The Australian College of Nursing welcomes the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to providing older Australians with more choice in and control of aged care services.
Yesterday’s release of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017, highlights the work done to date to give consumers more say in aged care services and the steps still needed to ensure all Australians have access to high-quality care as they grow older.
“We broadly welcome the reforms already implemented, the additional home care packages, and improvements to the My Aged Care information system,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“However, it is vital that all Australians share in these reforms. We are pleased the Government recognises the need to do more to support older Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas who wish to stay in their communities. The College looks forward to working with the Commonwealth to develop initiatives to improve service delivery right around the country. We also want to make sure there is equity of access and outcomes for all, including the most vulnerable members of our community.
“In particular, the Australian College of Nursing is pleased by the focus on workforce. As Australia’s population ages, the aged care workforce, particularly numbers of aged care nurses, must keep pace.”
The nursing profession currently makes up half of Australia’s health and aged care workforce. Aged care is a principal area of practice for both Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses.
“However, we know there will be shortages in the future if we don’t address workforce issues quickly,” Adjunct Professor Ward explained.
“Recruitment, training and retention of a quality aged care workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing the sector now and in the future.
“Therefore, we welcome the establishment of a Taskforce to develop a national approach to workforce planning.”
The Australian College of Nursing calls on the workforce strategy to include and factor in a mandate that at least one Registered Nurse is on-site at all time in residential aged care facilities.
A full copy of the review can be found here.