Protecting older Australians must be a priority

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has called on the Australian Government to implement all 10 recommendations of the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.

“We welcome the release today of this report by Kate Carnell and Professor Ron Paterson and the Commonwealth’s decision to implement the recommended unannounced audits of residential aged care facilities,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.

“However, the Australian College of Nursing believes more must be done to protect residents of aged care facilities and ensure safe, quality care standards are maintained in every facility and at all times.”

In addition to expressing its support for each of the Review’s recommendations, the Australian College of Nursing reiterates its call for aged care standards to include a minimum requirement that a Registered Nurse (RN) be on-site and available at all times to promote safety and well-being for residents.

“We must actively work to prevent any future failures that might result in preventable harm to even one aged care resident,” Adjunct Professor Ward said. “Those in aged care are our parents and grandparents and they deserve to be safe and well looked after. Mandating the presence of a RN 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year is key in delivering best practice care in aged facilities.”

The Australian College of Nursing has issued a position statement calling for care delivered in nursing homes to be led by RNs. Due to the growing prevalence of co-morbidities associated with physical and cognitive decline, polypharmacy, and greater professional accountability, increasingly the nursing home population requires more complex care that can only be provided under the direct supervision of RNs.

“This Review received significant input from stakeholders around the country. The recommendations stem from feedback from experts, including people working and living in aged care,” Adjunct Professor Ward explained. “Therefore, they need to be respected and implemented. The College looks forward to working with the Australian Government to make aged care in this country safer for all.”


For interviews contact ACN Executive Assistant Narelle Barrie on 02 6283 3459 or Kristen Connell on 0400 054 227.