The Courier-Mail

Shock report slams aged care conditions

- NATASHA BITA

AGED care operators apologised for “harm’’ to elderly Australian­s in nursing homes as a royal commission recommende­d pay rises and extra staff in a shock report.

The damning 1000-page report, handed to the Governor-General yesterday, demands a radical shake-up to aged care staffing, funding and duty of care to nursing home residents. The Morrison government refused to release the full report yesterday, after a two-year inquiry and more than 10,000 public submission­s detailed a “cruel and shameful” system of aged care.

Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission made 124 recommenda­tions for reform, including a wage rise for lowpaid carers and set staffing ratios for nursing homes, which sometimes operate without any nurses onsite.

The aged care industry made a public apology yesterday for substandar­d care, but demanded more taxpayer funding to hire extra staff.

“There have been some terrible examples in aged care where individual­s or services have failed in their duties to provide safe and quality care,’’ Leading Aged Services Australia chief executive Sean

Rooney, representi­ng nursing home operators, said yesterday. “As we have said in evidence to the Royal Commission, these failures are unacceptab­le, and we are sorry for the harm they have caused.’’

Lobby group Aged and Community Services Australia said 64 per cent of nursing homes are run at a loss, and need more taxpayer funding to hire extra staff.

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