Aged care staffing call
TASMANIA’S nursing federation has renewed calls for mandatory minimum staffing ratios in aged care homes to reduce “serious neglect of residents”.
The call comes ahead of royal commission hearings to be held in Hobart next week, which the organisation said would likely air “harrowing stories” and evidence about the state of Tasmanian nursing homes.
It was announced in August that Bupa South Hobart was the worst performer in terms of meeting accreditation standards during the 2018-2019 financial year, meeting only 28 of 44 requirements.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which will be held in Hobart from November 11 to 15, will examine Bupa, which was sanctioned last year.
It will also examine Southern Cross Care, which runs Yaraandoo Hostel in Somerset and Glenara Lakes near Launceston, which were both issued with noncompliance notices over the past year.
In both case studies, the royal commission will hear evidence from residents’ family members, current and former staff, advisers, executive management and administrators appointed under sanctions.
The commissioner will hear about decisions made that impacted quality and safety of care to residents.
“Nurses and care workers are not able to provide the quality care to residents they would like to provide simply because it is physically impossible and the Aged Care Royal Commission interim report goes some way to supporting this,” said Emily Shepherd, Tasmanian branch secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
“The issues are widespread and long standing, and providers have both the financial and operational means to address these now.”
But Richard Colbeck, Tasmanian senator and federal Minister for Aged Care, said the union should show “more respect” to the commission process and not “deliberately misrepresent” the interim report.
“No recommendations were made in support of staff ratios in the interim report,” he said. “It is important to recognise that when it comes to staffing in aged care, it is not one-size-fits-all.”
He said the Government had implemented new standards from July that focused on residents’ needs and ensured appropriate levels of care.