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New funding scheme to relieve nurses' paperwork.

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Media Release Kevin Andrews Minister for Ageing

KA 29/2002 May 9, 2002

NEW FUNDING SCHEME TO RELIEVE NURSES' PAPERWORK THE Federal Government is examining new funding models for the aged care sector to relieve the paperwork burden on nurses, Federal Minister for Ageing Kevin Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews said nurses felt responsible for care as well as the Federal funding their facility received.

"That is because the care plans which the nurses complete for each resident are tied to the Federal funding, which is based on the Resident Classification Scale (RCS)," he said.

"It is an unfair burden on nurses to shoulder the responsibility for the income of their aged care facility. That is a business matter.

"I am convinced we have to uncouple the relationship between funding and care plans so that nurses can concentrate on what they are trained for - providing the best possible care.

"It is clear a new model is needed for the RCS and I have asked my Department to investigate alternative options as a priority, and report to me by August."

Speaking at the Australian Nursing Homes Extended Care Association 14th Annual Nursing Issues Congress in Sydney, Mr Andrews said nurses' job satisfaction would increase if they had more time to care for residents.

"We all know that nursing is not about management systems or paperwork, but about dedication to caring for someone's loved one and maintaining quality of life and dignity at a vulnerable and difficult time," Mr Andrews said.

"I intend to ensure, as far as practicable, that aged care nurses are free to concentrate on this valued work."

Mr Andrews also launched the La Trobe Report on the Recruitment and Retention of Nurses in Residential Aged Care. He said the Report has budgetary implications and the Federal Government's response would be finalised after the Budget.

Media Contact: Felicity Dargan (Press Secretary) 0409 550 446

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