Why we need to take a stand and vote for more staff in aged care this election
The ALP has made the first significant announcement on aged care in the federal election campaign. They committed to taking action to improve the current crisis in aged care immediately and not wait for the full outcomes of the Royal Commission.
If elected, Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten committed Labor would:
- ensure there is an RN present, on site, at residential aged care facilities, 24 hours a day
- require providers to publish the skill mix of the aged care workforce employed at every nursing home and ensure the appropriate skills mix of properly-trained staff is on duty at all times
- immediately start work on the implementation of the Matter of Care workforce strategy to address understaffing
- increase training of aged care staff to improve the workforce’s understanding of dementia, including scholarships for nurses and carers to undertake specialist dementia care training
- provide TAFE places for 20,000 aged care students
- increase the number of and access to home care packages and increase staffing levels and skills
- provide incentives for GPs working in aged care
This is a positive step in the right direction, particularly because it recognises the need to take action now, rather than waiting for recommendations from the Royal Commission.
There is still a lot of work to do. To ensure safe, quality care in aged care, we need mandated ratios to guarantee safe staffing levels and full transparency to guarantee taxpayers’ money is directly tied to care.
This initial commitment proves our campaign is making a difference. Let's change the government so we can change the rules.