‘A disgraceful breach of trust’
As The Lamp goes to print Japara announced the proposed changes were no longer to go ahead. The staffing at all Japara facilities is an ongoing concern to the ANMF. The residents’ families say staffing is still inadequate to ensure safe resident care and wish to continue fighting with the nurses.
The daughter of a resident of Japara’s Albury nursing home told The Lamp she had seen increasing pressure on “good and caring nurses who are distressed that they are no longer able to give the quality of care that is needed for the well-being of the residents”.
“The decrease in staff work conditions and resident happiness has been very obvious over these last months,” she said.
“When I visit, the residents openly talk of Japara not really caring about them. They say Japara is only interested in making more money for their shareholders and for their executive bonuses.”
She said it was sad to know that her father and many other Australians from the “silent generation (1925–1945)” are seen as “a source of greedy profit by a company that could do more”.
In a letter to the management of Japara Aged Care Australia, she and her family described the proposed cuts to night shift staff as “a disgraceful breach of trust and duty of care”.
They said the nurses and carers aimed to care for residents with “professionalism and compassion”, but this care could not be sustained with fewer workers.
“The residence building is large and so it is difficult for staff to move from one section of the building to respond to residents’ calls. Response times to resident needs are presently inadequate and will be totally compromised if further staff cuts are made,” they warned.
They said they were shocked by a Japara management directive reportedly issued in May that staff no longer check on residents overnight.
They described the practice of not employing temporary staff when permanent staff are sick or away as “barbaric, further putting staff under incredible stress and potential injury”.
In a subsequent letter to Japara, they urged the company to “be bold, brave and ethical and act to increase your staff ratios before the Royal Commission demands you do so”.
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