The Federal Secretary for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is Ms. Lee Thomas. She has responded to an aged care bill presented by Senator Hinch. She said “Our members keep warning that inadequate levels of registered and enrolled nurses and appropriately trained care workers means that the basic care they can provide, including feeding and bathing, is being significantly compromised”.
The Aged Care Amendment Bill (Ratio of Skilled Staff to Care Recipients Bill 2017) is aimed at ensuring that safe, quality care is provided to residents in nursing homes across Australia. It was presented in Federal Parliament on 7th September 2017 by Sen Derryn Hinch. This proposed amendment is to the Aged Care Act 1997.
What this could mean for residents & families
Ms Thomas said the ANMF’s national aged care workforce survey showed that 92% of nurses and carers said they were now being asked to:
- care for the same number of residents with less staff.
- Furthermore, less hours, and
- that 90% said current staffing levels aren’t adequate to provide essential daily care for residents.
“Without mandated staffing or care hours in nursing homes, the Federal Government is allowing aged care providers to decide on what an ‘adequate’ level of care is and, as we’ve recently seen in Queensland, some providers aren’t doing the right thing – sacking nurses and slashing hundreds of care hours.”
Ms Thomas thanked Senator Hinch for standing up for older Australians. She said “He has listened to the concerns of aged care workers about how nursing home residents are suffering because of nursing and care worker shortages and an ongoing reduction in rostered care hours”.
Ms Thomas said the ANMF and its members will be meeting with Senator Hinch and other Senators and MPs in the coming weeks to advocate for the passing of the Bill through Parliament.
The ANMF issued a press release on Thursday, 7 September 2017. Further, they are urging Senators to vote for ‘mandated’ aged care staffing levels in nursing homes. They said this must be done for the sake of older Australians and their families. Furthermore, the mandated levels must require highly trained nurses and appropriately skilled carers to care for vulnerable nursing home residents.
The ANMF, with over 259,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
Follow this link to see what impact the Aged Care Bill could have on providers.