• Royal Flying Doctor Service
Case Study:

Royal Flying Doctor Service

29 October 2020

Established in Queensland in 1928 by the Reverend John Flynn, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) has been facilitating care in regional and remote Australia for more than 92 years.

In addition to providing 24/7 aeromedical retrievals of critically ill or injured patients, the RFDS delivers a range of essential primary and preventative healthcare services including mental health and chronic disease management to regional and rural communities. The RFDS treats, on average, 250 patients a day in Queensland alone, delivering more than 370,000 episodes of patient care across Australia every year.

Since joining the RFDS in Queensland as CEO over two years ago, Meredith Staib, describes Mark Cushing and BDO’s Consulting team as responsive and passionate both in their work, and support, of the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. With a relationship reaching beyond this time, BDO has been instrumental in delivering a number of key projects for RFDS including an essential ten-year digital strategy improving the quality of service the RFDS delivers to rural and remote communities.

Further to this, a collaborative effort between BDO’s Advisory and Corporate Finance teams provided socio-economic modelling for the RFDS, measuring RFDS’s contribution to Queensland jobs, both directly and indirectly and ultimately identified the $132.50 million per year contribution the not-for-profit has made to the Queensland economy. This socio-economic modelling of RFDS’s services demonstrates its value for regional patients, communities and the Australian economy. This reconfirmed the RFDS’s position as one of the largest aeromedical organisations in the world.

“BDO is a long-term partner and supporter of the Queensland Section of the RFDS. Our partnership with BDO is one very much built off trust and genuine care for what we do and what we stand for in the community. BDO’s engagement model builds a relationship of trust, familiarity and connectivity to the organisation, its strategy and team.”

Meredith Staib, CEO, Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section).

Delivering these services to Queensland’s rural and remote communities may be challenging at the best of times but even more so with the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenging circumstances of COVID-19, the RFDS’s leadership team has maintained a clear focus on protecting their staff and the communities they service. Reacting swiftly and cancelling events prior to government restrictions being enforced, they moved to protect the communities they service and their staff in this ever-changing environment. With open and clear communication more important than ever, the leadership team pressed forward with transforming their service delivery models and operations. A strategy ensuring the RFDS remains at the forefront of delivery of aeromedical services.

Financial impacts are inevitable during this current climate and highlighted the key role BDO has been playing in assisting Meredith and the team to ensure the RFDS can adapt rapidly. With the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the RFDS activated their Business Continuity Plan allowing vital emergency medical and primary healthcare services to continue for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders. Service delivery models were adjusted, with services now including the delivery of telehealth services where appropriate, increasing pre-screening at health clinics and disinfecting procedures across their fleet of 75 aircraft. Also, mandatory self-isolation measures have been implemented before any clinical staff travel to regional and remote communities.

Although the pandemic has heightened the need for organisations to adapt, the RFDS already has a strong history of being innovative. This is a tradition the team will endeavour to continue. Meredith is a strong believer that those who move first, will emerge stronger and that it is possible for organisations to change quickly - this is something the RFDS is now experienced in. The RFDS team are looking forward to delivering on their clear and agile strategy, with the continuing support of BDO.

If you would like to learn more about transforming your challenges into opportunities, contact your local Consulting team today.

"Our partnership with BDO is one very much built on trust and genuine care for what we do and what we stand for in the community.”

Meredith Staib, CEO, Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section)

What’s next? Your digital recovery roadmap

Major disruptions this year have enforced a clear shift upon Australian organisations. Whether it be the impacts of catastrophic bushfires or the current COVID-19 global pandemic, many Australians have had to adjust how they work. A digital recovery roadmap can provide the desired structure and a practical approach for an organisation to take advantage of the digital transformation they find themselves in, as opposed to being consumed by it. 

Learn more