The percentage of registered nurses in the aged care workforce is decreasing despite increasingly complex patient needs, the aged care royal commission has heard.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has released a four-stage implementation plan to meet its recommendations of minimum staffing and providing 4.3 hours of care per resident per day by 2025.
Publishing staff-to-resident ratios in aged care is a positive first step for increasing transparency but it’s not enough for consumers to make informed decisions, according to a parliamentary inquiry report.
Aged care peak body Aged and Community Services Australia has launched a social media campaign to showcase positive aged care stories at its national conference this week among several sessions focused on the sector’s workforce.
Aged care workers say inadequate time to complete tasks, lack of supervision by skilled registered nurses and poor training all contribute to elder abuse in residential care.
There is little outright political backing for a bill introduced into the Senate to mandate minimum staff-to-resident ratios in aged care, although there is broad support to address the workforce issues it highlights.
Sector welcomes new minister Christian Porter but says the momentum on reforms cannot be lost and key measures are required to provide certainty for providers and consumers.
A DSS submission to a Productivity Commission inquiry proposes enhanced skilled migration to bolster the aged care workforce, which has been welcomed by employers.
While acknowledging the exemptions for aged care residents and children, consumers, doctors and nurses have broadly criticised the government’s latest policy.