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Aged care nurses and carers at ‘breaking point’

Aged care nurses and carers at ‘breaking point’

The aged care royal commission has called its interim report Neglect.

It is the nineteenth report into the aged care system since 1997. No one should be shocked—even though some say they are.

Nurses and personal care workers are the backbone of our residential aged care system.

But when you don’t have enough of them in private and not-for-profit nursing homes, residents miss out on care.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will not make its final recommendations until 12 November 2020.

How can anyone read this scathing interim report and think it is acceptable to wait another year before staffing levels are improved? Vulnerable residents relying on the system cannot. Nor can their nurses and carers who tell us they are at ‘breaking point’.

There are already aged care employer calls for more funding, but no calls for more staff. History tells us that more funding will simply disappear down the aged care funding gurgler.

No one in an aged care leadership position can read this report and fail to advocate for more nurses and personal care workers on every single shift.

No more talk. Residents need action. Nurses and personal care workers need action.

The private and not-for-profit nursing homes must have legislated nurse/carer-to-resident ratios like we have in Victoria’s public residential aged care. The Andrews Government has also called on the royal commission to recommend ratios.

Thousands of residents, their families and the hard-working nurses and carers who hold the aged care system together are waiting to hear that someone in power gets it and urgently wants to fix the system.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison – over to you.