Minister defends strict stance

Justine Elliot has “no apologies” following the ninth nursing home sanction in as many months under the Rudd Government.

The federal Minister for Ageing has defended the government’s ‘strict’ approach to compliance monitoring in aged care.

Justine Elliot was speaking on ABC Radio in Brisbane after media reports had revealed that five of the nine Commonwealth-funded nursing homes currently under sanctions, are in Queensland.

“It’s good to have a whole series of unannounced and announced visits right across the board, across the 3000 nursing homes,” she said.

“There’s a very detailed system in terms of continuous checking and accreditation and investigation that occurs in our nursing homes and it needs to be a whole approach that we take.”

The Minister told the ABC’s Madonna King that she was committed to ensuring there were adequate systems in place to ensure the safety of older Australians living in nursing homes.

“That’s why I’ve increased police checks for some of the staff working in nursing homes, why I’ve also increased the powers of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency,” said Mrs Elliot.

At the same time, the Minister re-stated her desire to work with all sections of the aged care sector to achieve the “best results”.

“We’ve got nearly 3000 nursing homes right throughout Australia, and the vast majority do an outstanding job,” said Mrs Elliot.

“But at the same time, we’ve got to have a very, very strict regulatory system in place, and I certainly don’t make any apologies for having that strict system there.”

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