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Senators urged to vote for aged care improvements

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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  1. I would be slightly swayed if I thought this move was out of genuine concern for the welfare of residents but we all know it is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to improve union membership, how do I know this because the union have never conducted a resident satisfaction survey – those who care for and about the residents do that.

    • Perhaps it would helpful to access the research undertaken by independent universities, which is the basis of the ANMF actions to improve the care available to residents in aged care. In addition, you can access the Senate inquiry into the Aged Care workforce, which has multiple submissions from residents, carers, staff and residential aged care organisations that also reflect the same issues being raised across these groups. ANMF cannot independently interview residents, hence the engagement of universities and recognised research facilities to undertake research. Given the issues raised, it is appropriate for all organisations to support changes that would benefit residents, irrespective of whether or not they happen to be representing employers or employees.

  2. Does anyone ask why hours are being cut? The Government keeps making it increasingly difficulty for Aged Care Facilities to receive fair and adequate funding, funding that is necessary to provide care.
    All Aged Care facilities are required to comply with stringent guidelines to obtain accreditation. There is constant pressure from both the Government and the public regarding the standard of care provision. An ever-increasing expectation for nothing but the highest standard of care, coupled with ever decreasing funding from the Government. The Government can mandate all they like – but are they going to also provide adequate funding for increased staffing levels.