Thomas Holt is a community, not-for-profit organisation that has been providing accommodation and care services to older Australians for over half a century. Located in the Sutherland Shire of New South Wales, Thomas Holt is committed to finding better ways to care for all aged people, no matter their care needs. From retirement living to 24-hour care, Thomas Holt provides it all – the choice is the resident’s.
“Our message to the community is simple,” says Alexandra Zammit, CEO of Thomas Holt Villages. “We promise to provide our residents and customers with a variety of options depending on their needs now and in the future.”
“We are committed to expanding our range of care and support services both in a customer’s own home and at Thomas Holt locations,” she adds. “As a boutique provider, our focus is on our service and quality.”
Thomas Holt’s relationship with a client often starts in the community, with people receiving a service in their own home from one of the group’s carers, or people living in their retirement living units. Later, if and when they need extra support, Thomas Holt is well-positioned to provide it. “We like to give the right care at the right place at the right time,” Alexandra says.
Thomas Holt also provides support to residents and their families dealing with people living with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and physical frailty. “We have extensive experience in this area and pride ourselves on the level of care and understanding we provide.”
According to Alexandra, the organisation’s success over the years has been driven by their “personal touch.” They concentrate on forming close relationships with potential residents and families. The results of that personal contact are reflected in video testimonials and satisfaction surveys.
Moving forward, the organisation’s strategy will be to utilise the latest marketing and technology resources available as a means to support and enhance that strategy. “At Thomas Holt, we find our community likes the personal approach,” Alexandra says.
Passion and commitment
It is not only residents who benefit from Thomas Holt’s personal touch – the organisation applies the same philosophy to their relationship with staff. “Our people are our best asset,” Alexandra explains. “We understand that our success is built on the passion and commitment of our people and how they work as a team.”
Thomas Holt employs over 200 people across their community care, residential care and retirement living services. To foster their passion and commitment, the organisation values staff contributions through reward and recognition programs, and provides free education, paid parental leave and counselling support. They also encourage staff members to enjoy free barista coffee days, as well as complimentary neck and back massages “for that little bit of rest and relaxation.”
“As an organisation that is all about caring, we know the importance of caring for our staff both at work and at home with flexibility, support and balance,” Alexandra says. “We don’t just create a job at Thomas Holt, we create a career. We encourage and financially support extra training and education. We are here for our team so they are here our residents.”
Improving and evolving
Thomas Holt is committed to continuous improvement, and is always investing in better service, support and facility improvements – particularly when it comes to technology. Today, Thomas Holt’s homes are virtually paperless. They have implemented electronic care plans and provided Wi-Fi access for mobile access to information, as well as designed a new interactive website. They are also determined to do even more over the next few years.
The organisation’s commitment to technology has been recognised with an Information Technology in Aged Care Award. Thomas Holt won the award for the degree of technology used in their homes, and for the skill they displayed in matching their residents needs with the implementation of that technology.
“It can be too easy to focus on technology for technology sake, but our focus has been truly person-centred,” says Alexandra. “We ensure that the introduction of technology enhances residents’ well being, empowers staff and shares information to improve residential care.”
“We want to stay true to our mission and our commitment to our community while providing the high quality services they deserve and they want,” Alexandra adds, summarising the group’s strategy as it moves forward.
Growth-wise, they have plans to expand and build a new facility on one of their sites.
“We’re very keen to design a residential care service that will be what our consumers want,” Alexandra explains. “We want to be creative in how we introduce technology to make that a smart building that is green and sustainable, supports the staff’s workflow, and creates a really homely environment at the same time.”
In general, Alexandra says wants Thomas Holt to be known as an organisation that develops services that people want. “We’re always evolving our service model to meet consumer’s needs. In 10 to 15 years time we’re going to look very different than we do now.”
“I see a very bright future,” she concludes. “We’ve been here for over half a century, and we plan to remain here for a lot longer.”