The Daily Herald writes that an action plan was signed Friday for the merger of Benevolent Foundation Saba (BFS), which manages Honourable Henry Carlyle Every Home of Saba, and Saba Health Care Foundation (SHCF). BFS and SHCF first announced their intention to merge in November 2014. A supervisory committee and a working committee were then formed to pave the way for a controlled merge of the two institutions. The supervisory committee consists of Commissioner of Health Bruce Zagers, Chairman of SHCF’s Supervisory Board Sydney Sorton and BFS President Hubert Smith. The Working Committee consists of the SHCF Director Joka Blaauboer and BFS Project Manager Henk Bogers. All parties said they were pleased about the positive steps taken with formalizing the action plan and said to be looking forward to continue a successful merger.
Because the Home for the Elderly was no longer meeting Dutch standards of quality and safety, a four-stage action plan was put in place last year. On January 20, 2014, the second stage of this action plan was approved by the Dutch Health Inspection IGZ. Inspector Dr. Dirk van der Plas of IGZ is to visit the Home again in March. Bogers was the initiator of the merger as he came to Saba to support the necessary quality development of the Home last year. After an initial meeting with Blaauboer the actual plans took shape. From now on, the merger process can formally start with the two committees in function. The organisations are expected to merge before January 1, 2016. All BFS personnel will be transferred into the expanded SHCF organization. No employees with permanent contracts will be laid off.
Bogers said the initial plans for this merger dated as far back as 2010, and he rekindled the fire. “With this merger basic needs, such as integrated health care, physical therapy and day care activities for clients of the Home will be much better coordinated. A continuous dialogue between BFS and SHCF is crucial.” As of next year, Saba is to have one health organisation with different functions, such as elderly care, healthcare, physiotherapy, day care, and support and care for people in their own homes.
According to Bogers, the fusion would not only create more efficiency but also reduce cost in the long run. Mainly because activities are to be better coordinated and more care-activities may be offered with the same staff. As of now, specialists are also to make a risk analysis of the present accommodation and suggest improvements, without actually working towards a complete renovation. “A renovation of the Home, or even a new building, is inevitable in the long term, but these plans can only be made after the merger is completed,” Bogers said.
On several different levels BFS is working on improving efficiency. A sounding board was recently installed to improve communication with the general public. A Facebook page was constructed and there are plans to work together with Medical School students for expertise improvement. “The first thing I do when I come to Saba is talk to people; anyone, from the chairman of the board to the cleaner. They give me the information I need to tackle the many challenges this merger faces,” Bogers explained. “I see many improvements, also thanks to quality care officer Pieter van Amsterdam, who does a fine job, together with manager Rosetta Riley and their team in meeting the deadlines IGZ has put in place. I am very happy with the way things are progressing. The initial path is now laid out and the doors are opened for further cooperation.”