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Accredited practising dietitian Julie Dundon (right) is a Director of Nutrition Professionals Australia (NPA). Picture: News Limited.

Diet expert joins aged care council

A dietician appointed to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Advisory Council has called for mandatory malnutrition screenings and food audits in nursing homes. 

Practising dietitian Julie Dundon joined the 11-person council this week, amid ongoing debates over poor nutrition in aged care.

Described as a “fierce advocate”, Dundon will pursue yearly food audits and malnutrition tests in homes receiving the $10 daily food supplement.

The latest sector quality audit from October-December 2021 showed that food and catering quality was among the top 10 complaints filed to the aged care commissioner.

Dietitians Australia chief executive Robert Hunt said the peak body had received reports the federal government's food supplement was not being spent on resident’s food.

“It was no surprise to us that one in three residential aged care homes continue to spend less than $10 per day on food, despite receiving the basic daily fee supplement,” Hunt said.

“Julie’s appointment is very welcomed and we trust the Minister will give significant weight to her deep expertise and passion for improved nutrition in aged care.”

The Basic Daily Fee supplement, costing $3.4bn over four years, was one of the largest aged-care measures brought in by the Morrison government after the royal commission.

Dieticians Australia has long championed for mandatory malnutrition screenings in nursing homes, and released a tool in April 2021 for providers to use to assess their residents.

Dundon, who is an active member of the peak body, will hold her place on the advisory council until April 2025. 

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One comment

  1. Great to see Julie being added to the council, however I believe the current council should be scrapped and a truly independent body “with experience”be engaged. The current body has not been effective for many years for eg: when so many homes have had a number of sanctions and continue to operate tells us that something is not right in Kallarook.

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