Critical Need For Safe Staffing Levels In Aged Care 1

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19th June 2009, 05:45pm - Views: 738

Community Health Australian Nursing Federation 1 image

Community Health Australian Nursing Federation 2 image

The industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia

Canberra Office (Professional Services)

Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604 


PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

+ 61 2 6232 6533 (T)   + 61 2 6232 6610 (F)

Melbourne Office (Industrial Services)

Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000 


+ 61 3 9602 8500 (T)   + 61 3 9602 8567 (F) 

ANF Journals

Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

ABN 41 816 898 298

Media Release

Attention: news, health, aged care

Friday, June 19, 2009

Critical need for safe staffing levels in aged care

With nearly 40% of aged care residents spending less than one year in a nursing

home and 18% less than 3 months, it is critical that the Australian government acts

now to implement minimum staffing levels and an adequate skills mix of carers,

enrolled and registered nursing staff.

The AIHW report on residential aged care in Australia 2007-2008 reveals nursing

home residents are now frailer and sicker than ever before. Half have a diagnosis of

dementia and a significant number have complex diseases such as heart conditions

and connective tissue diseases like severe arthritis. 

“Nursing homes are like mini hospitals, with nurses and carers having to provide a

high level of nursing and end of life care,” said ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney. 

“We need the right mix of staff with the expertise, experience and qualifications to

recognise disease complications. We need staff who understand the impact of

medication regimes and who also have the time to provide emotional support to

residents and their families at a very difficult time,” Ms Kearney said.

The ANF because we care campaign, is seeking improved working conditions for

nurses and carers working in aged care to recruit and retain a highly skilled

workforce to care for older Australians. 

“At a time when Australia’s population is ageing and more and more people need

residential aged care, the number of registered and enrolled nurses working in the

sector has dropped significantly,” Ms Kearney said. The AIHW report demonstrates

the need for a highly skilled workforce and this will only be achieved by recognising

that nurses and carers deserve to be paid fairly and work in facilities with an

appropriate skills mix.”

Media inquiries

Ged Kearney, Federal Secretary

0417 053 322

Lee Thomas, Assistant Federal Secretary 

0419 576 590

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