The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association (ANMA) continues to push for improvements to Aged Care, and members say senators must vote for mandated levels of training in nursing home workers.
In Federal Parliament last week, senator Derryn Hinch introduced the Aged Care Amendment (Ratio of Skilled Staff to Care Recipients Bill) 2017, aimed at ensuring that quality care is provided to nursing home residents across the country.
“Unfortunately, many of these Australians who have given so much to society are highly vulnerable, and are not currently guaranteed the standard of care they deserve within our aged care facilities,” Hinch said.
“The passing of this Bill would be an important step in moving towards an aged care system that is more focused on the protection of the elderly than on profit margins of aged care facilities.”
As part of the ANMF’s national aged care workforce survey, 92 per cent of nurses and carers said they were being asked to care for the same number of residents with less staff and less hours.
Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said 90 per cent of nurses admitted current staffing levels were not adequate to provide essential daily care for elderly residents.
“Our members keep warning that inadequate levels of registered and enrolled nurses and appropriately trained care workers means that the basic care they can provide, including feeding and bathing, is being significantly compromised,” Thomas said.
“Without mandated staffing or care hours in nursing homes, the Federal Government is allowing aged care providers to decide on what an ‘adequate’ level of care is and as we’ve recently seen in Queensland, some providers aren’t doing the right thing – sacking nurses and slashing hundreds of care hours.
“On behalf of our members, the ANMF wishes to thank Senator Hinch for standing up for older Australians – he has listened to the concerns of aged care workers about how nursing home residents are suffering because of nursing and care worker shortages and an ongoing reduction in rostered care hours.”
ANMF members will meet with senator Hinch and other senators and MPs in the coming weeks to advocate for the passing of the Bill through Parliament.
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