The ratios of aged care recipients to staff members in each residential aged care facility is the subject of a new inquiry.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport inquiry into the Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018 proposes quarterly publication of resident to staff ratios.
The bill also proposes the requirement of a break-down of staff by category and their level of qualification such as registered nurses, enrolled nurses, personal care attendant, allied health staff and other staff on the Federal Government’s My Aged Care website.
It also requires providers to notify the Government within 28 days if staffing ratios change by more than 10 per cent (read more here).
The inquiry was proposed by Australian House of Representatives member Rebekha Sharkie following a referral in August 2018.
Ms Sharkie said the Bill aims to inform the public by creating greater transparency towards the choices they make when accessing residential care services.
“My legislation is an important first step in addressing community concerns about staffing ratios in our nursing homes,” Ms Sharkie said.
“Aged care is an important issue for my community, and they are deeply concerned that many facilities do not have enough staff with the right qualifications to care for residents,” she said.
Ms Sharkie said while the Government announced of the aged care quality and safety commission and additional funding boost of last week, it was still not enough.
She said concerns of not being able to meet care standards are among the reasons mandated staffing ratios had not yet been implemented.
“The Government and the aged care sector are reluctant to set a minimum staffing level in case it sets the bar too low to meet the quality of care standards,” she said.
Information about the inquiry is available here. Public submissions close on 4 October 2018.
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