ANF statement regarding Lateline aged care report

Tuesday 16th July, 2013

A TV report on Australia’s “aged care crisis” highlights the urgent need for staffing reforms to be implemented in nursing homes across the country, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) said today.

ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said it was crucial that workforce improvements be undertaken to ensure that safe, high quality care was delivered to vulnerable, older Australians living in aged care facilities.

“Last night’s ABC Lateline report was distressing to all and it re-emphasised the urgent need for the Federal Government to work with aged care stakeholders to mandate levels of staffing and education of nursing and care staff employed in nursing homes,” Ms Thomas said today.

“The Government must also ensure the right mix of suitably qualified staff, as well as a national system of regulation for workers, to allow for the delivery of safe care to older, vulnerable Australians.”

The workforce reforms were included in the ANF’s national Because We Care campaign which recently resulted in a $1.2 billion over five years for Australia’s aged care workforce as part of the Living Longer Living Better package.

“The ANF is confident that the funding, to be delivered through the Workforce Compact, will start closing the wages gap for aged care nurses and provide them with a better career pathway and education opportunities and in turn help attract more nurses to the sector,” Ms Thomas added.

The ANF, with over 230,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia. 

Media Contact: Richard Lenarduzzi on 0411 254 390