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Aged care staff and staffing levels.

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Minister for Ageing


July 30, 2008

Aged Care staff and staffing levels

The Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot said:

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that older Australians receive quality care and an appropriately skilled workforce is a key part of this.

It is currently the responsibility of the aged care homes to ensure that there are adequate numbers of appropriately skilled staff to meet the individual care needs of residents.

Aged care providers must have in place arrangements for the ongoing development of staff skills to ensure quality of care continues to be delivered.

However, the care needs of residents can differ greatly from one nursing home to another.

Staffing levels and skills are affected by factors such as the level of care and needs of residents, the nature of the buildings and the way work is organised.

It also depends on the mix of residents’ needs - whether it is low care, high care, dementia or psycho-geriatric.

That said, the Australian Government is committed to examining staffing levels in nursing homes based on the care needs of residents after the impact of the new Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) on aged care financing are understood.

Since this will affect approved providers, residents, their families, unions and staff, we want to talk to all those groups.

The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act), Section 54-1 (1) (b) sets out the requirements of aged care providers in relation to staffing. It says approved providers are required to maintain an adequate number of appropriately skilled staff to ensure that the care needs of all care recipients are met.

Under the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency’s Standards, Outcome - 1.6 Human Resource Management also require that there are appropriately skilled and qualified staff sufficient to ensure that services are delivered in accordance with these standards.

For more information call, (02) 6277 7280