The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has called on the Morrison Government to take immediate action on safe staffing laws in aged care following today’s release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report, which found staffing levels in the sector are too low and that staff ratios should be introduced to ensure there is sufficient nursing and care staff present at all times in residential aged care.
The ANMF has long-campaigned for the introduction of safe staffing laws to protect elderly Australians living in nursing homes.
The union commended the Aged Care Royal Commission for acknowledging the importance of staff ratios and skills mix in guaranteeing safe, dignified care for all older Australians.
“This Government, and many previous Governments, have done nothing to address ever-increasing shortages of registered nurses and qualified carers working in aged care,” ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said.
“Without adequate staffing and skills mix, with minimum standards for care workers, nursing home residents have suffered terribly, as a result of inadequate levels of care.
“The Morrison Government must now act; every day the Government delays taking action to address dangerous understaffing in nursing homes and community care, is another sad day, that vulnerable residents will continue to suffer.”
After releasing the 1000-page final report this afternoon, the Government announced $452 million in funding to address priority areas in the sector.
The ANMF has called on the Government to ensure the funding is directly tied to the provision of care. It says the current lack of transparency for the use of billions of taxpayer dollars aged care providers receive annually must be rectified.
The ANMF says the Government must take immediate action on recommendations within the Royal Commission’s final report to improve transparency and accountability in order to ensure safe and best practice care for every older Australian living in a nursing home.