Real change for aged care … It’s not too much to ask
The Morrison government has only adopted some of the recommendations of the aged care royal commission. Achieving real reform remains a work in progress.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) wants nurses and their supporters to help push the government to finish the job of aged care reform.
The ANMF is campaigning under the slogan “Real change for aged care … It’s not too much to ask.”
It has set up a website – https://www.itsnottoomuch.com/ – which allows the public to show its support for staff ratios.
“Australia, our aged care residents need your assistance,” the website says.
“They don’t ask for much, just the basic dignities we all deserve in life.
“But a lack of staff ratio laws means many are suffering. It only takes a minute or two to help change that.”
Supporters can select to “donate” their time to the campaign: two minutes to share the campaign message on social media (Twitter, Facebook or email), five minutes to send a message to politicians, or seven minutes to do both.
The government committed to mandating 200 care minutes (3.3 hours) per resident per day, including 40 minutes with a nurse, from October 2023.
But it has failed to adopt a key recommendation of the commission: that a registered nurse be on site 24/7.
The ANMF is pushing for laws that require guaranteed minimum staff ratios and skill mix in every facility, on every shift – day, afternoon and night.
It wants RNs to be on site, at every facility, for every shift – as the royal commission recommended.
The ANMF wants to ensure, through legislation, that residents receive an average of 4.3 hours of care, including at least 54 minutes of RN care per day.
It argues for a mandated minimum skill mix of 30 per cent RNs, 20 per cent enrolled nurses and 50 per cent personal care workers.
The “Real change for aged care” campaign advocates other measures, including legislated transparency and accountability measures.
They include funding linked to quality-of-care outcomes and proof that government funding for wage costs has been used for that purpose.
Better wages for aged care workers in line with public sector wages is another focus of the campaign.
The government’s Budget response to the royal commission report failed to address its recommendations for lifting aged care pay rates.
A little of your time can make a real difference. Visit the website.
ANMF seeks 25 per cent pay increase in aged care
As The Lamp goes to press the ANMF has applied to the Fair Work Commission for a 25 per cent wage increase for Registered and Enrolled Nurses and Personal Care Workers in the aged care sector in Australia.
The ANMF made the work value application “on the basis that the work of staff delivering aged care has long been recognised as undervalued”.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care recommended that proceedings be begun at the Fair Work Commission to rectify the problem of low wages in the aged care sector.