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Campaign for aged care mandated staffing ramps up

Campaign for aged care mandated staffing ramps up

Senior Counsel Assisting the aged care royal commission Peter Rozen

The ANMF has applauded an aged care royal commission senior counsel’s recommendation for mandated minimum staffing levels and skills mix in nursing homes.

In a submission to the aged care royal commission to an Adelaide hearing on 21 February, Senior Council Assisting Peter Rozen also recommended:

  • registered nurses, including nurse practitioners, should make up a greater proportion of the care workforce than is presently the case
  • all aged care workers should receive better training
  • unregulated care workers should be subject to a registration process with a minimum mandatory qualification as an entry requirement
  • the care workforce should be better remunerated and should work in safe workplaces
  • the organisations for which they work should be better managed and governed
  • the Australian government should provide practical leadership.

In a 24 January submission to the aged care royal commission on redesigning the aged care system, the ANMF renewed our call for mandated minimum staffing levels and skills mix in residential aged care.

The submission reiterated ANMF’s call for to provide a national average of 4.3 care hours per resident per day, with a mix of 30 per cent care from a registered nurse, 20 per cent from an enrolled nurse and 50 per cent from personal care workers.

The aged care royal commission commenced in 2020 with roundtables, workshops and a consultation paper about how the aged care system could be redesigned.

The ANMF federal office continued to advocate for the unregulated aged care workforce to be subject to minimum education and training standards, and regulation, to ensure high quality, safe care.

The ANMF agreed with the royal commission’s assertion that there is a need ‘for a fundamental overhaul of the design, objective, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia’.

However, the ANMF warned that an individualised aged care entitlement approach – as proposed in the royal commission’s consultation paper– should be confined in the case of residential aged care facilities to assessment of whether residential care is required.

The ANMF said the Morrison Government’s proposal to amalgamate and privatise the Regional Assessment Service and Aged Care Assessment Teams was ‘of major concern’, and would lead to service gaps, increased costs to recipients and further fragmentation of the service.

ANMF members are reminded that the deadline for making a submission to the aged care royal commission is 30 April.

The 21 February Adelaide hearing inquired into ‘The future of the aged care workforce’ and considered staffing numbers and mix, terms and conditions of employment, workforce planning and the role of the Commonwealth, education and training, and registration of personal care workers.