Just under half of homes miss care minute target

Only a third of homes met both the total and registered nurse minute targets, new data shows.

Almost a third of aged care homes are more than 10 minutes off their mandated care minute target, according to government statistics released on Thursday.

Since 1 October 2023, aged care homes have been required to provide an average of 200 minutes of direct care per resident per day – including 40 minutes from a registered nurse. In reality each residential service has its own target of direct care minutes they are required to deliver based on the care needs of its residents.

The data the Department of Health and Aged Care data crunched from the October to December 2023 quarter shows that 763 residential aged care services (30.68 per cent) missed the target by more than 10 minutes.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

Meanwhile:

  • 181 facilities (7.28 per cent) fell short of the target by 5-10 minutes
  • 129 (5.19 per cent) missed by 2-5 minutes
  • 104 (4.18 per cent) missed by 0-2 minutes.

In all, just over half of the 2,487 sites that report care minutes met the total care minutes (52.31 per cent), while just under half – 1,153 – met their RN requirement (46.36 per cent). Under a third of homes met both targets (32.37 per cent).

Anika Wells

Despite the data, the government attempted to put a gloss on the stats: “These results show we have delivered historically high levels of care,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells referring to the increase in care minutes since 2021. “We promised more carers with more time to care – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”

During the period, department data shows the sector delivered an average care minutes total of 201.93 per resident per day – about 14 seconds above the quarter’s target of 201.70. RN minutes stood at 38.76 – 1.40 short of the 40.16 quarter target.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

Care minute targets were a recommendation of the aged care royal commission, which identified that staffing levels are crucial to providing high-quality aged care.

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Tags: anika wells, care minute targets, care minutes, quarterly financial reporting,

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