Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt met with remote aged care providers to discuss their workforce issues this week.

An initiative from the aged care workforce taskforce aims to help industry agree on the priorities to address workforce issues for remote and very remote aged care providers.

An industry accord on the remote aged care workforce is being developed following a meeting on Wednesday attended by remote aged care providers, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt and members of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce.

The accord, which was named among 15 potential strategies at the taskforce’s national summit on Monday, aims to create a platform for industry to tackle remote workforce issues such as attracting and training staff, and the need for flexible funding and services.

Minister Wyatt said Wednesday’s meeting was a direct result of national consultations by the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce.

“We are determined to meet this challenge, to deliver the best possible aged care for senior Australians, whether they live in our cities, regional centres or very remote communities,” he said.

Taskforce chair Professor John Pollaers said the national consultations indicated a tailored approach to the remote aged care workforce was required, with all levels of government, industry and the community working together.

“The accord will detail priorities, desired changes and recommended actions to underpin support for the remote workforce,” he said.

The accord proposed to providers on Wednesday is based on the following six principles:

  • forming a compact across government and community on the role and support of industry in remote aged care
  • the right to live and die in your local community – putting the consumer journey at the heart of system design
  • specific strategies to address the unique challenges of attracting and retaining aged care professionals in remote and very remote areas
  • tailored and relevant training, skills and career pathways in remote and very remote settings
  • prioritise safety, security and wellbeing of the aged care workforce in remote and very remote settings
  • flexible and responsive government funding, policy and programs.

A spokesperson for Minister Wyatt confirmed an accord was now being put together.

The government established the taskforce in November 2017 to develop the first aged care workforce strategy.

The taskforce is scheduled to report to Minister Wyatt by 30 June 2018.

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