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Seniors call on parliament to pass aged care staff ratios bill

National Seniors Australia is calling on the Federal Parliament to pass legislation requiring the publication of staffing ratios in residential aged care.

Media Release

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said National Seniors welcomed the recommendation from the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport that the legislation be passed.

National Seniors supported the publication of staffing rations in its submission to the committee.

“We saw this as a simple way of increasing transparency, choice and ultimately quality in residential aged care,” Mr Henschke said.

“This is basic information that should have always been available to consumers and families when choosing an aged care facility.

“The bill offers a common-sense approach to the issue of residential aged care and, if passed, will give consumers and their families more understanding about the capacity of an aged care home to look after older people’s needs.”

Mr Henschke said it was clear the number of skilled staff in nursing homes had an impact on the quality of care experienced by residents.

“We know this because our members tell us this all the time,” Mr Henschke said.

“The provision of care to older Australians is labour intensive. It requires adequate numbers of staff with appropriate qualifications to give assistance to residents who are increasingly frail and who are often suffering difficult medical conditions, such as dementia, which require constant support and supervision.”

Mr Henschke said National Seniors had raised the issue of staffing ratios in its submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“National Seniors calls on the parliament to pass this amendment as it will be one further step toward better quality and safety in aged care,” Mr Henschke said.

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