Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has published a report titled ‘Fix the Aged Care Crisis’ after conducting a survey on the aged care sector within the Bendigo electorate.
“Australia’s aged care system has been broken for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how desperately the sector needs serious reform,” Chesters said.
“The findings of my report demonstrate this experience is no different in Bendigo.
“Comments made by locals detail the heartbreaking reality of residents waiting for assistance from nurses or carers who don’t have the time or capacity to appropriately attend to all residents’ needs,” Chesters said.
A local aged care worker said some of the major issues include “inadequate staffing ratios leading to inadequate service provision and care, stressed staff and frustrated and angry residents and their families.”
Another worker said “I don’t think you’d find many care workers who say they have enough time to deliver emotional care. We can only deliver the basics. We can’t wait for the findings of the Royal Commission; we need action now.”
Out of more than 400 people surveyed, 90 per cent agreed there should be minimum staffing levels in aged care and 79 per cent said the Morrison Government’s response to the aged care COVID-19 crisis was poor or very poor.
“These figures reveal overwhelming support for Labor’s plan for reform in aged care,” Chesters said.
Labor’s eight-point plan calls for:
- Minimum staffing levels in residential aged care
- Reduce the home care waiting list so more people can stay in their homes for longer
- Ensure transparency and accountability of funding
- Independent measurement and public reporting as recommended by the Royal Commission
- Ensure every residential aged care facility has adequate personal protective equipment
- Better staff training, including on infection control
- A better surge workforce strategy
- Provide additional researches resources so the Royal Commission can inquire into COVID-19 without delaying its final report
“I’m urging the federal government to immediately act on aged care and will be presenting this damning report in Parliament when I return,” Chesters said.
“The federal government regulates and funds aged care, if the system is not working, it is the government’s fault and action needs to be taken.
“The Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was titled, Neglect and calls for urgent action yet, Scott Morrison and his government have failed to act.
“The recent federal budget was a missed opportunity to adequately fund the sector.
“These are our parents and grandparents. We have an obligation to care for them and to keep them safe,” Chesters said.
Lisa Chesters’ Aged Care Report can be viewed here: http://www.lisachesters.org/agedcarereport
SUMMARY OF SURVEY RESULTS:
90% agreed there should be minimum staffing levels in aged care
97% agreed there should be better training for staff in aged care
70% did not agree that there is adequate PPE in aged care facilities
92% agreed there should be a better surge workforce strategy (as highlighted by COVID-19)
94% said the home care waiting list should be reduced so more people can live at home longer
79% said the Morrison Government’s response to the aged care COVID-19 crisis was poor or very poor
WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER