The direct investment by the Federal Government to support nursing in aged care was welcomed by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) as part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget.
ACN welcomed the $17.7 billion investment into the aged care sector and especially the $216.7 million investment in nursing scholarships, transition to practice programs and additional support for dementia and palliative care training for the workforce.
Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said the upgrade and support for the sector is welcomed, and showed the Federal Government was engaging closely with how best to support the aged care sector.
“The aged care sector is broken now, and these investments show the Government is directly engaged in working with experts to improve the sector,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“Supporting more nurses to enter the aged care sector, as well as encouraging those who may not be able to access education to enter the sector by creating scholarships, will help to bolster the workforce as the changes from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety are implemented.”
The broader investment into aged care was also welcomed, but with a careful note on the future of home care and ensuring that a quality workforce supported older Australians who want to continue to stay in their own homes.
“An additional 80,000 places in home care is a massive investment which will have real and immediate impacts for older Australians, but the quality of care is crucial in ensuring we do not simply move the problems from residential aged care into home care,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“The investment in home care needs to ensure that we have the workforce to deliver the quality of care Australians expect in their own homes.”
“We look forward to seeing the detail and working with the Government to have the nursing voice heard in supporting the delivery of quality home care packages for Australians.”
Additionally, the Government’s support for victim-survivors of domestic violence was welcomed by Adjunct Professor Ward.
“This additional funding to support victim-survivors both in the moments of crisis and also in escaping from their abusers in the long term is, quite simply, doing the right thing to support vulnerable women and children,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“More support to care for the most vulnerable women and children in our community is a welcome support for the nursing profession who often directly support victim-survivors in the community.”