matched in skill set and personality type to their clients in order ensure the best fit possible.
Transcript – Advanced Care Australia
Tabetha Moreto: Hello everyone. Welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for today Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Linda Summerton, the Managing Director of Advanced Care Australia which is Sunshine Coast’s premier disability and aged care support agency. Today, we’re going to talk about her company and the services that they provide. Without further ado, welcome to the show Linda. It’s very nice to have you here.
Linda Summerton: Thank you Tabetha. It’s lovely to be here.
T: Yes, my pleasure. So Linda, please tell the audience more about yourself and the nature of your work.
L: Absolutely. I’m one of the Founders of Advanced Care Australia. My sister and I started the company 15 years ago this year, actually, it’s our 15th anniversary. So we started the company after we were supporting our father at home. Dad had a terminal illness and wanted to stay at home. We had a lot of challenges in finding a good home care provider who could be really flexible and responsive. And we did have providers but we were disappointed with the level of quality of staff that they were providing. So from that, we decided to start our own home care agency and that led us to where we are today. We provide support to all ages and all levels of disabilities, so from children with disabilities, adults with disabilities right through to the elderly.
T: That’s wonderful. Can you tell us, what sets your agency apart from the other disability and aged care support agencies out there in Australia?
L: Sure. That we’re very clear on what sets us apart and that is that we are very flexible with our client. We’re really support-driven by what the clients need. So clients aren’t locked in to a certain pattern of hours and requirements. We can change as their needs change. The other thing that sets us apart is our commitment to having very good quality staff. We invest heavily in recruiting and training the right staff to provide a very high level of service to our clients. Those two factors which really have enabled us to continue to grow because we know that what’s important to our client.
T: That’s good to know. Now can you tell us, what is your big current event issue or strategy that’s going on with your company now?
L: Sure. Well our biggest one is kind of twofold but we’ve recently become a huge provider under the aged care system. So we’re providing support through home care packages which is great. So the government provided support, means we can provide that under subsidized arrangements for client. The other big issue of course is the NDIS. Sunshine Coast is the last place in Australia to take on the NDIS. So we’re very excited to have that coming in January 2019. So we’re just getting ready for that and assisting clients and people in the community to understand the changes it will bring and what they need to do to be ready.
T: That’s fantastic. Congratulations on that.
L: Thank you.
T: So Linda now if you don’t mind, can I ask you a personal question?
T: Can you tell us why are you so passionate about home care in aged care? Why are you so passionate about taking care of other people?
L: I think it’s always been in my nature to be the carer. I actually had major surgery when I was three years old, a heart surgery and from that, I developed a real interest in care and nursing and actually went on to do my nursing training and was a registered nurse for many, 20 plus years. It really was that experience with my dad and more recently with my mum and how difficult it is to people in a community to access care and understand what’s required to access care and how important the quality of care is, what a difference it makes to their life. That’s really the driver for me. I understand to the personal level how important that is.
T: Wow. That was wonderful. Thank you for sharing that story with us. It’s nice to know that someone like you has great passion in taking care of other people.
L: Thanks Tabetha. It brings me a great amount of reward. Everyday, we’re reminded why we’re here and the difference we can make in people’s lives which is wonderful.
T: Yes it is. Linda before we go, what is your main takeaway message to all of our listeners out there? What would you like to tell them?
L: I would tell them, it’s really important when you’re looking for support at home that you really consider the choices very carefully and it’s not just about the cost that really, when it comes to quality a lot, it’s the people who are walking in the door every day to provide the support that are going to make the biggest difference. So it’s really about make sure you make the right choice.
T: That was a fantastic message. And now Linda, for those who are interested in availing of your agency services, how can they get in touch with you?
L: Very easy to get in touch with us. Via email is fine. They can give us a call. All our details are on our website and we actually provide a lot of information on our website for those people looking for support including other healthcare providers who are trying to access support for clients or invite people to go to our website which is www.advancedcare.com.au.
T: Fantastic. I’m sure that they will be very happy with your services.
L: Thanks Tabetha.
T: Thank you so much also Linda for coming on the show. It was wonderful having you.
L: Thank you for having me.
T: And that was Linda Summerton, Managing Director of Advanced Care Australia. If you liked this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpr.fm. We’re on all social media platforms. So, don’t forget to follow like, and subscribe. Show us some love by subscribing to our HPR YouTube channel. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.