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Some providers spending $6 a day on food: report

Almost a third of Australian aged care facilities spend less than 10 dollars a day on residents' meals, new data has shown, reviving calls for greater transparency around food spending.

Of the 2,600 aged care facilities which self-reported food data to the Health Department, 67 per cent had a daily meal spend of $12.35 per resident, with two per cent spending less than $6.

In July last year, the government committed $350 million dollars towards providing aged care facilities an additional $10 per day for food per resident.

The 50 providers found to spend less than the required amount have been referred to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

“Providers have a responsibility to ensure the health and wellbeing of residents – but also that this funding is being used appropriately,” Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said.

“A spend less than $10 by any provider is no longer a satisfactory outcome."

Another recent report released by the The Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research on Tuesday examined how some of Australia's largest aged care operators are spending public funds.

The findings, which looked at seven for-profit providers including Regis, TriCare and Southern Cross Care, found each collectively received an estimated $110 million last year to improve food quality.

The authors said there was very little evidence as to where and how this money was being spent.

"The Department of Health has not been able to publicly show how aged care operators have spent this additional funding or indicate any improvement," the report read.

As of July 2022, providers will be required to submit a quarterly financial report including bank statements, balance sheets and labour costs.

This is part of the new Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model ushered in by the royal commission.

Tuesday's federal budget also announced that the AN-ACC model will start at $216.80 for a standard day of care, with other care requirements, such as dementia-related care, receiving additional funding.

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  1. Anton Hutchinson

    I know it won’t happen…not sensational enough..but surely the headline here could easily have said ” less than 2% of nursing homes reaching nutrition target”!

    I don’t know if anyone is interested but the much exaggerated “$6 per day” figure that has been the headline of dubious authors was a statistic from 2017!
    Surely, if dramatic effect wasn’t your intent..a food cost number a little more up to date could have been presented to the royal commission and the public.
    If… sensationalism wasn’t the intent!

  2. We must stop perpetuating this myth that all nursing homes spend 46 on actual food cost. Whoever produced this treport in the first place must have run into the nursing homes that were at the $6 level.
    What we should be ensuring id that the extra $10 per day for nutrition be added to food cost and operators be accountable for this actually happening.
    If catering staff are given the extra $10 per day as promised we should see an immediate improvement, not withstanding the significant training required in a number of operations. We can’t pretend it’s all rosy, its not.
    A specific componernt of the Cert iv needs to be redone for Aged Care as IO believe William Angliss is currently doing.

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